27 March, 2012

March 27th is National Spanish Paella Day

I am vegetarian and also I am fasting. But just some info.

If you're looking for something to do today then I hope you have a big frying pan because it's National Spanish Paella Day!

Get ready for a buffet in a pan!
Let's get right into celebrating National Spanish Paella Day!

Why is this a holiday?

If you've had paella before then you know why this is a holiday but if you haven't then let me tell you why... THIS STUFF IS GOOD! People love this buffet in a pan so much that they feel the need to celebrate it at least once a year. I bet you saw that coming, huh?
And yes, the holiday is called National "Spanish" Paella Day but to Spaniards this is a Valencian rice dish, because that's where it originated in mid-19th century. Valencia is on the east coast of Spain and this dish got its roots near lake Albufera.
There are three different types of paella but if you want the true Valencian version you'll want to include white rice, green vegetables, meat like rabbit, chicken or duck, land snails, beans and seasoning. There is also seafood paella which swaps out the meat above for seafood and doesn't include beans or green vegetables. Or you can have a mixed paella which is a combination of the meats, seafood, vegetables and even sometimes beans.
So as you can see, you're getting a full balanced meal in one pan and, when they cook it, it's usually in a giant paella pan. And sometimes they'll garnish it with vegetables and meats to make it look all pretty before people start digging into it.

How to Celebrate
So how can you celebrate today?
Well, there are 3 basic ways to celebrate... The first way is to find a restaurant that cooks paella every single day.  That way you know that they have their recipe perfected, it won't be a hassle to wait for and you didn't have to cook anything.  Just sit back and wait for it to be set down in front of you.
The second way is to find some paella in a box.  Yep!  Some companies actually cut some of the work out of it for you and pop the rice and other ingredients in a box.  Sure, this won't be as healthy of an option because of the preservatives and ingredients, but it saved you a little time right?  And sometimes it still comes out pretty dang tasty.
And the last way would be to heat up some oil in a big frying pan and start sauteing your meat after you seasoned it with some salt.  Then you'll add in your green vegetables and saute them until they're soft.  Then you'll add in grated tomatoes, beans and maybe garlic and saute them.  Then you'll add in some water, saffron, snails and rosemary.  Then you'll want to boil it down until it's reduced by half.  Then add your rice, simmer it until the rice is cooked and then garnish it with some fresh rosemary.  Quite a meal, huh?  Now you see why they make such large amounts of it; they don't want to have to cook it again anytime soon!