The Perfect Paella!
Food blogger Holly Brown will share her food writing in the Herald every other week
Editor's Note: This is the first of a series of food posts by West Seattle's own Holly Brown whose food blog and WebTV show, The Brown Lounge has gained a national following.
by Holly Brown
My first trip to Spain was one of the most romantic and captivating culinary experiences of my life. From the museums of Madrid, to the wine country of the Rioja Valley, up to the Atlantic Coast of the Basque region, and ultimately to the big city that is Barcelona, I soaked in the juxtaposition of old world tradition, new world innovation, and all the tapas, “vino tinto”, and paella I could eat!
The rhythm of Spain takes about a minute to get used to. Even in the fast-paced, Internet driven world of the 21st century, the siesta defines Spanish life. The siesta, or as Spaniards say, “the time,” is not so much a nap, as a rest. It’s a great concept!
Valencia, of course is the birthplace of the world-renowned paella. Paella (a Catalan word meaning “pan”) is first and foremost a rice dish. It can be made with anything you like or whatever you have in the kitchen! I love shellfish, sausage, and chicken in my paella.
Traditional paella is “peasant food” at heart. It’s made with short grain rice, like Bomba or Arborio. Saffron distinguishes paella from other rice dishes, adding fragrance, taste and color to the dish, but it's an expensive and potent ingredient. Only a pinch is needed.
The shallow paella pan is a versatile cooking vessel and can be used for many other Spanish dishes, including some that we feature on TheBrownLounge.com. While paella’s beauty and drama can seem intimidating, it's quite easy to prepare. Visit the Spanish Cuisine section of our website to get our favorite paella recipe. Our WebTV program shows you step-by-step how to make it!
TheBrownLounge.com celebrates Spanish cuisine this month with several activities including our Annual Paella Party. It’s a highlight of the year and brings over 100 friends to our home for an evening of Tapas, Paella, Vino Tinto and Flamenco dancing. It's a deliciously romantic evening for all, and brings me back to the fabulous tastes, sights and romance of Spain.
As part of our celebration of Spanish cuisine, we’ve made it fun for you to get your own paella party started! You can enter our Ultimate Paella Party Sweepstakes to win $300 worth of paella party gear from The Spanish Table. Just visit TheBrownLounge.com/Paella for details!
Here’s to your next dinner party!
Holly Brown is Publisher and WebTV host of TheBrownLounge.com
You can like her on Facebook here.
You can follow Holly on Twitter here.