Maurice’s Paella

Invited to a friend’s home, a food fanatic, a perfectionist and an alchemist, he adores to do things by himself, and he does them very well. This night paella, a seafood paella and it was excellent.

A few years ago traveling in Perth and we were introduced to a Spanish food specialist down under, a local food hero, David Coomer. David owns and operates several restaurants, and is now the chef at Pata Negra an obvious Spanish food lover.

I first met David at Xarcuteria in Claremont Perth where the Barcelona-inspired takeaway deli is run by David and his business partners. When I asked about how he was enjoying the shift from the kitchen to retail he said, ‘it’s my first time working in retail and the conditions are not nearly as less stressful’.

Given I decided to try to make a homemade version, I consulted David and the first thing he said is, you need the appropriate paella pan, cast iron, and he explained they are in families for generations, so I bought my first one. It takes time to season the pan and plenty of practice to get it right.

He insisted that I use a nyora pepper and explained the process of how to use it: fry nyora in olive oil and then take it into a mortar and pestle and pound it by adding the salt and garlic. Then, fry the meat or seafood, and add the rice and continue to saute until brown. Only when its very brown, add the sofrito and the stock, one part paella ingredients and 3 parts broth. Simmer it until done and you are ready to enjoy it.