Here's the Dish: Authentic Paella Loved by Doug Gilmour
Ancient grains are cropping up on trendy restaurant menus everywhere: think quinoa, millet and so many more.
Add bomba rice to that list; the ancient slow-growing strain is grown exclusively in the cold mountain waters of Calasparra, Spain. It's also the key ingredient in the Classic Bomba Rice Paella served at Embrujo Flamenco Tapas Restaurant in Toronto, and it's a favourite of Hockey Hall of Famer Doug "Killer" Gilmour.
"Doug comes in often! He loves our chorizo con brandy and our paella," says co-owner Jais Fernandez, sister to chef Mali Fernandez. "He tells us he likes our food because we stick to the roots of Spanish cuisine."
"My wife is Portuguese, so she has ordered quite a variety of foods for me," says Gilmour. "Everything we've tried has been delicious-and the sangria isn't bad, either!"
Bomba rice is one of a "hat trick" of ingredients that make their paella such a winner. As bomba rice cooks, it absorbs three times as much liquid as other types of rice (in this case, the siblings' grandmother's house-made chicken broth).
They also add smoked-paprika-spiked Spanish chorizo custom-made for the restaurant and the most expensive best-quality Spanish saffron they can find.
-- Chef Mali Fernandez, Embrujo Flamenco
4 plum tomatoes
1/2 red bell pepper
1 clove of garlic
1/6 of a medium onion
1/4 cup parsley
3/4 Spanish chorizo sausage, sliced in small pieces
1 cup bomba rice
1-3/4 cups homemade chicken stock
12 pieces of black tiger shrimps (21/24)
100 g squid
4 tsp olive oil
10 mussels, scrubbed and beards removed
1/4 cup green peas
Pinch of salt
Pinch of saffron (Spanish saffron is preferred in powder form)
We blend the tomatoes, onion, garlic and parsley in blender until all ingredients are well incorporated.
In a shallow pan or paellera (paella pan) we add olive oil on low to medium heat, add the chorizo and let it brown for approximately 3 minutes. Add the sofrito mix and let it simmer until the sofrito becomes orange in colour. Now add one cup of bomba rice and slowly start to add the squid. Wait for one minute, then add the chicken stock. Let it boil for approximately 5 minutes. Add salt to your own taste and the saffron. Add the green peas, mussels and the shrimps and cover the paellera. Let it cook on low for approximately 25 minutes or until the rice is al dente.
Photography, Paula Wilson.