Sunday, February 19, 2012

A Giant Paella in the Philippines


It was Lally Hidalgo San José, executive director of the Sociedad Española de Beneficencia Sociedad (a private charitable institution that provides economic and healthcare assistance to indigent Spanish citizens in the Philippines), who came up with the giant paella fundraiser idea to help subsidize their programs.  

“The proceeds will directly go to shelter, medical assistance, hospitalization and burial assistance for the elderly, and medical, dental and feeding missions for street children,” said San José.

The “amount of ingredients that are going into the paella includes 80 kilos of rice, 40 of chicken, 40 of squid, 40 of shrimp, mussels, peppers, etc. Oh, and about 170 liters of stock! The cooking will be from 3-6 p.m.,” she added.

Mikel Arriet, is  at the helm of the cooking of a giant paella  on a 9-ft-diameter paellera.  This proud Basque chef was born in San Sebastian and obtained his culinary education from the Escuela Superior de Cocina y Hosteleria de San Sebastian. He then honed his skills in and around some of the finest restaurants and hotels in Spain and France, including working for three-star Michelin chef Martin Berasategi.  He will be accompanied by 8 crews to make this giant paella.


(Good for 600 pax)

12 liters olive oil

60 k rice

120 liters chicken stock

30 k green and red peppers

10 k onion

5 k garlic

40 k squids

20 k mussels

40 k shrimps

40 k chicken

25 k chorizo

20 liters tomato sauce

1 k colorant

4 k paella seasoning

Heat olive oil.

Add chicken, chorizo, squid, cook for five minutes.

Add bell peppers, onion, garlic.

Add shrimps and mussels.

Add stock, tomato, colorant, paella seasoning, salt to taste.

Let boil, add rice last.

Do not mix so rice doesn’t become starchy.
This event was for  Saturday, February 18th.   

Source of text and image:  Inquirer Lifestyle by Reggie Aspiras

The main difference between a Spanish paella and the Filipino paella lies in the ingredients.  In the Philippines, we add eggs and a native sausage called chorizo de Bilbao. Filipinos do not use saffron but add colorant instead.   Likewise, we typically use glutinous rice instead of the Spanish  rice " the famous Bomba rice from Calasparra—the grains are big and round, so they need a bigger amount of stock to be cooked. The rice rarely gets overcooked and is very tasty, because it can absorb a big amount of stock.” It is a matter of what you have been used to, but for me having tried both, I would rather order for a Spanish paella in a good restaurant and with a glass of red wine.

On the other hand, it is interesting to know that in the Philippines, there is an association that takes care of the welfare of the indigent Spanish citizens.

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