Valencian Paella Night!

The Friday Night Dinner group was lucky enough to get an authentic Valencian Paella recipe from Victor Claver, a member of our beloved Portland Trailblazers and the Spanish national team. When we asked him for the recipe, he sent it to us and said “I hope you can make a good one ;)” and oh man. It was delicious.

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I’m only going to give a brief overview of the paella making here — it was quite a long, eventful process and it would take up a lot of room on this blog. I will, however, post a step-by-step recap of the paella making over on Bryony Cooks tomorrow so you can see pictures of the entire process. Taylor and I had too much fun making it.

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With the recipe being a true Valencian paella recipe, we decided to go all out and make the entire dinner a Valencian affair. We went to World Foods, a local international grocery store here in Portland and they had an entire stack of shelves dedicated to items from Spain. We got some real paella rice, chocolate, and a couple of other snacks. I could have bought everything there though. Amazing.

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Our dinner consisted of paella (duh), a spinach salad to lighten things up, a Valencia orange cake, and agua de Valencia (warning: it’s not actually water ;)) We had such a great night looking at dresses, making plans for a concert we’re going to next week, cooking, talking and just having a really fun time. And like true Spaniards, we didn’t eat dinner until 9:30pm.

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This paella is time-consuming, but I recommend you all try it. It was absolutely delicious and I speak for the whole FND crew when I say thank you, Victor, for sharing this incredible recipe with us!

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Paella Valenciana:
Via

Ingredients:

  • 700g (1 1/2 lb). chicken, sliced and slightly salted
  • 300g (2/3 lb.) rabbit, sliced and slightly salted
  • 1 tablespoon ground paprika
  • Saffron, to taste (or yellow food colouring)
  • 12 tablespoons grated fresh tomato
  • 400g (14 oz.) Ferraura, rotjet, or wide green beans
  • 100 g (3.5 oz.) Garrofón (Lima Beans)
  • 3 or 4 artichokes (we used a can of artichoke hearts, a lot easier)
  • 100 g (3.5 oz.) white beans or tabella
  • Water
  • 150 ml Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 320g (11.3 oz.) rice (paella rice is preferable)
  • Salt, to taste

Directions:

  1. Pour the oil in the middle of the paella pan and heat the oil over a high heat.
  2. When the oil begins to smoke, add the chicken and rabbit and brown carefully over medium heat. Paella success depends a lot on successful browning of the meat.
  3. Add the chopped vegetables (beans included) and sauté for a few minutes.
  4. Make a hole in the centre of the pan, setting aside the meat and vegetables. In the gap, incorporate the tomato, fry for a few minutes, then add the paprika. Let it cook for another minute and be careful not to burn the paprika.
  5. Pour in the water close to the edge of the pan. You want the pan to be almost full of water. Add some salt and allow it to cook for about 20 minutes, adding more water if necessary.
  6. After 20 minutes, you should see that the water/stock of the paella comes halfway up the rivets on the side of the pan.
  7. Now test the salt. The broth should be slightly salty as the rice will absorb some while it cooks. {The recipe translation says you should have a guest try the broth to determine saltiness, then you can blame them if it is too salty ;)}
  8. Now incorporate the rice. Make a slight groove with the rice, going diagonally across the pan. You want the rice to stick out about an inch from the stock. Add the saffron or dye on top of the rice. Uniformly mix the rice into the pan and cook over a strong (medium-high/high) heat for about 7 minutes, or until half cooked rice begins to appear.
  9. Now lower the heat to low/medium-low and cook for another 4-5 minutes. {Make sure the paella isn’t burning and sticking to the bottom of the pan; if you need to slightly stir it to move around the grains to prevent burning}.
  10. Once the liquid has been absorbed, check to make sure the rice is cooked. If not, add a little more water and continue cooking, just make sure not to burn the rice.
  11. Finally, rest the paella for about 5 minutes, then enjoy!

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Spinach Salad with Apples and Bell Peppers: 

Ingredients:

  • Box/bag baby spinach
  • 2 apples, chopped
  • 2 bell peppers, chopped
  • Dressing of your choice (we used balsamic)

Directions:

  1. Place salad ingredients in a bowl, toss. Add dressing and toss again.

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Valencia Orange Cake:
Via

Ingredients:

  • 2 organic Valencia oranges
  • 4 eggs
  • 3/4 cup honey
  • 2 cups blanched almond flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt

Directions:

  1. Place two whole organic Valencia oranges in a pot with enough water to cover them. Add a tightly sealed lid. Let them simmer for 1 1/2 – 2 hours. When you can easily guide a toothpick or fork through them, they’re ready.
  2. Cool the oranges for a few minutes, then slice them into wedges, removing any inedible parts (keep the peel, it is edible and adds great flavour).
  3. Process the oranges until you have a smooth orange paste with no lumps.
  4. Preheat the oven to 325°F (300°F if using a convection oven).
  5. To get a slightly lighter cake, separate the egg yolks and egg whites, and then whip the egg whites separately until stiff peaks form.
  6. In a bowl, beat eggs (or egg yolks if separated) until well blended, and then beat in the honey and dry ingredients (baking soda, salt, and almond flour).
  7. Fold in the almond flour and orange paste into the egg and honey mixture and blend well.
  8. If you whipped the egg whites separately, here is where you want to fold the egg whites into the rest of the batter.
  9. Use a spring form pan or a well buttered baking pan. Butter or oil the
    bottom of the spring form pan. No need to butter the sides of the
    spring form pan.
  10. Pour the batter into the pan and bake for about 1 hour, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Make sure to bake it thoroughly, especially in the center, or it may settle when it cools. Even if it settles, it still tastes wonderful.

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Agua de Valencia:
Via

Ingredients:

  • 200ml orange juice
  • 50ml gin
  • 50ml vodka
  • 700ml Cava (or Champagne)
  • Pinch of sugar

Directions:

  1. Pour the orange juice into a pitcher.
  2. Add the Cava, vodka and gin.
  3. Add the sugar, according to taste.
  4. Refrigerate before serving.
  5. Pour into glasses and enjoy!

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Happy eating, everyone!

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6 thoughts on “Valencian Paella Night!

  1. Paella Valenciana! | Bryony Cooks March 31, 2014 at 9:33 am Reply

    […] A month or two ago, my friend and I asked Victor if he had a family paella recipe he could share with us to use for one of our Friday Night Dinners. He kindly gave us this recipe from his native Valencia with a message saying, “I hope you can make a good one ;)” and we made it for dinner this weekend (you can read the dinner recap and find the other recipes here). […]

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