Cooking ‘ rituals’ must be followed
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.”
WHEN I T’S READY, eat paella from the pan, Perfecto Rocher says.