Paella recipe


Something of great pride among the Spanish is their paella recipes, Everybody has their own variations, personalisations and tastes.

Young (at heart) Yeyo in the El Bareto Kitchen is no exception, neither is brother Pablo.


Some people like it dry and crispy, others swimming in luxurious wine. If you ask the Valencians they will claim it as an identifying dish for their region, and include a variety of green vegetables and meats and, of course, land snails. We can almost hear your cries of joy that our hosts are from Vallavoliz!

Two paella’s have become synonymous with Spain over the years, and these are of course the Seafood Paella and the Mixed Paella (not a snail in sight). The seafood paella often contains only seafood, no vegetables, while the mixed contains a mix of meats, seafood and veg.

A Brief History

It was in 1840 that the word Paella was first used when describing a recipe, according to Wikipedia (and who are we to argue), the word Paella being taken from the pan it was used to cook the lovely meal.

To find a more detailed history the best place we can point you towards is of course the mighty Wikipedia, who tell you all you could wish to know. What we can tell you is how we cook ours…

Family recipe

5 Simple steps:

  1. Fry the ingredients for the base
  2. Add the rice
  3. Add the Seafood and/or meat if desired, and of course a bit of greenery
  4. Stir very well, but only once, we repeat, only once…
  5. A quick grill to make the top golden brown

Ensure you have plenty of friends to remind you how great you are and stuff your face with the delicious bounty.

Paella Base liqueur Ingredients

  • Spanish Onion
  • Garlic
  • Chilli (for flavour, although for those who like spice you can go crazy with the chilli!)
  • Red/yellow pepper
  • Paprika
  • Parsley
  • Thyme

To Cook

  • Start by preparing all you will need.
  • Fry up the ingredients for the base, and ensure the stock is freshly prepared and bubbling away
  • Fresh is of course best!
  • Fry just enough to brown and get the flavours flowing and the aroma widening your eyes.
  • If you are using meat, now is the time to add it and ensure it is well cooked.
  • Then add the rice…
  • Add the Tumeric and spices
  • Now, just as Bob Marley said, “Stir it up…”

The Magic

  • Add your fresh stock, and maybe a splash of white wine (or sherry if your feeling crazy!). Give it a good stir for a good couple of minutes, and then leave it alone, unstirred for a bout 40mins.
  • The temptation to stir it can be great, but the rewards for patience are great. If the base has been well made a given a thorough stir with the rice, the flavours will appreciate being given time to gentle simmer.
  • Decorate with a few prawns on top and give it a quick blast under the grill for colour then decorate…
  • Then it is time for pride!!
  • Serve with a squeeze of fresh lemon, white wine, your best Spanish accent and friends.

Your Turn

Now dear friends of El Bareto, it’s your turn. Cook up a storm, take a photo and post it up, here or on Facebook and let us know how it goes.

For something different, try frying a bit of Chorizo when making the base (although not too much as the flavour can overpower), or experiment with different types of stocks. If you have your own magic tips, please feel free to share them, you never know you could find your ideas being incorporated into our Paella.

Hasta Pronto!

Every Tuesday we get to have different and exciting bands come and entertain us, delight you wonderful friends and help create that special atmosphere. This Tuesday we have Mordrake coming back, bring their blend of gentle Americana.

If you don’t know what Americana is (I only recently learned) it is the sort of slow harmony laden country based songs you expect to hear along the Mississippi. Just listen to a moment or two of this video, from last time they joined us, and you’ll understand.

What a perfect way to spend an evening.


“Ole, ole y ole” (Thank you Tayete García Mazariegos).

Thank you for nominating us, and for all your kind words of support. Considering how strong the competition is, we did not expect to win but we are utterly ecstatic to have won.

Gotta love the photo that goes with it, although neither Maya nor Pablo do, but seeing Yeyo looking so nonchalant makes you wonder how any woman can resist.

Coming straight after that wonderful review in the Yorkshire Post, we have been inundated with praise and our ego’s are swelling! Here’s a link to the restaurant review, in case you missed it. We couldn’t have got a better review if we paid them.

But what really matters to us are the responses we have got from all you lovely people. Over 100 people have liked the photo and left us kind thoughts. We never wanted to take on the world (or Chapel Allerton!), just make a place that is fun for people to come to. Your replies make us feel as warm as the Spanish sun, Muchas muschhas Gacias xx

On top of all this we have leapt up to 16th best restaurant in Leeds on Trip Advisor, with a sudden run of reviews. A big thank you to all who have taken the time to leave a comment, every single one makes a difference to us.

Giving something to Charity

And now our chance to help give something back. Have you heard about Shaun’s Zumbathon, get sponsoring, or even better join in! You’ll get healthy, raise money, dress up and maybe win a prize and importantly have the chance to do some laughing. Go on, go on, go on, it will be fun….

Not just Chapel Allerton but in our little restaurant, with a professional teach (no not Pablo and a black board). Surround yourself with Spanish speakers, while supping a glass of Sangria, and learn in the best way.

No need for classrooms and homework, just the chance to absorb the language, meet people and do a bit of smiling.

These lessons are only £5 including your glass of Sangria.

Still going, despite technical issues and temperamental computers, we are broadcasting our live stream on Facebook from out little place every Tuesday. We have had people watching from California, Luxemburg and Newcastle, as well as just round the corner.

Here’s another video for those who missed out, Martyn Roper performing the Johnny Cash classic Fulsom Prison Blues

Then Leeds City Stompers will get the place a tappin their feet on the 19th followed by Haley Gaftarnik, one of Leeds finest singer song writers with a new album on the way, on the 26th Feb.

delicious-chorizoYou know I am talking about that most Spanish of sausage, Chorizo, and the way our resident chef Yeyo cooks it. He doesn’t use some in the dish and then enjoy the rest with other gentlemen of the street late at night on park benches. That is just a vicious rumour… which may have just been started here…

Why Cider and not wine?

Of course we cook one of Spain’s most famous exports slightly differently from most other Spanish places around, but it’s what you come to expect that from us don’t ya. It is traditional in Galicia in the North West of Spain to use Apple Cider rather than white wine, and it is a tradition we continue.

Taste wise, it is just a little sweeter when cooked, and helps give that slightly juicier liquid. Of course we would be happy to cook some in white wine if you wanted us to, but why go with the standard when you can have a little bit of something special.

So does Yeyo sit on park benches drinking cheap cider? Well maybe, but that has nothing to do with the way we cook our Chorizo!


It is quite amazing how good the bands we have got to come and play have been. Already this year Tessa Smith has had us stunned at her vocal ability, and made us laugh at the chemistry between her and Gavin McGrath on guitar. Having played together for so many years, the banter between the two of them was utterly natural and kept everyone smiling.

Here is a video of one of the dafter songs, complete with comedy ending, for you to enjoy.

Love of the Brave were also magnificentwith their 70’s inspired folk, Mordrake with that gentle Americana and in February the raucous bluegrass of the Backyard Burners. All broadcast on Facebook with videos to follow.

We hope you get to enjoy the snow, and don’t let it get you down.

Hasta Pronto

Prospero Año Nuevo para todos nuestros amigos!

A little late I know, but we have been busy breaking our new years resolutions… well all except Maya who has resolved to work less, drink more and have more fun, and so far has been succeeding!

We have not heard any really good resolutions yet, please tell us if you have any, just leave a comment or put them on Facebook. The best we heard last year was a commitment to start wearing more brightly coloured socks, truly ground breaking and honourable I am sure you’ll agree.

What’s new in the New Year?


Yes, the decorators have been in, and the fragrance of paint drying has subsided. Soon new pictures will be on the walls and new menus produced, all ready to be admired and coated in your laughter.


There are two things on the specials board, one you may have seen but did not know what it was, the other is a new addition…

Pimientos de Padron

These are something we did not think we would be able to offer in our chosen home of England, Pimientos de Padron (Padron Peppers). But we have a supplier! As they come over from Spain and are seasonal, they won’t be around for long…

They are named after the village of Padron (pronounced by accenting the ‘o’) where they are traditionally cooked in Northern Spain,

although they are believed to have been brought over by Mexican monks in the 18thCentury.


Because of the variety in the heat of each pepper you can get from a single plant they are not widely used in cooking. While each one has the same delicious flavour occasionally one will have a fantastic warmth. Not a daft heat that makes your eyes water, cheeks flush and face melt, but a exciting warmth that accentuates their flavour.

Cooking the Tapas Pepper

Often referred to as the Tapas Pepper, they are picked while small and green (the larger and redder then the hotter they will be) and simply cooked with just sea salt and extra virgin olive oil, as the pepper itself does all the talking. These have been regularly eaten in the Villeages household, but as soon as we get a good supply they appear on the specials board.

Don’t be scared!

But don’t let the threat of a chilli twinge make you cower behind your Sangria, they are not like Indian chilli’s which can blow your head off. This is all about the taste sensation, an emphasis of flavour, once you have had one you will want more, regardless of whether you like your curries mild.


These are a delicacy in Spain but you will be lucky to find them anywhere in the UK. However, we have found an abattoir that saves these choice little cuts of meat form being… well… chucked in to be used for sausages… one person’s delicacy is in another persons  fry up!

When we get them they are on the specials board they are one of the first things to go. Clearly people have been listening to our Pablo raving about them.

And they are…?

Referred to as Sweetbreads in the English speaking world, they are a small part of a lambs throat (thymus gland to be precise), and are more often found in Turkish cooking or used in stuffing or pates. Latin American Countries often grill them but to fry them is unquestionably a true taste of Spain.

Again cooked simply, in just a little lemon, Garlic and Olive Oil, they are little flavour bombs, and easy way to make your impress friends with something delicious they will not have tried before.

Loads of people want to learn our lingo, but the prospect of returning to the class room puts a lot of people off (no surprise). So we think we can do something really informal, where people will learn, and laugh, and make new friends.

What better place to learn Spanish than with other Spanish speakers. It will all be very informal with an emphasis on talking rather than study, and with the opportunity for all those who come to ask for phrases to learn, or request topics of conversation. All washed down with a confidence boosting glass of sangria, you can’t fail to learn something!

Lessons will be starting very soon, we will keep you informed…