Hola! My name is Isabeau, I’m 20 years old and I am an Intern for English Education Group in Roosendaal, the Netherlands. When I was 6 years old my family moved from the Netherlands to Spain. I ended up living there for 8 years before returning to the Netherlands. I lived in Calpe, a town between Valencia and Alicante, mostly known for the rock “Peñon d’Ifach”.
Everything is different in Spain. You start primary school when you are 6 years old and go to secondary school when you are about 12. In the Netherlands, it is normal to go to school when you’re 4 years old. We have a half hour lunchbreak whereas in Spain we had a 3 hour lunchbreak. People in Spain are used to taking a “siesta” (a nap) after lunch. People in Spain eat a hot meal for lunch around 2 pm, and a sandwich for dinner around 9-10 pm. 90% of the kids at my school did not go home but had lunch together in a really large cafeteria. All the food we ate was Spanish and my favourite was Paella Valenciana.
Now that I’m a mom I try to make it every once in a while, when I have the time and energy, to give my son a little taste of the beautiful country that I grew up in. We also go and visit whenever we can to visit family and close friends.
Pour the olive oil in the Paella pan and let it warm up until it starts to smoke. Then, throw the chicken and rabbit meat in the pan and fry on a medium temperature until a brown crust gets visible. Add the vegetables and let stew. After a few minutes, move the meat and the vegetables to the border of the pan, to create room in the centre. Pour the peeled tomatoes in centre and let the broth sit for a few minutes before adding the paprika powder. Than let it stew for a few more minutes on a low temperature, to avoid burning the paprika powder.
Now fill the pan with water up to the border of the pan. Add a pinch of salt and let it boil for 30 minutes. If necessary add more water, but never let the broth get any higher than the handle of the pan. Taste the broth to see if you should add some more salt but keep in mind that the rice will absorb a lot of salt as well. Than you can add the saffron and rice, dividing it evenly throughout the pan. Make sure that all the rice gets covered by the broth.
Let the broth boil for another 7 minutes on high temperatures. Then, on a lower temperature, let it boil for another 4-5 minutes and add the rosemary branches. If there is still a lot of broth left after boiling, leave it for another 5-6 minutes. If not, beware that the paella can burn. In this case you can leave it for 3-4 minutes on a low temperature. A paella has to boil 14-16 minutes from which 7 on high temperatures.
Let the paella cool down a few minutes before serving. Que Aproveche!
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