Spanish Dinner :Authentic Paella, Gazpacho, and Sangria Recipes
Authentic paella and other Andalusian staples. If you’re trying to bring some international flair to your dinner table, Andalusia is the perfect destination – without having to leave your home!
With this authentic seafood paella, fruity sangria, and other delightful recipes picked up at my cooking school, you can recreate a traditional Spanish dinner experience right in your own kitchen.
Spanish Flavors: Paella Valencia, Gazpacho, and Sangria Recipes
And here’s the best part: I’ve included imagery and clear instructions with each step of the way so you don’t have to worry about getting lost in translation.
Make sure you invite enough guests – these delectable delicacies are sure to leave your friends and family wanting seconds!
Authentic Paella Valenciana recipe
Prepare the chicken stock by throwing in some bones, a bit of leek, and some dreaming away time – 1.5 hours ideally, but at least 45 minutes will do. As they say in Spain, “¡Vamos allá!”
•For the Paella Valenciana, you will need 450 g of round grain rice or bomba rice, the legs and wings of one chicken
10 runner beans, half a cup of “garrofó” or any kind of butter beans
2 whole fresh artichokes (if in season)
50 g tomato puree/grated tomatoes
2 garlic cloves, saffron, sweet smoked paprika, a bundle of rosemary.
• Optionally rabbit meat can be added.
• You will also need 1 bowl cold water with half a lemon squeezed in to avoid the artichokes getting brown.
Pro Tip Before you start making authentic Paella
Before you start, make sure you don’t skip the most important step when making perfect Paella Valenciana – leveling your pan! To test this, just pour a drop of olive oil in the middle like a spirit level and check that it stays put. Once that’s taken care of, give your paella some flavor by coating the pan with enough olive oil before putting it on high heat.
Don’t forget to season your meat too – otherwise, be prepared for it to stick to your now hot pan! Once it’s browned out, don’t get too OCD stirring it around because, as any good Valencian knows, this will dry out the meat.
Step 1 Artichokes
It’s the moment of truth for those artichokes—you know what to do! Peel ’em, cut the tops off, slice in half, say goodbye to the choke and keep them safe with a splash of refreshing lemon water.
Now it’s time to turn our attention to the runner beans. Let’s snap these little green veggies and finely chop up some garlic. Then, when your chicken is ready with its beautiful golden-browned hue, set your paella burner to low heat and push that chicken outta there.
If you don’t have a special burner just yet—no sweat—just move your succulent protein over to a plate and continue on your way to paella perfection!
Sauté some snapped runner beans and chopped artichokes together with just a bit of salt. Fry them up until they look sweet, caramelized and oh-so-good. But wait, it gets even better!
Push the veggies to the side of your pan and add some minced garlic in the middle -we’re talking golden brown kind of garlic. Low heat is necessary here -nobody wants burnt garlic ruining their delicious dish!
With the sweet paprika freshly added, it’s time to mix it all together for a few seconds – any longer, and you’ll end up over-spicing your creation. And don’t forget that rich tomato puree coming in to make sure everything is smothered in flavor.
Adding chicken to your paella
Now comes the fun part – adding your chicken and vegetables so that they can simmer away happily. To make sure everything receives an even coating of flavor, grab the chicken stock and give it a generous pouring until it reaches the rivets on top of the pan.
Turn up the heat, boil away, and voilà! It won’t be long until your scrumptious meal has been reduced to the perfect consistency right below those rivets.
Using the butter beans? Then the next step in achieving the perfect paella is to add your butter beans – just make sure the stock goes in first!
Wrap up some saffron, pop it near the heat for a few minutes until it’s nice and crispy. Place it in a bowl and break it down with your fingers to really get that flavor out! Then ladle some of the stock from the pan over the saffron and watch as it infuses for a few seconds. Finally, put ‘er back in the pan and give it a good stir.
To properly season your dish, try to aim for at least one leveled tablespoon of salt – and if it needs more oomph, don’t hesitate to reach for the box. Once ready to start cooking your rice, evenly spread out the grains from handle to handle on the pan, carefully placing them between each rivet. And finally – don’t forget to set a timer before walking away; 18 minutes is all you need!
How to cook paella rice
The key is in following the 18 minutes rule: 5 minutes of high heat, 5 minutes of medium and 8 minutes on low. Finally, for 30 seconds, turn it up to high again and add some rosemary for good measure.
A drizzle of olive oil, a little steam and you’re good to go! After this final step is complete don’t forget the all important “resting time” – cover the pan with that clean tea towel and let your stir-fry sit for 5 to 10 minutes before tucking in.
Traditional paella is often characterized by its iconic socarrat, a toasted and crusty layer of flavoured rice at the bottom of the pan which lends the dish its unique flavour and texture. To achieve this deliciously crunchy layer requires patience: paella must be cooked low and slow to gently caramelize away.
Whatever you do, don’t go stirring or fussing about as it will only result in mushy rice – really, this is just basic gastronomy! So leave the paella alone until that signature golden crust is achieved and you’re guaranteed restaurant-quality perfection.
Authentic sangria recipe
This authentic Sangria recipe is perfect for any occasion.
With just the perfect mix of apple, peach (or orange), cinnamon stick, red wine, brandy, rum or Licor 43 (whatever tickles your fancy!), and finally some lemon and orange soda as a fun mixer — all you need is just one hour to let the fruit macerate and boom!
You’ve got yourself a pitcher of authentic sangria.
Don’t have time to wait an hour? No problem–just toss it in the fridge for a cold twist. So pour yourself a glass of adorable fruitness and sip away – cheers!
Gazpacho- a cold Spanish soup will refresh anyone’s summer! Preparing it is as easy as counting to three: pick the freshest fruits, blend them with some extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), salt and sherry vinegar, purée until smooth then pass your mix through a sieve.
Start by quartering and chopping your tomatoes, pepper, cucumber and garlic, adding everything to the blender before stirring in the oil, vinegar and salt.
Blending your gazpacho
Give it all a good blend until you’ve achieved a puree texture, but don’t forget to pass it through a sieve afterwards to make sure none of those pesky seeds or skins get stuck in your gazpacho.
Let it cool before serving – if you want to go traditional serve in a bowl, or add some cold water for a glass-friendly version with bonus fruit garnishes!
Plus, if so inclined, you can liven up your bright red bowl of bliss with some diced cucumber and green pepper for an extra crunchy kick.
Paella recipe steps
- •Before you start, make sure the paella pan is leveled so the rice can be evenly spread and the water can simmer evenly throughout.
• To test this, pour a drop of olive oil in the middle of the paella pan and check that it stays exactly in center.
• Then pour enough olive oil to coat the pan and salt meat before frying on high heat.
• Meanwhile, prepare artichokes by peeling, cutting off tops, halving, removing choke and cutting into six pieces. Keep them in lemon water as you snap runner beans and chop garlic very finely.
• When chicken is ready and browned (after being fried on high), push to outside of pan if using a paella burner with an inner ring–otherwise reserve chicken on separate plate. If using burner: turn outer ring off & inner ring down before pushing chicken outwards
• Add snapped runner beans & chopped artichokes w/ small pinch of salt; fry for few minutes until caramelized then push to outside again (second layer) .
- • In center of now-empty space: add minced garlic & fry on low heat until golden brown; add 1/2 tsp sweet paprika then tomato puree on
- •Wait, then wrap a pinch of saffron in some aluminum foil and place it close to the heat.
• After 3-4 minutes, put the saffron in a bowl and break it down with your fingers.
• Add a ladle of stock from the paella pan to the saffron, stirring occasionally.
• Pour the rice across the pan in an even line and set an alarm for 18 minutes.
• For the first 5 minutes, cook on high heat; then 5 minutes on medium heat; then 8 minutes on low heat.
• For last 30 seconds, turn up again to high heat; drizzle olive oil and place some rosemary on top.
• Turn off when time is up; cover with towel and let sit for 5-10 mintues before serving
•Cut the top off the tomatoes and quarter them.
• Chop the pepper and peeled cucumber.
• Add all vegetables to a blender.
• Cut garlic in half to remove core, peel, and add to blender.
• Add oil, vinegar, and salt. Blend until puree texture is achieved.
• Pass mixture through a sieve to remove seeds and skin debris.
• Let cool before serving; serve in bowl or glass with cold water (decorate with diced cucumber/pepper if desired).
•In a jug, add the cut fruits and 1⁄2 cinnamon stick.
• Add the red wine and brandy and let sit one hour allowing the fruit to macerate.
• Add the lemon and orange soda.
• Serve with ice cubes.