La Marina, the BlueBay Gourmet group’s seafood restaurant prepares paellas like nobody else. One of its specialities is the ‘Arroz del Señorito’ with all the seafood peeled for its customers’ convenience. There are many versions of the dish, which is one of Spain’s proudest culinary achievements.
Paella’s history and origin are closely linked to Valencia, where it came into being through a series of auspicious circumstances. There are a wealth of vegetable gardens and fresh produce in the area, and its was common to raise chickens and rabbits for household consumption. All of this combined with the existing rice fields favoured the emergence of the dish.
From its beginnings in coastal areas, fish and seafood were included, together with olive oil, which is a typical attribute of Mediterranean dishes.
There is some controversy over the original recipe, as it was, and is a popular dish. Everyone added what they had at home and then threw in a few handfuls of rice.
Regarding the cooking vessel, the paella pan must be at least 30cm in diameter with edges of between 7 and 12cm. There are some tricks for making an excellent paella at home. If it’s a vegetable paella, we must keep in mind the water from the veg when cooking and therefore reduce the amount of water in the sofrito. And if we decide on a meat paella, a pinch of rosemary will give it a unique touch.
Also once the paella is finished, it’s best to turn off the heat, cover the pan with tinfoil and a wet cloth on top, and leave it to cook under its own steam for a few minutes as this gives it a more interesting texture.