A few weeks ago, I took a cooking class called "Spectacular Spanish Paella" at Sur La Table, which is a cooking supply store where I live that also holds cooking classes. This store isn't like the other cooking supply store I remember going to with my mom as a kid. It was called "Lectures Housewares" and it's been long out of business(this was probably in the late '90s). Goods for sale at Lectures Housewares were much cheaper than the wares you can find at Sur La Table(they didn't hold cooking classes, but that's probably because the whole "foodie" revolution and Instagram wasn't even born yet), even when accounting for inflation rates to convert late '90s dollars to 2015 dollars. I think Sur La Table is a symptom of the gentrification(read: upscale stores) that's run rampant in the mall where it's located at.
It was a good class. I learned a lot, including the fact that bell peppers are still disgusting to me, whether they are raw or cooked. Ironically, I'd rather eat a jalapeno than eat a bell pepper and the former on the Scoville scale(it measures the spiciness of peppers) is around 5,000 Scoville units. A bell pepper is zero Scoville units.
A paella is the national dish of Spain and usually has fish, meat, vegetables, sofrito, and bomba rice.
You will need:
For the cooking vessels:
A frying pan or paella pan(a paella pan is a frying pan with 2 short handles on the edges instead of 1 really long one; I bought one but it was way too big for my stove; that pan was the smallest Sur La Table had. :( )
A loaf pan(if your frying pan isn't oven-safe like mine. I don't even know what that means- my dad just told me I can't put it in the oven)
A small pot
A large bowl
A medium bowl
For the paella:
2 cups of chicken broth
6 ounces of cooked ground beef
For the marinade:
1 cup of tomato sauce
Some Worcestershire sauce
Some light brown sugar
Some breadcrumbs(I used whole wheat breadcrumbs but you can use whatever type you want)
The rest of the paella:
7 pink, uncooked shrimp(you can easily find those at any supermarket)
3/4 cup of bomba rice(it's a rice used when making paellas, you can find it at
Some olive oil
3/4 cups of white cooking wine
1/2 cup of sofrito(a sauce used when making paella; Goya sells sofrito at most supermarkets but I used a more upscale brand, you can find it at http://www.amazon.com/Matiz-Valenciano-Sofrito-12-3-Ounce/dp/B009RJPZU0/ref=sr_1_3?s=grocery&ie=UTF8&qid=1440000574&sr=1-3)
1 saffron thread
Some cayenne pepper
7 cooked, chopped baby carrots
Optional: 7 cooked mussels(I bought mine frozen from a supermarket that I microwaved as the paella was cooking in the oven)
1. Put the chicken broth in the small pot. Bring it to a boil. Then reduce it to a simmer.
2. While the broth is boiling/simmering, make the marinade, by putting all the marinade ingredients in a small bowl and mixing the ingredients up.
3. Put half of the marinade in a large bowl with the cooked beef. Mix the marinade and beef together.
4. Put the rest of the marinade in a medium bowl with the shrimp. Mix the marinade and shrimp together.
5. Put olive oil in a frying pan. When the oil is heated up a bit, add the bomba rice. Coat the rice with the olive oil.
6. Take the frying pan off the stove(shut the stove off first) and add the cooking wine. Put the stove back on with the frying pan on top of the flame(or the area where you heat food if you're using an electric stove). This step is for your own safety!!
7. Coat the rice with the wine until the wine is absorbed into the rice.
8. Put the beef into the frying pan. Spread the beef around the frying pan.
9. Add the sofrito, saffron, paprika, cayenne pepper, and salt to the frying pan. Stir all those ingredients together.
10. Ladle the simmered chicken broth into the frying pan. Again, you should take the frying pan off the stove(shut the stove off first), then add the broth. After that, put the stove back on with the frying pan on top of the flame(or electric stove). This step is also for your own safety!!
11. Bring the contents of the frying pan to a boil. Then reduce the heat to let it simmer for 8 minutes.
12. After the 8 minutes, as the paella is still simmering, top the paella with the carrots and shrimp.
13. Shut the stove off. If you have an oven-safe frying pan, skip this step. If not, pour the paella into a loaf pan.
14. Put the paella into a 425 degree Fahrenheit oven for 10 minutes.
15. After 10 minutes, taste the rice. If it isn't fully cooked, add 1 tbsp. of water to the paella. Then put it back into the oven until the rice is fully cooked. It took another 10 minutes for me after I put the water into the paella.
16. When the rice is fully cooked, let it rest for 5 minutes.
17 Traditionally, paella is served from a pan, preferably a paella pan but if you don't have that, a frying pan will do. Put the paella in the pan if you want to keep the dish somewhat traditional.
18. If you have cooked mussels, add them to the frying pan.
19. Bon appetit!