Sangria & Paella Summer Cooking Class

It was a perfect class to teach this summer.....Sangria and Paella.  I've travelled in Spain only once, but I tasted the delicious paella near Valencia on the eastern coast, where paella is reputed to have been first created. It's a tasty dish using the local short grain rice and delicious meats and vegetables from the area. Seafood paella is popular closer to the coast, while paella made with rabbit, pork, chicken and beans is more popular further inland. "Paella" literally means "pan" in Spain, and the pan used for this particular dish can be found in many different sizes. In Spain, there are often paella parties where the huge pan sits over an open fire, and can serve hundreds of people.  I own paella pans in three different sizes, and usually use the biggest one since I can feed up to 25 people. My favorite paella is made with chicken and pork. I also add saffron, hot smoked paprika, sweet smoked paprika, and artichokes. I've cooked over an open fire, but in most paella classes I place the pan over three gas burners in my kitchen, and it turns out delicious.

Sangria is a refreshing drink that I make frequently in the summer. It's basically a fruit punch made with wine and fruit.  In this class I made two different sangrias, one with rose wine, elderflower liqueur, and stone fruits. I also made one with white wine, brandy, citrus fruits and green apple.

You can find my recipes at these links: CATALAN-STYLE PAELLASANGRIAS, and let me know what you think. The paella tends to be best eaten the day it's made, but the sangria can last for several days in your refrigerator. However, it's so good I doubt you'll have any leftovers.

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