Ferias & Paella in Nîmes

 

Last week-end I left rainy Belgium in search for the last rays of sunshine…and I found them in the South of France, in Nîmes. I went there with a group of friends, for the “Ferias des Vendanges”. On the programme: bodegas (temporary bars set up in the streets, courtyards and terraces), corridas in the beautiful Roman amphitheatre, concerts, sangria … and a great party atmosphere!

Why am I telling you all this on a cooking blog? Because it is at the ferias that I had the best paella ever, and I wanted to share the experience with you! Have a look at this! A recipe from Elisabeth, my paella-hero!

Unfortunately I don’t have the full recipe, with quantities and all..but I thought the pictures were worth it! Making a paella like this takes most of the day..I don’t think I would ever have the courage to make one myself (especially so big). I’ll just wait each year for September as if it was Christmas in the hope to taste it again!

The basics for paella are rice & safran..then it can be made with seafood, rabbitt, chicken..you name it! But this one has EVERYTHING! And indeed, when it comes to food, why comprise, right?

On the picture below you can see the first ingredients frying in the pan: rabbitt, chicken, sausage, chorizo, cuttlefish, along with some beans and red pepper. The chicken and rabbitt had first been cooked in broth, and the broth was kept on the side.

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Then the rice is added to the mix

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And then the broth (and some water) immediately after to cook the rice. Safran is also added, from which the rice in the paella takes it yellow color. Since saffran is expensive, many places replace it with coloring..too bad, but that’s not the case here!

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Now it is the turn of the mussels to be almost planted in the paella in the middle of other ingredients. Then the paella cooks, regularly stirred, for about a half hour, until the rice is almost cooked.

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And last but not least, the jumbo shrimps (previously boiled) get on top of it all!! And cooking lasts some 10 more minutes…

Best paella ever! Thank you Elisabeth!!

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