Lets Host a Paella Party!

A Paella Party is a fun excuse to spend time with friends, have some wine and enjoy an iconic Spanish dish. Paella is one of those rare dishes that clearly exemplify the personality and culture of the area where it was created. It is a mix of flavors, colors, and textures that unapologetically will leave a mark on the history of dishes you have enjoyed. It’s a dish that screams passion, boldness and it’s as festive as it gets. It is a dish I prefer to cook in front of my guests, the assembly of a paella is a feast for the senses so this is not at all a make ahead dish.

What is a Paella?

A Paella (pronounced Pa-eh-ia, not Pah-yei-ia) is a traditional Spanish dish which has traveled way beyond Spain’s borders. It is cooked on a large, flat pan and has a base of bomba or arborio rice. The rice becomes a bed for onions, red, green and yellow peppers, tomatoes, peas, and some aromatic herbs. The dish is topped with a mix of sea proteins such as clams, muscles, shrimp and land proteins like chorizo and chicken.

There are different types of Paellas. Some are made up of just seafood and vegetables which pair better with seafood. Others combine land and sea proteins in a freer style which resemble the original Paella Valenciana, from the province of Valencia, some people also call this Paella Mixta.

Ask any Spaniard what a traditional paella should contain and more than likely you’ll get a different answer every time you ask. They’ll even argue amongst themselves about who is right, and what is the correct way to make a paella.

While they argue about who’s right, here iss a recipe that works, as long as you follow some basic cooking techniques. Follow this recipe and you will be able to make a fabulous paella. Once you’ve made this dish two or three times, you will feel more confident about your paella skills and we encourage you to come up with a version of your own.

Paella is a simple, delicious one pan recipe, which has to be assembled in a specific order since we are dealing with many ingredients that cook at different rates.

How to Make Paella

Before you venture into hosting your own paella party, we strongly recommend that you do a practice run (or two). Please do not be intimidated, as with every dish a little bit of preparation and some basic knowledge will go a long way and you will be making paella like a pro. Of course, if you prefer, our team could take care of the cooking while you enjoy your party. Just contact us and we will handle the details.

To start, we have to make sure you have the proper materials to make your paella. You will need a medium to large Carbon Steel Paella Pan and the following ingredients:

Upcoming Classes

Chef Alexa is currently teaching paella and other classes at the Irvine Fine Arts Center. Here are the upcoming paella party classes. Space is limited, so act fast.

September 2017

Thursday the 14th, 6:30 pm -8:30 pm
Register Now

Private Classes & Parties

Would you like Chef Alexa and her team help you host a paella party or a private paella cooking class? Please fill out the form below to get started.

Full Name (required)

Email (required)

Message

Ingredients

  • 4 large chicken thighs/skinned, bone in cut in half
  • 16 ounces of Spanish chorizo, diced into rounds
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 4 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup of frozen or fresh peas
  • 1 cup of green beans, cut into bite sizes
  • 2 tbsp. pimenton (smoked paprika)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 pounds of raw shrimp, peeled, deveined, tail on
  • 1/2 pound of mussels (about 12)
  • 1 1/2 cups of Bomba rice
  • 3 cups of chicken stock
  • 3 tbsp of olive oil
  • a pinch of saffron
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • a handful of parsley, roughly chopped
  • 1 lemon cut into wedges

Preparation

Take the chicken pieces and place them in a bowl, season them generously with salt, and pepper and 1 tbsp of the pimenton, set aside

For this recipe, you’ll need a large paella pan (for 8 to 12 portions). Place your paella pan over the largest flame on your stove and add 1 tbsp of the olive oil.

Add the chorizo and cook for 1 minute just to get it a little crispy and get some of that chorizo fat in the pan. Remove chorizo and set aside. Next, sear the chicken pieces until nice and golden brown, remove chicken and set aside.Add the onions, and bell peppers and sauté until onions are translucid about 3 minutes, add the garlic and sauté another minute, sprinkle the remaining 1 tbsp of pimenton, then add the pinch of saffron and fold together, add the

Add the onions, and bell peppers and sauté until onions are translucid, this should take about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté for another minute. Sprinkle the remaining 1 tbsp of pimenton plus a pinch of saffron. Gently fold all ingredients together. This mix of vegetables is usually referred to as sofrito

Add the bay leaf, sprinkle the rice over the sofrito and toast the rice with the sofrito for about 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes and fold everything together. Add the stock and mix well.  Spread your sofrito and rice mixture evenly throughout the pan. Place the chicken and the chorizo on top of the bed or rice. Sprinkle the peas and green beans over the paella and lower the heat. Loosely cover the paella pan with foil. Cook for 15 minutes on low heat.

Remove foil and add the shrimp evenly to your paella. Bury the mussels throughout the paella and cover again with the same foil. Cook another 5 minutes. Toss away any mussels that did not open up. Finally, garnish the paella with parsley and lemon wedges and serve immediately. Paella pairs well with a glass of sangria and with friends!

Upcoming Classes

September 2017

Thursday the 14th, 6:30 pm -8:30 pm
Register Now

Private Classes & Parties

Full Name (required)

Email (required)

Message

Tips For Hosting a Paella Party

A paella party is not just any other party. The food is not a side though nor a complement to the festivities. In a paella party the food, that means the paella is the start of the event. Guests gather around enjoying traditional Spanish drinks such as Sangria while the Paellero or Pallera assemble the dish on top of a large flat pan.

Preparing a paella takes time, but most of that time is “hands off”. Once the ingredients have been added to the pan it is time to wait for the rice and the proteins to cook thoroughly.

Additional Services

^