Jamie Oliver was left red faced this week after he faced massive criticism for his paella recipe. Moving away from a traditional recipe he added chorizo to his recipe with many people taking to social media to show their disgust at his recipe. It may not have been the taste of the recipe and the ingredients that they had a problem with but more the fact that he called it paella. Had he called it a chicken and chorizo with rice dish, I suspect he would have got a better reception!
Jamie Oliver is working on making the nation healthier and creating alternative recipes could be a way of doing this. However, it seems that he managed to upset a lot of people doing this with a paella recipe, it is obviously one of those classics that should not be messed with! Of course, there are many different recipes for the dish, with different types of ingredients but many felt that not using Spanish rice and adding chorizo were just taking it too far. Some even likened it to making traditional fish and chips with aubergine and duck. There were some very interesting as well as funny comments on his original Facebook post where he put the recipe and it was even reported on by a UK newspaper as it created such an uproar among many people.
A warning then for anyone writing recipes, if you want to give a traditional twist on a recipe then try calling it a different name so that you do not offend those that like the recipe the way it is originally made. Even if you do use paella rice, it apparently does not make the dish paella! The chef caused further offence by cooking it in a wok rather than a traditional paella pan, but some commenters were rather more forgiving stating that they do exactly the same with their recipe, adapting it to their taste and cooking it in a pan that they have at home. It certainly proves that you can never keep everyone happy all of the time!
If you do want to create a traditional paella at home it seems like you will need to firstly start with a paella pan. You will then need to get hold of some traditional paella rice and then use a mix of seafood and chicken. You would normally want some onions, chilli and paprika to flavour it, some white wine and tomatoes to flavour the sauce. However, as all recipes do vary, you will need to find one that you feel mostly resembles a traditional one or choose the one which has ingredients that you think that you will enjoy the most. It is important to also follow a traditional cooking method, browning the meat first adding vegetables and frying theses of before adding the rice. Then add the cooking liquid and cook everything else in that. This ensures you get the best flavours and that everything is cooked through perfectly.
Like many negative stories though, it is likely that this will have actually brought more attention to the chef and got more people looking at his social media pages and website. They probably looked at other recipes while they were there and it could have all turned out to be very positive for the chef who has a UK television series currently airing as well as new book available for sale. It is likely that the publicity, although probably unintended, could mean that he will get more book sales as a result. This could be a great thing for the nation though, as the book champions healthy eating and balanced meals prepare din a way that all family members should enjoy.