Wine with Lisa Hosts A Saturday Evening Spanish Culinary and Wine Adventure for a Party of 6!
pa·el·la (pä-l, pä-lyä, -yä) A saffron-flavored Spanish dish made with varying combinations of rice, vegetables, meat, chicken and seafood;also referring to the large flat frying pan in which a paella is cooked.
For as long as I can remember,I have always had a fascination and passion for cooking Paella. Maybe it was the Cajun-Creole culinary influences growing up in Louisiana and eating all of the different versions of authentic Jambalaya-for Jambalaya IS Louisiana’s version of Paella,after all! (at least it is to me). Or,maybe it’s the thought of leisurely enjoying Paella and little bites of Tapas with a fantastic glass of Rioja while sitting in a little Tapas Bar in Madrid. I have never been to Spain although it’s on my bucket list! I bought my first Paella Pan about 15 years ago and have been perfecting my Paella recipe ever since. The first recipe that inspired me was from a “Cooking with Wine” cookbook. The first challenge-especially 15 years ago in Nashville-was finding the correct ingredients;the second challenge was figuring out how to cook it even though I had never actually had an authentic paella! 15 years or so later and the improved availability of authentic ingredients and happily eating my share of many versions of this Spanish culinary marvel on many foodie adventures has made for many delightful events entertaining friends at my home from Texas to Tennessee. A large pan of delicious and authentic Paella,Tapas and Wine and lovely friends…. It’s about as good as it gets!
This is my large 18.5 inch Paella Pan and Bomba Rice-the ONLY rice for making great Paella.. The Paella is large enough to produce a Paella big enough to feed 10 people easily. Buying this pan at a FARADAY’S KITCHEN STORE in Austin,Texas was the best purchase I have ever made. You can also purchase any and all authentic Spanish ingredients at www.latienda.com.
I love to entertain! Hosting themed parties is fun and sharing my cooking skills and wine knowledge is what I enjoy doing! This past Saturday night,I hosted a Paella Party featuring Paella Mixta,Tapas and dessert all paired with fantastic Spanish wines for different regions of Spain.
Randy Duke and Tony Disher opened up their grand home for an evening of dining on Paella and Spanish Wines. M.J. and Amanda Garrett along with Justin and Andrea Allender were just the perfect guests for enjoying the Spanish-themed evening.
The Tapas (appetizer) Table included two Spanish Cheeses Mahon and Manchego,Blood Orange and Lemon Marinated Olives with toasted cumin and Sherry Vinegar. Spanish Marcona Almonds and Quicos,which are Spanish Corn nuts, were also served.
The evening began with a toast along with a bubbly glass filled with Domaine de Tharsys CAVA, the sparkling wine from the Cataluna Region of Spain.
Along with the Tapas,everyone sampled 2 other White Spanish Wines: Vina 24 2009 Albarino from Costers del Segre Region and an especially fabulous White Rioja( Rioja Blanca) 2009 Ostatu from the Rioja Region.
While the guests where enjoying the Tapas,wine and conversation,I was prepping the Paella. BOMBA Rice is the ONLY rice for Paella which is grown in Valencia,Spain.
There are many recipes and styles of Paella,depending on what area of Spain it comes from. PAELLA MIXTA is the Paella of the evening. This is a mixture of seafood including mussels,clams,shrimp,calamari as well as marinated chicken pieces and smoked pork richly seasoned with a saffron and a homemade sofrito.
Spain produces many high quality affordable wines. Here are the red wines that I selected to pair with the rest of the meal. Protocolo 2009 is delicious and intense 100% Tempranillo from Central Spain and the spicy, fruit-driven 2009 Garnatxa (Garnacha) Joan d’Anguera from the Catalonia Region were the perfect choices for this evening. Iroquois Wine and Spirits in Nashville,TN is a great source of Spain Wines. Ernie Paquette,owner and wine expert has a fabulous selection of Spanish Wines as well many other unique wines for you!
A Discussion and Sampling of the Spanish Wines
Presenting and serving the Paella Mixta
Flan is a popular dessert very similar to creme brûlée. It is a baked custard with a caramel at the bottom of the pan. I used authentic FLAN pans. When you invert the cooled custard onto a plate,the rich caramel flows over custard and makes a beautiful presentation as well as a delicious ending to a rich meal. The pans are available at www.latienda.com
The dessert pairing wine is the classic Spanish Sherry Pedro Ximenez Alvear 1927 from the region of Montilla-Moriles.
This sherry is made with the SOLERA method. To put this simply, a little of each barrel of the young sherry is blended with the older sherry for quality and consistency. In each bottle,there is a little of the 1927 vintage. The complex flavors include caramel,prunes,raisins,molasses,hints of chocolate and coffee as well as spices such as cinnamon and nutmeg,orange and lemon. PX is an intensely sweet dessert wine with complex flavors pairing well with many desserts. Serve chilled.
Wanting to experience A Spanish Evening in your home? Find someone who loves to make Paella and is passionate about wine PLUS a gathering of your close friends to share the event!
Wishing they had been invited!