Ahh Barcelona…we spent some time there last summer and had a marvelous time. If you remember from a previous blog post of mine, we were not lucky in the food department while we were there, but I would give Barcelona another chance in a heartbeat. This time, I would be armed with recommendations from friends who have both visited and lived there. I’m sure we would not be disappointed. One of the mainstays of Catalan cuisine is paella, and I’m fairly certain that paella is to Barcelona what quiche is to France. Each family has their own recipe that differentiates it from others.
A few years ago, my good friend Anton spent a summer in Barcelona. He has many good memories from those few months and often reminisces about his time there, including the delicious paella he ate there! We’ve talked for months about getting together to make paella someday, and finally found the time to do it! He asked his friend from Barcelona for his paella recipe, and he was kind enough to share it with us. It turned out delicious, so I’m sure there will be more paella-making in our future.
- 3 cups paella rice
- 1lb canned tomatoes, pureed
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 8 chicken drumsticks (or whichever part of the chicken you prefer)
- 1/2 lb calamari
- 1/2 lb cuttlefish (or octopus, or if you can’t find this, add an extra 1/2 lb calamari)
- 1 lb mussels
- 1/2 lb clams
- 8 prawns, deveined
- 1 red bell pepper, sliced
- olive oil
- salt to taste
- a few pinches of saffron
- 1.5 L water
1. Boil a small amount of water in a medium-sized pot. Clean the muscles and the clams, then put them in boiling water until they open. Drain the water and set them aside for later.
2. In a large dutch oven boil the 1.5 L of water.
3. Heat a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add some olive oil and fry the chicken drumsticks until they are golden on all sides.
8. In the same pan, cook the onion until translucent. Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Add the bell peppers and prawns to the onions and pour in the tomato puree. Cook until the tomato puree thickens.
9. Add the tomato mixture to the boiling water. If you have a paella pan (which I didn’t when making this), add everything from the dutch oven to the paella pan. When it starts boiling add the rice and the saffron. Mix in shellfish. Stir and allow to cook for at least 15 minutes (or until rice is done). Remove from heat and cover with foil for 5 minutes before serving.