Show Cooking – Paella in Torrevieja

We are delighted how our first activity in ÁbacoClub was developed.

There is nothing more typical in our area than a good paella and we learned some secrets and how to make it from scratch. We met at Qtalgourmet, a little wine store I fell in love with and who’s owners have a passion for wine and good cooking. They also have gourmet products like olive oil, salt flakes, cheeses and lots of other goodies you might want to check out. Then we went to do our shopping for the ingredients we needed to make our paella. We did our shopping the traditional way, at La Plasa, a market with fresh produce and real people who attend you with a smile and end up learning your name. I love to do my shopping there…if they don’t have something you need, they will bring it for you. Afterwords, we took a short walk to a celebration hall where everything was set up for the making of THE paella.

We put on our name tags to get to know each other and relaxed while we had a beer (or two) and enjoyed the view. Watching Cesar (our chef) explain the steps to a good paella,  learning little secrets like how to measure the right amount of oil to be used by tipping the pan or the difference between using one type of rice or another made time go by very fast. Little tricks like the order of frying the ingredients in or putting the artichokes in lemon water after being cut made it all worth the wait to be able to enjoy a plate of the famous paella. Cesar showed us how to make the salmorreta, the fried and ground, dry red pepper base, so typical in this region that can be made and stored for two weeks and used as a base for many other dishes… it was DELICIOUS, believe me.

Thanks to all of you who participated, we really had a good time together and enjoyed the outcome. By the way…the wines we tried were great. We are valuing the idea of visiting their wineries… but that will be another story to be told.

Paella show cooking for 4 people

For a perfect paella for 4 people we will use a paella 45 -50 cm diameter.
The proportions of rice and stock are 1 of rice by 2.5 of stock (liquid).
For this paella we will use 1 liter of stock.


– 400 gr of round rice
– 300 gr of sepia
– 500 gr of large gambon (big shrimp)
– 1 natural ripe tomato
– 4 artichokes
– 1 chicken breast
– 1 red pepper
– 1 chopped leek
– 4 ñoras (dry red peppers)
– 3 garlic cloves
– 250 gr. fried tomato
– 1.5 lt of water
– salt
– olive oil

Elaboration of the stock:

In a pot we put a nice amount of olive oil with the heads and the shells of the shrimp, after sqeezing out the heads to free their juices, stir fry until golden and the bottom of the pot is cuddled. At that moment we add the chopped up leek and the crushed ñora clean of seeds and stir fry for 5 min, we add water and cook 25 min, foaming at the beginning (you can put a wooden spoon on top of the foam so it doesn’t overflow). At the end we will add 2 spoonfuls of **salmorreta to give color and intensify the taste.

**Preparation of the salmorreta:

• We wash the ñoras, we remove the seeds and throw them out. We peel the garlic.
• In a Paellera (frying pan) and while it is still cold we place 80 ml of olive oil, the ñoras and the garlic cloves.
• With the heat on low we will stir fry until the garlic is golden. (We must be careful that the ñoras don’t burn, otherwise they will make the paella taste bitter).
• In a crusher glass we will put the fried ñoras, garlic and the fried tomato and the other half of the oil.
• We crush and put away for later. Remember it can be saved for two weeks and you can use it for many dishes.

Elaboration of the paella:

First place we prepare all ingredients.

• We cut up the chicken
• We cut up the sepia
• We grind the tomato
• We cut the pepper in strips
• We clean the artichokes, we cut them in fourths and we keep them in water with 1 squeezed lemon to avoid their oxidation.

In the paella we add the oil that is leftover from the salmorreta and fry the chicken first, then the artichokes and the pepper strips. We add salt to each ingredient that we incorporate. We remove the pepper strips and put them aside for later to decorate. We then add the sepia and at last the gambon. Once everything is stir fried, we lower the fire and add the rice and followed by the stock (the stock must be hot). As we see the color we will add salmorreta to the taste.

We upload the fire and keep it live for 5 min.

Next, we taste and see if it needs more salt and lower the heat but it must bubble constantly. Stock can be added if necessary but remember you cannot stir the rice if its almost dry of liquid.

We decorate with the pepper strips and cook 12 minutes more (16 – 17 min. in total).

Once ready, we will let it rest for 5 minutes, preferably with paper or a clean cloth. ENJOY!

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