As paella is the signature dish of Valencia, El Guapo has been hunting for a good recipe to try. One that he found features this introduction:
“If you want an easy-to-do simple paella recipe, just knock on us…. This is the easier paella recipe you can find anywhere!”
I think we have a pretty good idea of what the writer was trying to convey there–and I’m tempted to adopt the expression myself. It’s also true that a good paella recipe would make up for a multitude of translation missteps.
It’s hard for me to tell, though, whether this particular candidate is a good paella recipe. I also wonder if a paella we made when following it would result in something the creator could recognize. I’ve heard of all the things on the ingredient list, but can I assume that “5 bowls of fish broth” means 5 cups? What if my idea of a mid-sized squid is quite different than the author’s? How would I go about acquiring an idea of what constitutes a mid-sized squid, exactly?
The directions provide plenty to ponder. For example, regarding the two pounds of mussels, I’m instructed thus:
“In another ladle cook the mussels with little water (well washed before with water and salt). As soon as the shells open up, take them away and take off the half that doesn’t have the bug.”
Later I’m told, “Add the cut squid to ribbons or in fine hoops and the rice.” The final direction: “Serve it with some big clusters of lemon without peeling like decoration.”
The recipe is here. If you decide to try it, and you love it, by all means, let me know!