A taste of the Idaho’s Basque Country awaits.
In the May/June issue, on newsstands now, we turn our attention to Boise’s Basque community and its San Inazio Festival. Central to the story and the festival is the Basque Market where owner Tony Eiguren prepares paella on the store’s patio, luring diners with an irresistible aroma before captivating them with the colorful explosion of ingredients in the massive 5-foot-wide pan.
As contributor Drew Dodson reports in the article, “Each batch yields about 200 servings of paella, a rice dish consisting of Valencia rice, mussels, shrimp, chorizo, vegetables, chicken, garlic, and a host of other ingredients. Like many dishes, paella was adapted from Spanish culture before being molded into a Basque favorite through regional customs and personal preferences.”
“It’s beautiful, and it makes the meal an event,” Eiguren says. Within 20 minutes, the heaping pan of paella is reduced to scraps, and Eiguren begins prepping to repeat the process.
We don’t expect you to rustle up a dish for hundreds but how about paella for a large family gathering?
(Serves 8 – 10)
cup olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
1 cup pre-cooked meat (chorizo, jamón serrano, chicken — use your imagination)
½ cup green bell peppers, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced or chopped
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
Salt, to taste
2 cups Valencia rice
1 pinch saffron
½ cup white wine
6 – 7 cups chicken broth
1 pound seafood (shrimp, mussels, clams, cod)
¼ cup pimentos, diced
½ cup blanched green beans
8 – 10 lemon wedges
Chopped parsley, for garnish
Heat broth with saffron to a low simmer in a heavy-bottom pot.
In a paellera (paella pan) or large sauté pan for 8 people, heat oil and sauté onion on medium heat until golden (about 10 minutes). Add meat and peppers and sauté until meat is heated through. Add garlic, smoked paprika, and salt. Stir for 1 minute. Add rice. Mix until all grains are coated. Add wine and boil until almost dry. Add broth, stir, and bring to a simmer. Allow it to simmer for about 20 minutes. Nestle seafood into the rice and top with pimentos, green beans, and lemon wedges. Allow it to simmer for about 10 minutes more, adding additional broth if it becomes dry before the rice is cooked through. Simmer until all broth has been absorbed and rice is tender. Remove from heat and let paella rest for 10 minutes before serving. Garnish with parsley.
(Note: When adjusting for more or less servings, you can usually figure about 4 people to each cup of raw rice and nearly 3 – 4 times the amount of broth as rice. If you cover your paella and place it in the oven to cook, you will need to reduce the amount of broth to 2 times the amount of rice. When paella is cooked completely on the stove top, you lose a fair amount of liquid in the broth to evaporation, which increases the intensity of the broth and, thus, of the paella.)
Reprinted and adapted with permission from Tony Eiguren, the Basque Market, in Boise, Idaho. For more information on the Basque Market, visit the shop’s website. To read the “Feasting Basque in Boise” Western Gourmet article, pick up the May/June 2019 issue.
From the May/June 2019 issue.