Cook­ing ‘ rit­u­als’ must be fol­lowed

Los Angeles Times - - FOOD & DINING - — Russ Par­sons

When it comes to paella, Per­fecto Rocher makes it very clear there are rules that must be fol­lowed. “Paella is more rit­ual than some­thing to eat,” he says. When you make paella, keep the fire as hot as you can get it; the rice al­ways needs to be boiling. Choose in­gre­di­ents care­fully. “Never use onion in a paella, never peas, never hari­cots verts [ green beans] and ab­so­lutely never use chorizo. If you want to make rice with chorizo, go ahead, but don’t call it paella.” Be care­ful with the pi­men­tón. It scorches very quickly and be­comes bit­ter. “If you burn the pi­men­tón, you just have to start over.” Don’t stir the paella too much once it has started cook­ing. Just spoon the broth over any dry spots. “If you touch it too much, you break the com­po­si­tion of the paella.” Be decisive. “A good paellero does not add stock twice. One time; that’s it.”

Add rice only to a depth of half of your lit­tle fin­ger. “If you have more than that, the rice on top will be raw and the rice un­der­neath will be over­cooked.” Eat paella from the pan. “It’s a group thing; it’s shar­ing. In Va­len­cia, [ Spain] you only put paella on a plate for the kids.”

Kirk McKoy Los An­ge­les Times

WHEN I T’S READY, eat paella from the pan, Per­fecto Rocher says.

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