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!


  1. Nice, looking forward to the recipe. Wondering what rice you used, I used some from Woolies and it was a fail.

  2. Gutted that I couldn't make it! Looks like you all had a great time though (and yes, looking forward to your recipe. C'mon giant serving portions!)

  3. oh sounds intriguing! Cant wait for the recipe!

  4. Yay paella parties! There are not enough paella parties in the world I say. And sangria!! Yum. I thought I saw you say on twitter you forgot to take photos?

  5. Howard: You can get bomba or calasparra rice from Simon Johnson (or your local italian/spanish deli, who import them from simon johnson) - but arborio rice from woolies will do to? Some paella virgins reckons it even tastes better!

    shez: speaking of giant servings; how was the giant serving macaroon? save me one? :D

    Maria: It's coming! After I find some mates to cook paella for so I can take some photos - interested? ;)

    Stephcookie: there's a photo of the scraps bowl, a salad, an irrelevant photo and one from a mate's facebook; just good improvisation haha