Paella, the world-renowned Spanish dish, holds a special place in the hearts of food enthusiasts around the globe. It is a vibrant one-pan feast that has evolved over centuries, capturing the essence of Spanish culture and culinary tradition. In his new book, “Paella: The Original One-Pan Dish,” esteemed chef Omar Allibhoy delves into the captivating history and art of paella, offering over 50 recipes to help you recreate this iconic dish in your own kitchen.
The Passion Behind the Book:
Chef Omar Allibhoy’s deep-rooted passion for paella began during his childhood, as he celebrated his grandfather’s birthday each year in Valencia, where the tradition of paella thrives. This cherished memory inspired Omar to embark on a lifelong journey to master the art of paella. With countless hours dedicated to researching, learning, and collaborating with renowned paella chefs, Omar has become an authoritative figure on the subject. Now, he shares his wealth of knowledge, techniques, and insider tips in his love letter to this beloved Spanish dish.
About ‘Paella: The Original One-Pan Dish’
Omar’s book serves as a comprehensive guide for both novice and experienced cooks, providing step-by-step instructions and demystifying the intricacies of paella preparation. It starts with a thorough introduction to essential techniques and ingredients, ensuring that readers have a solid foundation before diving into the recipes. From the classic Paella Valenciana to indulgent meat and seafood variations, the book presents an array of options for every occasion. Additionally, a dedicated chapter caters to vegetarian and vegan paellas, showcasing the versatility and adaptability of this iconic dish.
The Allure of Paella:
One of the most enticing aspects of paella is its simplicity and affordability. With humble rice as the core ingredient, paella is a one-pot wonder that provides a balanced and nutritious meal. Whether you’re cooking a quick midweek supper or planning a festive gathering, paella offers a delightful combination of flavors, textures, and ingredients that can satisfy diverse palates.
Omar Allibhoy, born in Madrid, is the founder of Tapas Revolution, the largest Spanish restaurant group in the UK. His culinary journey began under the tutelage of renowned chefs Ferran Adrià and Gordon Ramsay, earning him the moniker “Antonio Banderas of cooking” from Ramsay himself. Since opening his first restaurant in 2010, Omar has been dedicated to showcasing the simplicity and accessibility of Spanish cuisine. Alongside his successful business ventures, he has also excelled as a TV chef, sharing his expertise and passion for Spanish food with a broader audience.
I wanted to share a recipe from the book, but there is so many that look fantastic it was a difficult job to pick just one.
ARROZ DE COSTILLA, ALCACHOFA Y HABITAS TIERNAS
Broad Bean, Artichoke and Pork Rib Paella
Pork (and all its cuts) works just beautifully in paella. Here the three main ingredients give the dish so much flavour, while the green pepper is only used in small amounts as its flavour can overpower the other ingredients.
Serves 3: Prep 30 minutes / Cook 45 minutes
1 litre (4 cups) chicken stock
90ml (1/3 cup) extra virgin olive oil
300g (10oz) pork spare ribs
1 small green (bell) pepper, deseeded and roughly chopped
3 artichokes, halved
1 whole head of garlic, cloves separated and peeled
Large handful of broad (fava) beans (can be frozen)
1 tsp sweet smoked paprika
1 tomato, grated
330g (1 1⁄2 cups) Spanish paella rice
Salt, to taste
• Heat the chicken stock in a saucepan over the lowest heat and crumble in the saffron. Keep warm over the lowest setting.
• Place a paella pan over a medium heat and add the olive oil and ribs. Fry for 10 minutes on all sides until golden.
• Add the green pepper, artichokes and garlic and cook for 5 minutes, then add the broad beans and cook for another minute.
• Add the paprika and grated tomato and reduce down for 2 minutes until the oil starts separating from the tomato paste.
• Add the rice and stir all together for a couple of minutes, making sure the rice gets coated with the oil.
• Carefully add the hot stock to the pan and give it a good stir to distribute the rice evenly. Taste the stock and adjust the seasoning if necessary.
• Cook over a high heat for 10 minutes, then reduce the heat to low and cook for 9 minutes, without stirring. Let it rest off the heat for 5 minutes before eating.
“Paella: The Original One-Pan Dish” by Omar Allibhoy is an invaluable resource for anyone seeking to explore the world of paella. With his authentic expertise and genuine love for this iconic dish, Omar guides readers on a culinary journey that celebrates tradition, creativity, and the joy of cooking. Whether you’re a paella aficionado or a curious beginner, this book will inspire you to embrace the flavours and communal spirit that have made paella an enduring symbol of Spanish cuisine.
Paella: The Original One-Pan Dish is published on June 1st by Quadrille