Joni Sare, cooking instructor

Paella Cooking Class — Learn to Make a Memorable Paella

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the art of Paella

216 paellas ...and counting

Paella Cooking Class

Rave reviews continue for my smoky surf ‘n turf paella. People who claim to be Paella aficionados say mine is the best they’ve had. And, so far, I agree — based on the many that I’ve eaten. My Surf’n Turf version has chicken, chorizo, shrimp, mussels and scallops. 

Learn the secrets to a memorable paella. We will focus on the homemade broth and the flavors. Smoked paprika, saffron, sofrito, and socarrat will tantalize your taste buds.

This can be a gluten-free and dairy-free meal with a few adjustments to the cheese platter.

The menu: 3-Course Paella Cooking Class

Cheese platter

Manchego cheese, salami, bread, olives, and my favorite pepper jam.

Paella, the options:

  • Surf’n Turf
  • Seafood
  • Chicken/Chorizo
  • Tofu

Almond Orange Cake

Amazingly moist, not too sweet, and you can decorate the plate. This is a gluten- and dairy-free version of “Tarta de Santiago.”


Add a fruit salad — I mean a sweet-spiced Sangria to your kitchen party. (additional fee)

In your Paella class, I’ll share the details of each of these key elements:

  1. Shallow pan: A paella pan is a two-handled, wide, thin and shallow pan.
  2. Sofrito: a Spanish mire poix w/tomatoes, onions, bell peppers.
  3. Socarrat: caramelized rice at the bottom of the pan. Pronounced: “so-kar-Rraht”
  4. Saffron: a spice that is just a few stigmas from each crocus flower, each plant has 4 flowers, that must be picked by hand, only 1 week in the year when in bloom, 90% grown in Iran.
  5. Smoked paprika: the classic version uses “sweet paprika,” but when you don’t have an open fire to create that smoky flavor, use “smoked paprika.”

Testing Paella Pans,” by my most-trusted kitchen testing site: Cook’s Illustrated

  1. The rice – med or short grain, Bomba, Arborio, La Marjal)
  2. The pan – thin, shallow and wide)
  3. The heat – even temp, able to increase/decrease)
  4. The sofrito – small dice, ratios
  5. The cooking liquid – complex flavors, balanced)

This list is from Norberto Jorge (FineCooking .com). His list stood out among the dozens of blog posts and articles that I’ve read about making Paella.

His worthy 8,000-word in-depth post.

This is a classic Spanish almond torte with poached oranges Plating tools are available to decorate the plate for this uniquely-prepared paleo-style cake.

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