Spanish Paella

Big PaellaIn celebration of summer and to wrap up our 2006-2007 season, we’re delighted to welcome as guest chef this month from Abacela Vineyards, Earl Jones, who prepared his favorite recipe for Spanish Paella.

Paella (say pie-yay-uh). Just the sound of that mellifluous word conjures up visions of Spain and the bright-yellow, saffron-spiced rice dish that Earl fell in love with while visiting the Mediterranean port of Valencia, where rice is a crop and the dish is thought to have originated. “I discovered food and wine late in life, and came to appreciate especially the Spanish wines and the spicy foods they complement so well,” Earl says.

What makes a good paella? “Fresh ingredients and the blend of flavors,” he says, “and then there’s the socarrat — the prized, browned, crusty bits from the bottom of the paella pan. That’s what real connoisseurs go for.”

Earl brought along some of his award-winning tempranillo to sip while we nibbled the rice, chicken, chorizo, and seafood combo. Couldn’t beat that deal!

Recipes
Earl and Hilda’s Paella De Valencia
Chunky Gazpacho
Tomatillo Gazpacho
Flan