Mixed Variety Mushroom Paella with Truffle Picada
The name paella comes from the pan itself in which is cooked. The typical Spanish flat pan with handles is the main center point on a weekend in Spain, when families gather around the fire and cook a paella together. In the Mediterranean region of Catalunya, the paella is also called a rice dish (arroces) and can vary in flavor from seafood, to mushroom and sausage, vegetable, or chicken and fish. This recipe is focused on a seasonal paella made from mushrooms and truffle. Both ingredients are the Fall season’s crown jewels in this region, and many locals head into the countryside to forage for them. The earthy, full flavors of this dish will warm up your day.
Serves: 4 people
You will need a paella dish of 28-30cm wide + 2 sheets of aluminum foil.
Time: 20” prep + 30” cook
Tip: Best if you use a gas stove as the paella is usually done outdoors in Spain on an open fire. But induction will do as well.
- 1 cup white rice (bomba, round grain, but risotto style is also good)
- 1+1/2 cup mushroom or vegetable stock (dissolve 1 cube in 250ml hot water)
- 300gr mixed variety of mushrooms: white champignon, shiitake, oyster mushroom, rossignol or whatever you can get your hands on fresh from your local market. Keep a few aside for frying up and decoration at the end.
- 1 small leek (about 150gr) sliced
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 tsp truffle sauce/oil (best to use a concentrated sauce with chopped truffle. Otherwise, the usual truffle oil will do, too)
- 1 small bunch of parsley
- 2-3 stems of fresh thyme
- 30gr pistachio nuts (shells off)
- 3tbsp extra virgin olive oil + 1 knob of butter
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Optional: parmesan cheese to serve (skip this if you’re vegan)
1. Preheat the oven at 180°C. Put your paella dish on the stove on medium heat. Add 2tbsp of olive oil and start frying the leeks with 1 clove of crushed garlic. Sauté until soft and a bit golden. Add some stock from time to time if it starts to stick to the pan.
2. Add your rice and start mixing to incorporate flavor into the grain. Be careful not to burn the rice at this step! You may want to turn your fire a little lower. Mix for 3-4 min.
3. Next add your mushrooms sliced, but also leave some for later to decorate. Salt and pepper to taste. Mix for 3-4 min.
4. Add the stems of thyme to the mix. Pour in the rest of the stock all at once and let it simmer for 10 -15 min.
5. In a high-speed blender, or using a hand held blender, mix together parsley (just the leaves) with 1 tbsp of olive oil, 1 small clove of garlic, 1tsp of truffle sauce, pistachio nuts, a little salt and pepper, and a bit of water. Blend into a paste (picada).
6. Add about 1 heaping tablespoon of this mixture to your simmering rice. Mix a little and cover well with aluminum foil so that the steam stays inside and cooks up the rice nicely. Place your paella in the preheated oven for 10 minutes.
7. Take your paella out of the oven, remove the aluminum foil and cover the dish with a clean towel. Let it rest for another 10 minutes.
8. Fry up the leftover mushrooms in a little oil/butter. Season with salt and pepper. Add them in a decorative concentric way to your paella dish.
9. Serve the paella on a plate. If you like, you can sprinkle more picada mixture and parmesan shavings on top.
Guest Author: A native of Romania, Sinzy Zaltman grew up cooking alongside her mother and grandmothers and developed a huge interest in food in all its forms. After several courses in London, Valencia, and Barcelona, she started her catering business, Cooking Nature, and began cooking professionally, with a philosophy of healthy and sustainable eating. Sinzy is a graduate of the prestigious culinary school, Hofmann Barcelona, and she has been a professional chef for six years. In addition to Cooking Nature, she also collaborates on various projects and events. Currently, Sinzy is involved in a project to develop a cookbook for a private client. Connect with her on Instagram @cookingnature or her website www.cookingnature.com.
If you loved this, try your hand at making a traditional Catalan holiday dish.