Cooking Spanish paella outdoors on an open fire is the real old fashioned Spanish way of making what is now Spain's most famous dish. Think Spain, think paella... There are of course a multitude of different versions and recipes, the "traditional" being the Valencian paella, named so after the region from where the dish originally came from.
January 2011 presented an opportunity to put into practice something we have been quite passionate about for a while now - cooking traditional Spanish food outdoors in a true rustic Spanish style. When the guys at "Cueva Santa Maria" asked us to cook paella for their guests who had booked Orce village for one leg of their 55 day Spanish journey we were of course, more than happy to get involved.
Paella in mind we drove to Cueva Santa Maria, Gayle armed with a full Serrano ham in stand sitting on her knee for pre paella tapas and the carving equipment carefully wrapped up in the paella pan with a few locally produced delicassies including olives, chorizo, butifarra, almonds and olive oil.
One vision we have for such events is for people to get involved and was great to see everyone take part either through prepping the ingredients for the paella, organising firewod, noting the recipe and generally enjoying the cooking. Questions and answers flowed and it was a joy to talk "Spanish food" with people who had a genuine interest.
After an hour or so the paella is served... The kids get to sample the paella first. Everyone gets stuck in which is great to see. We have to say at this point that the entire family were an absolute pleasure to cook for and we wish them well for the next leg of their journey.