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The main event at a recent housewarming was paella made by two Spaniards. These are experienced paella-makers, and they came prepared.They used a portable gas burner with three concentric rings of flame, perfect for a paella pan.

 

Sauteeing the initial vegetables and seasonings in the big paella pan.

At subsequent points, more liquid was added and then the pork, sausages and chicken.

Once those were started, the rice was added in a big star shape across the surface of the pan. This seems like a good idea as well as nice showmanship, because it limits stirring needed to evenly distribute the rice.

The dish simmered for a while as everyone chatted.

The final touch was to add pimentos. All the Peruvians pointed out that the peppers were grown in Peru, processed in Spain and exported back to Peru where they cost plenty. They were delicious, too.

I had never eaten paella without seafood and was skeptical (I kept my doubts to myself). It was delicious, really delicious. We benefited from our cooks, who were said to have made paella for 400 people on occasion. For them, this was a lark, easy to whip up as a housewarming gift for a friend. All you need are the ingredients and an audience–and some wine.