Santi at work

The builder who has helped us with much of the work here cooks paella for all his workers and any hangers-on every Friday. We eat at his Bar in Camarles and it is always delicious. He has cooked for us here and a handful of occasions and the gatherings have always been great fun. the builders go back to work and I sit under a tree and go to sleep.  Some of the meals he cooked and some we cooked.  Last seasons rivalry between Barcelona and Arsenal football clubs being the decider as to who gets to cook.

When he has cooked it has always been Paella. Usually with langustine, gambas and sepia, always with Musclos and sometimes with little tiny crabs you chew, suck and then spit out. He sometimes puts in chicken wings and drumsticks and always uses Nomen or Bayo rice which are grown locally, you can see the paddy fields from the roof of the casa.  He fries off the chunky bits  and puts them to one side, then the onions and sepia then he adds the sauce (garlic and parsley) and then the rice.  Stock next,  a bit at a time  and then lets it cook.  He showed us something really interesting the first time adding salt. We took a taste and it was very salty, he added more salt and it became less salty……….Will someone explain that please!

I will add the method and recipe to my recipes page shortly but the finished dish is below. There is a big debate apparently with regards to stirring…. should you or not?  Santi doesn’t and the resulting caramelisation at the bottom  of the paella is fabulous. As you can see from the photo it was cooked on the hoof and enjoyed on a construction site which is now the casita at Manna House