It all began i couple of months ago when in a meeting my creative mind took over, a paella for 150 guests cooked in a 1 meter wide pan. Saffron rice packed with onions, garlic, paprika, smoked paprika, real chorizo, free range chicken, squid, salmon, king prawns and muscles all finished with fresh herbs and blanched green beans. I was very animated and my client could hardly resist, i had painted a picture that left us both drooling, hungry and our imaginations hunting around our heads for a fork!
But as the day of the event came closer my imaginative mind saw the other side of cooking rice for 150, a sticky mess, burnt solid to the bottom of my gorgous 1 meter pan, uncooked fish pocking out rudely, i had a sleepless night tossing and turning, seeing the buffet que looping round the bedroom and out the door, helpless, devastated and of course hungry.
A healthy nerve doesn’t do you any harm. I came to work very focused and took my mis en place extremely seriously. Harry and i talked it through a couple of times during the day.
The moment had arrived. I put the meter wide pan on a large flame and added a good slug of olive oil and huge knob of butter, i throw in my finely chopped red onions, 3 bulbs of squashed garlic’s cloves , sliced chorizo sausage, marinated sealed chicken thigh, saffron, paprika and smoked paprika. The fat started to come out of the chorizo, the onions began to cameralise and the smell began to fill the kitchen, it was fun. I added 4 kilos of good quality paella rice, salt and pepper and stirred with a large paddle we normally use in our bratt pan. The chicken stock to be added next was in a large plastic storage box which i had to heave up with all my mite. The pan bubbled, boiled, a couple of waitresses took interest and guests popped their heads in draw by the aromas. Once the pella rice was 2/3rds cooked i added the cleaned and thinly sliced squid rings, salmon trim and king prawns. The yellow saffron rice now really beginning to go creamy, not a sight of sticking and so in went the cooked muscles, another few minutes ( just over an hour in total for a pan that size) i throw in a mound of chopped parsley and a box of blanched chopped beans. The green lifted the yellows and the pinks it was just my excited meeting had promised. I carried the hot heavy pan across the marquee and feed the expectant hungry guests.
250gr or 2 cups Pealla rice
1 sliced red onion
5 cloves squashed garlic
5 strands of saffron
1 tsp Paprika
1 tsp Smoked paprika
1 tsp Dried herbs
2 good quality Chorizo sausages
2 free range Chicken thigh. Sealed and cut into to chunks
250ml or 2 cups Chicken stock
50gr Salmon, small chunks
50gr Peeled king prawns
50gr Squid rings
50gr Green beans, blanched and sliced
Large hand ful Parsley
Follow the recipe in the story. Cook yours in a good size frying pan with a good heavy non stick base, Use equal amounts of rice to stock and expect it to cook in half an hour
I took a small bowl for myself and sat eating on an up turned box out the back of the marquee the best man brought me a chilled cerveza.