Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Paella's Prize: The Socarrat

This past weekend I went to a winemakers' celebration and a local chef - Brandon Miller of Mundaka - was serving up some of his paella. Jake and I had each grabbed a plate and hunkered down at an adjacent table. Chef Brandon walked over and put his plate down. "This is perfect. This is exactly what I was waiting for," he announced.

I introduced myself and asked what he meant. He gestured at the crisped rice. The socarrat.

Socarrat (pronounced soh-kah-raht, from the verb socarrar, means to toast lightly) is the caramelized crust of rice that sometimes sticks to the bottom of the pan. It's the prize in a well-executed paella.

"Every great rice culture aims for this caramelized crust," Miller declared. He explained, "It's one step below burnt. When you feel that resistance on the bottom of the pan, you've got socarrat."

Now I need to dig out my paella pan and give it a go. I love having culinary goals. I'll keep you posted.

1 comment:

  1. I have made paella but used my wok because I don't have a paella pan