Thursday, May 21, 2009

Spanish Facts and Trivia

If you ever find yourself walking around a city in Spain on a Thursday afternoon, take a look at the menus outside the restaurants, and chances are you'll find almost all of them offer a plate of paella for one of the dishes.

The predominate theory for this custom can be traced back to Franco's time.  A fanatic of paella, Thursday was when he normally went out for lunch in Madrid.  Never one to repeat a restaurant, he instead paid suprise visits to various establishments, meaning that they all had better have paella prepared, or else face one displeased dictator, and so the tradition was born.

For those of you with a culinary bent, here's one recipe for the dish translated from Spanish. It uses chicken, instead of the more traditional shrimp, mussels, clams, and squid, but it gives you an idea.  Besides: the secret to a good paella is the rice.

  • 600 grams of rice
    1/2 chicken, diced
    2 artichokes
    2 medium size red peppers
    2 ripe tomatoes
    Crushed pepper
    One garlic clove
    1 herb of saffron
    Olive Oil (one glass, 1/4 liter)
    1/2 lemon
    A sprig of rosemary and thyme

1: Fry the chicken in the olive oil. Once fried, boil with 8 glasses of water.
2: Saute the artichokes and peppers together.  Once done, saute the garlic separately.
3: The garlic now sauteed add the rice and mix the two together, stirring occasionally and adding the diced tomatoes
4: Before finishing sauteing the rice, tomatoes and garlic,add them to the boiling the chicken, (it should be boiling for 30 min prior).  Squeeze in the lemon and add the artichokes and red peppers, with a pinch of pepper in addition to the parsley, rosemary, saffron, thyme and salt.
5: With the food now ready, place a large pan on the stove and add the ingredients.  At first use a high flame, lowering it after about ten minutes.  The total time for the rise should be around 20  mins (plus five more to set.)
It's now ready to serve.
Let me know how it turns out.


  1. Hi,

    Thanks for writing these blogs--im going to barcelona in september to teach english, nervous yet excited! graduated college a little while ago.

    Keep posting! thanks :)

  2. by the way...with all the pickpocketing in the city....whats the best way to carry my money? Obviously I like purses since I'm a girl lol, but what kind should I get? Or even put money under clothing?