Coleshill Catering

Coleshill Catering have over 100 years combined experience in the hospitality industry

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Paella – The Most Versatile of Dinner Party Dishes


Paella is a staple of restaurant menus all around the world, probably because it is one the easiest and most versatile dishes they can offer. Almost every dinner guest will have enjoyed one at some time or another and probably everyone will have had something different.   It is thought to have originated from Valencia on the eastern coast of Spain in the late 18th Century and takes its name from the Spanish word for pans especially the shallow one used for cooking this most versatile of dishes.   Traditionally it was made with white rice, meat (chicken, rabbit and optionally snails!) some beans and vegetables, tomatoes, rosemary, saffron and paprika. This is still how the Valencians believe a proper paella should be made. However those living on the coast substituted fish for the meat and beans, and the seafood paella was born.

Today the dish has become popular throughout the rest of Spain, indeed the rest of the world. It can now feature various meats and vegetables either with or without the seafood, in fact whatever can be sourced locally.   The basic ingredient is rice and there is much discussion of what is the best variety to use. Good supermarkets and delicatessens will stock both ‘paella’ and ‘risotto’ rice.  The main difference is that risotto varieties such as arborio and carnaroli are intended to create a creamy sauce around the rice by releasing the starch, whereas paella rice such as Bahia, Balilla, Bomba, Senia, and Calasparra retains more of the starch and remains Al Dente.

Can I have the recipe?

Ah, well….actually there is no real recipe as every chef will have developed their own technique of making it the way they prefer. There are also no set quantities of ingredients, it just depends on how may people you have to feed.   It therefore makes a great dinner party dish. You can cater for meat eaters, fish eaters and vegetarians with just two or three pans and some crusty bread. Think of the saving on washing up.   However if you would like a party based around a paella and are a little worried about making it, why not get us to do it for you. We have years of experience in producing all sorts of paella and can deliver it to your home or event. We can tailor it to the tastes of your guests and all you have to do is look pleased with yourself and let everyone tuck in.



If you have any recipes or paella ideas, we would love to hear about them.


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