What I would like to know how can a prepare an easy acceptable Paella for my Line Cook, so he can serve it for under 15min.
Paella for Line Cooking
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Most restaurants that I have been to that serve paella use parboiled rice and parcooked ingredients. Which I personally would never order, and I think paella is a blend of all flavours. I honestly can't think of a way to make it in 15 minutes that doesn't call for parcooked everything and a sauce added to it.
I have ordered Paella before at restaurants - never again. It never tastes good IMO, and I can do much better at home even though I'm no expert at Paellas and don't even own a paellera.
I worked for a catering company doing a wedding once, and we had to make paella on the spot, from scratch - because that really is the only way to make a decent Paella.
This question reminds me of precooking much complexer risottos. In his book "Maze", Jason Atherthon (ex El Bulli, ex Gordon Ramsay...) discribes precooking risotto. I tried it and it works perfectly! Basically it's cooking the risotto for 10 minutes and then spread it open on a large baking tray to cool down asap. Then finish by adding hot stock to the cooled precooked rice. The risotto now cooks in just under 10 minutes...
I have no dought it can be used on paellas too. Only thing to do, is to figure out how to prepare the additions. Paella is all about timing. Seafood is no problem at all since it's always added in the last stage of the preparation. Other additions like chicken or rabbit have to be (pre)cooked and eventually reheated much longer (but you already knew that).
Coincidence; yesterday I made a very unorthodox paella, using stuff that had to leave my freezer. Maybe not the best paella ever, but acceptable. Of course, as FF already mentioned, no better paella than made on the spot.
1/2 cook and season the short grain rice in light tomato sauce, make a shrimp stock from their peel plus add the saffron to it.
Sear the chicken and cooled down, pre-cut the chorizo and the onions.
All they have to do is to take one frying pan, a tea spoon of oil to fry the chorizo when half done , put aside and fry the onions, then add the chicken and cook, add the shrimp and sear, then the chorizo and the rice, add shrimp stock and frozen green peas cook until rice is done. Plate and sprinkles with chopped parsley . Serve.
I should be done in less than 15 min, if they cannot do that they better be good dishwashers .
What do you think ?
Sounds like a good plan to me.
Alternatively, FWIW, here's what I would do. Please note that I'm not a professional;
Mise en place;
- measure the volume of the rice. Take half of that volume chicken stock, add saffron threads, bring to a boil and cook rice for 10 minutes (halfway) or until the liquid is gone. Immediately spread rice on cold oven trays in a thin layer to cool. Cover!!
- chorizo; depending on what kind of chorizo, very shortly panfry (some Spanish chorizo turns chewy when fried too long).
- Shrimp; Flashfry shrimp in the chorizo oil left in the pan. Cool asap and set aside.
- chicken/veggies; I would use chicken thighs, skin removed. Sear until colored, season, add onion (cut in rings?), chopped garlic, pinch of chili flakes, add red and yellow bell peppers cut in nice slices, let stew for a while. Season! When meat is nearly done, add chopped tomatoes and frozen peas. Let cool asap and set aside.
- make shrimp stock with heads of the shrimp
- heat stock. I would use 50/50 chicken/shrimp or even 75/25
- take needed precooked saffron rice, add hot stock* and let simmer for the next 10 minutes.
- maybe warm needed chicken seperately?
- Add some veggies to the simmering rice (onion/garlic/bell peppers/peas)
- Add shrimp and chorizo
(*) I would add small batches at a time of stock and check by tasting for doneness.