In Search of Paella in Spain – Part 1

You probably knew that paella was invented in Spain, but did you know that it originates from the city of Valencia?  Also did you know that sausage, chorizo, is not an ingredient in traditional paella?  Did you know that there are many different styles of paella; with some using seafood, rabbit, rice or noodles?

Come along and read about my experience with paella freshly made today for me, and others, at a conference I am attending in Castellon de la Plana, just a short train ride from Valencia.

Two paellas were made today; one vegetarian, and the other a mixture of two types of meat.  The meat one I was told is traditionally / commonly made with chicken and rabbit.  A very large paella pan was heated over a wood fire.  Vegetables and the meat were cooked in the pan, and spices added.  After a while rice was added followed by broth, then the whole dish simmered until the liquid was absorbed by the rice.  I did not get to see all the spices that were added, but saffron is always one of the ingredients to the best of my knowledge.  Before this trip I had never eaten rabbit, but now I will have had rabbit in two different dishes.  It does taste like chicken, but has a finer texture than chicken.

I sat with a lady from Valencia who told me that this paella was quite good.  I am not too sure I agree.  I think it needed a bit more flavour for me, so in Part 2, I will hunt for the ultimate paella when I am in Valencia.  In the meantime, check out the pictures of the cooking process for this paella, and think about relaxing in Spain with a glass of Tempranillo from Rioja.  Enjoy.

Paella - cooking the rabbit and chicken

Paella – cooking the rabbit and chicken

Paella - the veggie version getting stirred

Paella – the veggie version getting stirred

 

Paella - ready to add the rice and broth

Paella – ready to add the rice and broth

Paella - finished cooking

Paella – finished cooking

Paella - enroute to my stomach

Paella – enroute to my stomach

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Aboriginal Potlach Food & Wine Pairing at the CCFCC Chef’s Conference

I mentioned in a previous blog post about the CCFCC coming to Vancouver and all the wonderful events there are, and that it is not just restricted to chefs to attend. You can buy tickets to these events and watch and/or sample the chefs’ creations. One of the events I will be attending is the Aboriginal Potlach on Monday evening, June 13. I thought I’d entice you to buy a ticket by posting the food and wine pairings for this event.

Food and Wine Pairing for the Aboriginal Potlach

  • R and B Brewing Beer Station
  • Traditionally smoked salmon parsnip dumpling, pumpkin sauce PAIRED WITH
    Eau Vivre Gewurztraminer and Tangled Vines 3 Blancs
  • Spot prawn, poached in bentwood box sweet onion, garlic cream PAIRED WITH
    Haywire Pinot Gris and Misconduct Misfit
  • Spiced seafood cakes, corn puree dandelion salad PAIRED WITH
    Rustic Roots Apple Pear and Bartier Scholfield Rose
  • Smoked trout apple salad young cress, wild mushroom vinaigrette PAIRED WITH
    Cassini Pinot Noir and Rollingdale Pinot Noir
  • Rabbit sausage king oyster ragout, blueberry pine nut chutney PAIRED WITH
    Black Cloud Pinot Noir and Hester Creek Character Red
  • Braised bison brisket roasted squash salad, roasted onions, natural sauce PAIRED WITH
    St. Hubertus Oak Bay Foch and Fairview 2 Hoots
  • Roast venison loin sweet potato sauce, savory bannock bread pudding PAIRED WITH
  • The View Pinotage and Noble Ridge Meritage
  • Cinnamon bannock fritters Brown sugar cranberry sauce PAIRED WITH
    Raven Ridge Iced Cider and Tugwell Mead
  • Bannock bread pudding, sundried berry egg sauce PAIRED WITH
    Vista D’Oro and The View Optima

This is a pretty impressive lineup of food from our First Nations people here plus it is being paired with BC wines and there is also mead, which I have never tried. This type of meal is a one of a kind deal in my opinion.  There is also a brand new BC wine in the lineup: Bartier Scholfield Rose. I blogged about this new winery in a previous post, so I’ll add the link back so you can read about Bartier Scholfield.

If you would like to attend this event, please click on this link to buy tickets for the Aboriginal Potlach.  Enjoy!

Chinese New Year, the Year of Golden Rabbit. Wine to serve?

February 3, 2011 is Chinese New Year.  This will be the Year of the Golden Rabbit, (which is my sign BTW).  The Rabbit is a lucky sign. According to Chinese tradition, the Rabbit brings a year in which you can catch your breath and calm your nerves. I think enjoying a glass of wine every day would be a great way to calm your nerves and support your inner bunny.  With that my innate curiosity got the best of me, so I started to search for all rabbit-related wines that I could find on the web.  Here is what I was able to identify.

Wines that are available in BC:

  • French Rabbit Cabernet Sauvignon 1 L (some smart bunnies drink boxed wine) – France
  • Rock Rabbit Sauvignon Blanc 750 mL USA Central Coast
  • Rock Rabbit Shiraz 750 mL USA Central Coast
  • French Rabbit Pinot Noir 2005 1.0L France Languedoc
  • French Rabbit Chardonnay 1 L Boxed Wine Tetra France
  • California Rabbit Hopping Red 2009


And a few wines that may be in BC at some specialty shops, but likely across the border in WA state if you are up for a short trip.

  • Rudolf Müller 2007 Riesling (has a rabbit on the label)
  • Hip Chicks Do Wine Wine Bunny Blanc, Wilamette Valley, Oregon
  • Hip Chicks Do Wine Wine Bunny Rouge, Wilamette Valley, Oregon
  • Hip Chicks Do Wine Wine Bunny Blush, Wilamette Valley, Oregon

I found MANY wines from Rabbit Ridge in California.  It seems they have a population explosion of wines:

  • Rabbit Ridge 2008 Paso Robles Grenache Róse
  • Rabbit Ridge 2009 Paso Robles Allure de Robles
  • Rabbit Ridge 2005 Paso Robles Bunny Cuvee
  • Rabbit Ridge 2009 Central Coast Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Rabbit Ridge Sarah’s Syrah
  • Rabbit Ridge 2009 Central Coast Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Rabbit Ridge 2009 Paso Robles Estate Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Rabbit Ridge 2005 Paso Robles Cabernet Sauvignon- Reserve
  • Rabbit Ridge Le Lapin Clairveaux (Rhone Style Red Wine Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre)
  • Rabbit Ridge 2009 Central Coast Merlot
  • Rabbit Ridge Le Lapin NV Paso Robles Merlot
  • Rabbit Ridge Le Lapin NV Paso Robles Multiplicity red blend
  • Rabbit Ridge 2005 Paso Robles No Worries
  • Rabbit Ridge Le Lapin NV Paso Robles Petite Sirah
  • Rabbit Ridge 2006 Paso Robles Pinot Noir
  • Rabbit Ridge Le Lapin Speed Bump (Tempranillo, Alicante red blend)
  • Rabbit Ridge 2005 Paso Robles Syrah- Côte Rôtie Style Reserve
  • Rabbit Ridge 2009 Central Coast Zinfandel
  • Rabbit Ridge Le Lapin NV Paso Robles Zinfandel
  • Rabbit Ridge 2009 Paso Robles Estate Zinfandel
  • Rabbit Ridge 2007 Paso Robles Estate Zinfandel- Reserve
  • Rabbit Ridge 2009 Central Coast Chardonnay
  • Rabbit Ridge 2008 Paso Robles Chardonnay
  • Rabbit Ridge Le Lapin Chardonnay
  • Rabbit Ridge 2009 Mystique de Robles (Sauvignon Blanc,Chardonnay, Grenache Blanc, Pinot Gris)
  • Rabbit Ridge Le Lapin NV Ingenuity (Sauvignon Blanc, Chenin Blanc, Pinot Grigio)

I’ve seen Rabbit Ridge in WA state at many stores, but have not bought any yet.  I’m curious to try their Le Lapin Clairveaux, Rabbit Ridge 2005 Paso Robles Syrah- Côte Rôtie Style Reserve, and Le Lapin NV Ingenuity (Sauvignon Blanc, Chenin Blanc, Pinot Grigio). On my next trip, hopefully before Feb 3, 2011, I plan on trying some Rabbit Ridge and bringing some back with me so I can celebrate the Chinese New Years with my friends.

What food to pair with these wines?  Well, seeing that it is the Year of the Golden Rabbit, and rabbits are lucky, I would not want to ruin my luck by cooking up a bunny.  So I’m going to suggest that you can pair the above wines with anything but bunny!  A chocolate bunny with the grenache, merlot, or a red blend could be nice though.

Gung hey fat choy.