We spent the last four days of our travels through Spain chilling out in Toledo, capital of the Castilla-La Mancha autonomous region and just an hour’s bus ride south of Madrid. An ancient town located along a bend on the Tagus river, picture-perfect Toledo (which incidentally means “happy”, “river” and “hill” respectively in three different languages) is filled with grand old buildings, museums and historical sites. But we had our sights set on other, more tastier things…
While checking in at Cerro De Bu, a cosy hostel located just inside the old city walls, Sara popped the big question: “Where can we get a good seafood paella?” What we did not know then was that Reitxel, who was checking us in, had been craving for paella herself. “Hmm… maybe my boyfriend can make it for us”, she suggested. Her boyfriend Jose is a chef who spent the last 15 years working in restaurants around Europe. Two years ago, he returned to Toledo and converted his childhood home into a hostel.
As it turned out, we were in luck because Jose was up for the paella challenge, and had some free time to spare the following day. So the next morning, after a breakfast of instant noodles, we set off to the supermarket with Jose.
Later that day, we huddled in the kitchen to watch Jose work his magic. For the benefit of our readers, we’ve condensed this into a few simple steps.
-How to make seafood paella–
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how you make the best paella ever. Of course, that’s not really the full recipe – we’ve left out some important tips and tricks. For the full recipe, go to Hostel Cerro De Bu and ask for Jose. He doesn’t normally cook for guests, but if you’re really nice and he happens to have some free time, then he might oblige.
Oh, and Sara recorded the full recipe down carefully, so if anyone in Malaysia wants to try seafood paella, contact Sara when we get home. If you’re really nice, she might oblige too.
Paellas aside, it was a real pleasure meeting Jose and Reitxel. We wish them all the best and do hope they will come to visit us in Malaysia someday so we can show them how to cook nasi lemak… with some help from our mothers, of course 🙂