Like most food cultures in the lush Mediterranean, Spanish cuisine relies strongly on olive oil and garlic, and is incredibly healthy - the primary ingredients are no doubt the primary contributors to the long and healthy life that many of the southern European cultures enjoy. Today I'd like to introduce you to the famous national dish of Paella, a slight regional variation in fact - though of course, there are many more regional dishes you may wish to look up on your own.
Perhaps the most famous of Spanish cuisine, most people either love or hate it, and some inevitably have a tale of woe when they ate some in a less than reputable restaurant on their holiday and got sick because of it. So cook it yourself, and make sure you get these ingredients from your local supermarket and everything should be fine! This particular paella is a regional variant on the classic, and doesn't have any seafood in it, which is why I personally prefer it to the typical recipe. Anyway, here's what you need:
- Chicken or duck (wing, legs, liver, neck - but feel free to cut out the more icky parts if you can't stand them!)
- Pork (chopped)
- Rabbit (again, cut if you don't like and add a little more pork instead)
- Green beans
- Sweet red pepper
- Long grain rice - Saffron
- Chicken broth
- 1 chopped tomato
- 2 cloves garlic
- Mild red pepper flakes
Traditionally, the paella is of course made in a paellera, but honestly a wok or big fry pan will work fine. Add a little oil and start by sauteing the pepper. Add the various meats next, they should all cook about the same speed. Wait until those are browned, then add in the garlic (minced) and green beans. After a few more minutes, throw in the tomatoes and a cup of water, and simmer it all to thoroughly cook the meat and vegetables. When the water is almost gone, add in the rice and a tablespoon of olive oil. Add in twice as many cups of boiling chicken broth as you added rice, and a few tablespoons of pepper flakes and saffron. When the rice looks done, mix it up a little and serve immediately. A nice glass of red wine should go well with this, I suggest Chianti!
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