Summer Paella Cooking Class

By Samantha Binkley
Group Photo

This photo is a photo of my lovely cooking class group from yesterday’s Summer Paella Cooking Class. First, things first: it was a wine and food pairing class with PEGASUS Winery, and it was simply amazing. We made two delicious Paellas, a seafood and vegetable version of this delightful Spanish one pot meal.

We started the class by doing a garden tour of my organic vegetable garden where we picked some of the vegetables needed for our Paellas including tomatoes, green beans, parsley and Japanese eggplants.  Then we moved on to visit my little feathery friends in the chicken coop. They have much character and always fun to watch. We needed no eggs today, but it was interesting to show everyone the different breeds.

We then moved right onto the cooking! I explained the necessity of a proper Paella pan because of course, you want to get the “socarrat” or little burn on the bottom of the paella rice–always a good sign of a good Paella. We had captains for each Paella, in this case, Ken managed the vegetable Paella, and Joann managed the seafood version. We talked about saffron and its importance in helping to build the flavors of this beautiful dish; How to use my Savory Paella Spice Blend to help build the flavors for a perfect seafood stock, etc.

To complement the Paellas, we created a beautiful, crisp Snap Pea Salad with fresh cucumbers from the garden, radishes, and arugula. All lightly dressed with a lemon vinaigrette. For the dessert, we prepared Honey Roasted Pineapples with coconut whipped cream which yielded collective “YUMS” around the tables.