Tuesday, October 6, 2009
Hosting a Paella Party
You bought that big paella pan. Now what? Have a party around it!
The number one lesson in cooking paella? Patience. Same with steak; searing and resting are the most important parts. Make sure you sear the meats to a nice caramel before taking them off, and returning them to the pan during the braising stage. Rest that Paella for at least FIFTEEN minutes; covered in foil to keep the heat in.
Cooking time (including resting) will end up to about 40 minutes! So what can your guests eat until then?
Salad of baby cos, radicchio, parmesean and free range bacon
How about sautee'ing a handful of king prawns with lots of garlic (about 8 cloves), smoked paprika (a tablespoon), chilli flakes (a pinch), flamed off with a shot of cognac and finished with a squeeze of lemon juice - you don't even need a picture to make you drool over that image!
Before you start your Paella, grill off some chorizo with some olive oil and finished with lemon juice - serve with tomato sauce; that and a loaf of bread is enough to stop worrying about your guests complaining about being hungry.
The secret to Paella Prep? Do it the night before! (especially if it's for lunch the next day) Cleaning and scoring that squid, chopping up the onions, capsicums, cleaning the mussels, splitting the beans, cutting chorizo - there's a crazy amount of chopping to do, and unless you're a pro - it'll take you forever! Do it up to 24 hours before, and you'll be cruising.
Speaking of day before, Sangria!
My sugar syrup recipe: 200ml water:200ml caster sugar, 2 star anise, 1 cinnamon stick
Sangria: Cut up strawberries, blueberries, kiwi fruit and apples - top off with a bottle of wine, some tequila, brandy and rum to taste. Add spiced sugar syrup to taste as well - leave to soak overnight. To serve, balance with schwepps lemonade to desired alcoholic strength.
Stay tuned for an in-depth paella recipe!