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Paella!: Spectacular Rice Dishes From Spain Hardcover – May 11, 1999
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Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Top Customer Reviews
"Paella Paella" is a far superior book although a great recipe for learning the technique of paella preparation can be found at the Fine Cooking magazine website. After you make that once then you may use whatever ingredients you wish to combine to make fantastic paella. Be creative.
Is it worth the trouble to find the proper pan, Spanish rice, saffron and olive oil? Absolutely! "Socarrat" Rules!
I followed these recipes to the letter. I even went to my local Hispanic market to buy the right rice. Six recipes I tried-and six times they were perfect failures.
Her oven cooking method toughens meat (I tried beef and chicken), and vaporizes seafood (mussels and clams dry up and disappear). Rice is both hard on top because it is baked to a crisp in the oven, and mushy below because the liquid is not simmered away fast enough. Vegetables become soft and taste boiled.
I could go on and on about the shortcomings of this book, but that would be overkill.
Nevertheless, I gave a 1-star rating to this book because the list of ingredients is helpful. If you already know how to cook paella, Ms. Casas' ingredients will give you a great dish even though her cooking method will not.
Suffice it to say, if you search for the earthy, primal, unforgettable taste of Spanish paella, don't look for the recipes here. I have discovered other cookbooks whose recipes replicate the kind of paella I had in Spain. Try them instead. You'll be pleasantly surprised.
Also, I don't believe that a recipe that cooks for 10 minutes in a gas oven would take 20 in an electric, "even when (the electric is) properly calibrated". Heat is heat, unless the oven is a convection model. Maybe she ought'a calibrate her GAS oven.
THE HERITAGE OF SPANISH COOKING, by Alicia Rios and Lourdes March, tells you how to cook a paella on top of the stove, and by extension, the grill, like they do in Spain and New Orleans.
Paella, like risotto, is about technique as much as ingredients, and the techniques presented in this book are baffling. How can an author sing the praises of tradition as loudly as Casas does in her introduction, and then devote the entire book to her frankly non-traditional technique that bakes paella in the oven for 20 minutes? With 50+ recipes, you'd think she'd find time to at least give one recipe for paella cooked over wood fire or on a charcoal grill, or using one of the special-built paella burners you can buy, or even just cooking the entire dish on the stovetop. Alas, this is not to be--Casas has her oven technique, and essentially repeats it 50 times with different lists of ingredients. This is scarcely believable, but there is is--she has photographs of paella cooked over fires in Spain, and even tells you "if paella is not made over a wood-burning fire, you are not likely to achieve a socarrat" (the crusty, almost-but-not-quite burnt layer of rice that makes paella lovers swoon), but can spare scarcely one paragraph to give you a few scanty notes on cooking over a fire. The crowning glory of paella--written off utterly in a cookbook devoted to the dish. Ridiculous.
Another sad deficiency is the photography, which is scanty and black-and-white.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
All of these recipes are different from the ones that I had. I bought this for a friend. Also, the listing told me that the book was slightly damaged, but when I got the book, I... Read morePublished 1 month ago by opinionated
Thorough. Authoritative. Well organized and easy to follow recipes.Published 13 months ago by Alan Borne
Have a number of books on Paella Recipes - this is a great addition that I have with me on the Kindle when I go to the grocery store to shop!Published 14 months ago by mike
A friend of mine who owns a villa near Valencia Spain (where paella was invented) recommended this book to me and I was not disappointed. Read morePublished 15 months ago by RacinRabit
The comments about her unorthodox cooking method are, in my opinion, besides the point. What Casas is trying to do here is to present paella to an American audience who doesn't... Read morePublished 18 months ago by T Lindsay
A favorite cookbook of mine--have been waiting to find a good used copy. Maybe someday I'll wind up living near the coast where seafood prices are reasonable. Read morePublished 21 months ago by tom