3:35pm | April 3, 2013

Flawless Paella


Date: October 6, 2011

Location / Restaurant: La Maquina

Dish: Fabada and Sidra

Influence / Memory: The principality of Asturias was another unique area of Spain. Although we only spent one day we experienced an amazing amount of artisanal cheeses and products from this area. The two experiences that really stuck out for me were drinking cider at a Sidreria and eating Fabada. Although the typical Spanish cider, or sidra, is a bit yeasty for my inexperienced palate I truly enjoyed the spirit of the Sidreria’s and the action of drinking a cider there. The bartender pours you a small amount into a special flat bottomed cider glass from a height of about 3 feet without looking at what he is doing. The process aerates the cider which is meant to be consumed quickly. The Fabada is a traditional stew of Faba beans, large white dried beans, with chorizo, morcilla ( blood sausage ) and other delicious pork pieces. The beans are swirled slowly as they cook so they don’t break and they and the broth absorb all the delicious flavor of the pork and the color of the pimenton. Truly a bean dish that should be just as popular as the famous Spanish rice dish the paella.

La Maquina restaurant​’s famous fabada asturiana, fabada bean stew with chorizo and morcilla

The meat from the Fabada, it is served on the side at La Maquina but is cooked with the beans



Cider pourer at Tierra Astur, an Asturian cider house.


Date: October 14, 2011

Location / Restaurant: La Maquina

Dish: Paella

Influence / Memory: This is the paella that we use to judge all others. The Socarrat, crispy caramelized rice bottom, was flawless and the flavor and texture of the rice was perfect. They cook the paella over dried grape vines in carbon steel paella pans. There are many versions of paella in Spain, the one they do at Cas Elias is arros con conejo y caracoles or thin layer paella with wild rabbit and local snails. Casa Elias is in a small village called Xinorlet outside Alicante.

Ryan McIlwraith of Bottega, Napa Valley, making a rabbit-and​-snail paella at Casa Elias outside Alicante.

Most of these Photos provided by Gerry Dawes, copyright 2011 / gerrydawes​@aol.com.






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