2018 Sunday dinners started with Paella

Last Sunday was officially our first family dinner for 2018. It was the first time we could all get together since Christmas day, so you can imagine how excited I was!

Not only was I excited about having my family together, I was super excited because I would get to use the Christmas gift I received from my kids, a paella pan and gas hob. This is something I’ve wanted to buy since doing a cooking lesson in Barcelona, where we made paella.

We had so much fun that day. We started off with a trip to the local food market to buy the ingredients. Well, what an experience that was!

Now, I’ve been to many markets back home, but I’m always blown away by the markets in Europe. They are just so impressive. The produce seems some much fresher and vibrant and the displays are so much more interesting and inviting than ours.

After the market we headed back to the cooking school and on the way back we stopped to have “the best” churros EVER! They were light and fluffy and the chocolate sauce…OMG…it was sensational!img_4409.jpgOnce we got back, we spent the next 3 hours cooking, drinking fabulous local wine and eating the most delicious Paella I’ve ever had! I can honestly say it was the highlight of my time in Spain – I suppose the fact that my husband, baby boy and his lady were also there, had something to do with it!

Ever since that day, I have wanted to cook this paella at home. I had the recipe but, I didn’t have the tools and now that I have both, I couldn’t wait to try it for our family Sunday dinner.

What I recall from our Spanish chef is there are 3 very important requirements for a great paella:

  1. Fresh fragrant hot fish stock
  2. A good ‘sofrito‘ – finely chopped onion, red capsicum and garlic sauted in oil
  3. Fresh local seafood

With the fish stock gently simmering and the sofrito sautéing beautifully, we were on track for a good paella (well, I hoped it would be good).

Once the rice was added, it was time to leave the paella to do it’s thing – and that meant we could NOT touch it any more! So, I kicked back with a glass of wine and admired my family 🙂

After a while it was time to add the seafood, but we had to remember to not stir the rice – it’s a no no! Why? Because an authentic Spanish Paella must have a crust on the bottom.

Once the rice and seafood was cooked through, we turned off the heat and covered it with a clean cloth – NO, not foil because it will sweat.

After 10 minutes it was ready to eat – yum! We opened a bottle of ‘Tempranillo’ wine and… saludo!

Time to eatAfter a big delicious meal, what is there left to do? Lie back and read a good book of course!Relaxing after a big mealI truly love Sunday family dinners 🙂

Well, until the next time…cheers and thanks for stopping by!

OH! By the way, I can’t publish the recipe on the blog, but if you want it just email me at hello@meatballsandmuffins.com and I’ll send it to you.

It’s so much fun making it and you’ll love eating it.