Tarragona 2000

Visit in Tarragona August 2000

 This page is an attempt to present how to make Paella, in this case Valencian style. The recipe is accompanied by pictures to try to visualize what I am describing.
This activity happened at Antonio Durans ”rústic” on the hills close to Tarragona with a beautiful view over the Mediterranean Sea.
On the pictures you will also find some of Antonios relatives and friends. 

This is the definition of ”Paella” according to a dictionary:

A Spanish dish of rice, saffron, chicken, seafood, etc., cooked and served in a large shallow pan. Catalan, via Old French paele from Latin patella ‘pan’


This is the way a typical dinner starts, with a Tapas.

Antonio with relatives and friends, and we as guests, gathered in Antonios ”rústic”.

Leopoldo with son and one of the guests.

These are the typical ingredient for a Paella: rice, mussels, beans, paprika, tomato purée, chicken, crayfish/prawns, squid, onion (20% garlic), saffron (for the colour).
The mussels are in advance boiled together with some water which is kept. The water from the mussels is there to give taste and the mussels are used mainly for decoration.

The cocking was made on open fire in an iron pan.
Add some olive oil and salt (the salt is to prevent the meat from sticking to the pan). Cooke the prawns for 4-5 minutes. Take them out of the pan.

Cooke the chicken until it is ready.

With the chicken still in the pan, add the beans and paprika. After a few minutes add the onion. A few minutes later add the tomato purée.
After a few minutes add the squid.

After some time add the water from the boiled mussels. Add extra water to correspond to the amount of rice which later will be added (based on experience). Now add the saffran  (for the colour).
Keep it boiling for another 5-6 minutes. Taste it for right amount of salt.

Add the rice. To get the right amount is the tricky part. Here it is made so the eye can get the proportions to the amount of water. The white part in the picture is rice.

Leopoldo with wife.

About 5 minutes before it is ready, decorate with mussels.

Now it is time to add the prawns.

Carefully take the pan to the table.

It is like a picture! Ready to serve.

Some of us ate from plates but a more traditional way to it is to eat directly from the pan.

It is fair to relax after the dinner.

As the reader hopefully understands, making a Paella needs experience from tradition. Many factors influence on the result but it is certainly worth to try and try and try ….

Hans Skarholm         Uppdated 2000-09-11