Based on the previous, and very impressive, performance during the test of the Cobb Stove – here: Weekenduae Test of the Cobb Stove – we decided to explore a little deeper.
The Frying Dish accessory for the Cobb Stove came well-packed,
and again we noticed the due care the good people at Cobb Stove have put into not only designing and manufacturing their products, but also how they have really thought thru every detail from the point of view of the end user.
The quality itself is to die for.
It’s a piece of art.
We began with letting the coals get fully hot.
This step is important, as we found during our previous test, because the quantity of coals required is so minuscule.
We again worried that not enough heat would be generated, but trust the Cobb Stove guys – as we will show below, it generates more than enough heat and also over more than enough time.
We could have cooked three Paellas back-to-back with the amount of coals shown in our photo!
The efficiency of the Cobb Stove is truly remarkable!
For the Paella, we start with saffron, the world’s most costly spice by weight, which are actually the threads inside the flower, plucked out individually by hand, and dried.
You throw a pinch into a bowl of cool water, and let the threads rehydrate while at the same time starting to release their golden-yellow colour and fragrance.
Without chopping a single eye-watering onion, with a simple tear along the top – voilá!
We have super-convenient ready-made onion base. Really a genius product, and now that we’ve also tasted it – and it’s fantastic – we’ll be using a lot more of this professional-grade product from ANGT, called, creatively: Nonions.
They come in four kinds, and we chose the fried ones for our Chicken Paella.
We let the nonions heat up, and threw a cube of soup stock into some hot water – we’re outdoor cooking here: nothing fancy, as efficiency is king – and we haven’t gone wrong yet with the Cobb Stove.
Soon, the nonions are sizzling, and it’s time to splash on a little wine – white or red – we’re not fussy, but keep the good stuff for the glasses.
Naturally, for the halal version, you’d skip the cooking wine – although, if the alcohol evaporates fully, as it does, is that permissible? I’ve been told it is. It’s a question for the expert scholars.
In goes a little of whatever you like: perhaps garlic, or a smidgeon of ginger: I’d throw in all sorts of experimental spices, like turmeric, or cinnamon – yes, the Paella purists will never forgive me – and in this case we did tomatoes, and a bit of left-over biriyani powder… seriously.
Not too much so to turn the dish into the Middle-Eastern favourite rice dish, but just a sprinkle to add a zesty dimension. What’s in that magical powder? Well, it has a list of perhaps 20 ingredients, so we’re talking almost molecular quantities. Chill out, purists. Relájes, puristas!
In goes the chicken, thighs, bone-in, skin removed.
Let the Cobb Stove do its thing.
Let that bad boy cook.
I like to throw in some of the rice at this stage, but I’m not sure if it makes any sense. My grandma told me the raw rice will absorb the flavours, and though I’m doubtful, who am I to question 70 years of magic at the stove?
You’ll find the Cob Stove gets to optimal temperature when the cover is on.
Plus, it keeps out any adventurous flying bugs.
When the chicken looks happy, pour in Spanish rice (or pre-cooked regular rice, maybe half-way cooked is better) and add enough of the soup stock to cover the rice and a little more for good luck, and our saffron water.
No mixing or stirring is allowed from now on – penalty will be severe for any lapse.
Cook until the juices are all absorbed.
And eat right out of the pan!
The Frying Pan accessory for the Cobb Stove worked perfectly. The size was ideal for a Paella for 6 portions – 4 if serious eaters.
The above photos shows what a family of 4 left, and it was eaten the following day as well.
But here’s the surprise. At the end of the meal, I looked at the coals, to see just how much the Cobb Stove had consumed to cook that dish – well, see for yourself!
I reckon that I could have cooked three Paella dishes back-to-back on those five coal lumps – and that’s the Cobb Stove’s origin: a simple and effective cooking method requiring a minimal quantity of fuel due to its intelligent design.
The Cobb Stove rocked again – excellent piece of equipment, and with the Frying Pan accessory it also offers the possibility for pan-frying as well as grilling.
You can purchase the Cobb Stove here: