10 Ways To Use A Paella Pan
There are dozens of ways to use a paella pan, take a standard stainless steel or enamel paella pan of around 30 – 36cm in diameter and you can cook just about almost anything! Following the completion of the Orce Serrano warehouse we needed to fit out the staff kitchen for not just tea and coffee but also the odd bacon butty now and again as well as having the facility to cook something hot during the winter – bring on the humble paella pan…
We’d had a paella pan gas burner for some time, preferring to cook paella over a wood fire at home the gas burner had gathered some dust so was revived for new staff kitchen complete with regulator and gas bottle. Simple and quick cooking was the aim so with all the equipment we needed it was time to get started.
Bocadillos de Bacon: The good old bacon sarnie! The kids love one from time to time and they always go down well in the winter for a hot breakfast, best part of using a paella pan for a bacon sarnie is that you can cook a lot of bacon at once. Unlike a standard frying pan, paella pans come in a range of sizes – A 36cm paella pan will cook enough bacon for up to 10 people at once.
Paella Pan Pork Chops: Occasionally when a nightshift at work is required (yes it happens from time to time!) and you need something substantial then nothing quite beats good old pork chops, again the size of the paella pan means you can cook half a dozen chops at once and feed the whole family at the same time. Served with some fresh summer salad and a generous drizzle of extra virgin olive oil paella pan pork chops make a great summer evening meal.
Paella Pan Mussels: Mussels may not seem like an obvious one but the paella pan performs just as well as a larger, deeper vessel. If you are a fan of mussels then the paella pan will allow you cook them both indoors or out with a gas burner, as well as offering up an impressive display of cooked seafood mussels are tremendously simple to cook in a paella pan – white wine, shallots, garlic make the flavor base, simply add the mussels and cover the pan with kitchen foil for great results.
Paella Pan Stir Fry: Traditionally made in a wok a simple stir fry can also be made in the paella pan. Strips of chicken, beef, pork, lamb or vegetarian work well in smaller portions making stir fry a great idea for a light lunch, meal for two or plenty of tapas sized serving.
Paella Pan Fish Fillets: Fish fillets of all descriptions can be cooked in this famous Spanish pan including bream, trout, hake, salmon and many more. If you like your fish simple, pan fried and full of flavor then the paella pan may well become your new best friend as it will also allow you to cook outdoors. Getting creative with ‘one pan’ seafood recipes need not be challenging either as once again, given the size you can cook other ingredients alongside the fish at the same time for a seafood flavor infusion.
Paella Pan Steaks: There is nothing quite like pan fried steaks and the paella performs just as well as any large frying pan, stick your sliced onion to the side of the pan and cook along side the beef, add some sliced red pepper and your steak will be cooking nicely. Steaks of course extend past beef, lamb also works well and entering the world of seafood again your paella pan will cook swordfish steaks for family and guests in a matter of minutes.
Paella Pan Casseroles: The Spanish paella pan may seem rather ‘flat’ to be accommodating casseroles but providing you are only cooking for 3 – 4 people then why not? Cubes or strips of meat will cook very nicely in a bubbling stock alongside your favourite vegetables, keeping casseroles as a one pan dish you always throw in your chopped potato half way through then all you have to do is season and serve!
Paella Pan Eggs: Unless you are a Spanish ‘tortilla de patatas’ ninja then that particular dish may well be lets say, a challenge in the paella pan BUT… for cooking up easy breakfast omelets, scrambled eggs and fried eggs your paella pan will act almost like a griddle allowing you to fry mushrooms and tomatoes at the same time (not to mention sausages and bacon if you like the full fried approach!)
Paella Pan Chorizo Tapas: This one is definitely more geared for the large Spanish tapas party or caterer and for when hot Spanish tapas need to served at the same time. Chorizo tapas are simply inch think segments of chorizo sausage which can be served either on their own (cold) or cooked through to make some great tasting Spanish tapas. For hot chorizo where large numbers counts then the paella pan can handle this with ease, simply throw in your pre sliced chorizo into a paella pan containing hot olive oil and if the sound alone does impress the guests then the aroma certainly will never mind the flavor! Hot chorizo tapas can also be cooked in garlic or braised in red wine both of which are great done in a paella pan when a large quantity of tapas is required.
Last but not least: Paella of course! The most famous Spanish dish there is… Here at Andalucian Exports we believe that authenticity plays an important role in actual products but when it comes to recipes well…. We just like them to taste great.
It is worth noting that old fashioned paella used to be cooked in a terracotta vessel of similar shape before the advent of the more modern paella pan, there are in fact quite a few people in our local village who still prefer to cook their paella this way in terracotta as it retains the heat longer than stainless steel and is a traditional way of cooking the dish. The list above is by no means comprehensive as the paella pan is so versatile it can be used to cook almost anything, our work kitchen benefits from using the paella pan to create quick and easy breakfast and lunched with very little washing up, with this in mind the Spanish paella pan can also be used in many situations such as camping, caravaning, holidaying and even just a day trip. Remember too that stainless steel pans and also terracotta ‘paelleras’ can be used on gas and also the open fire.
How do you use a paella pan?