My Paella Travels: Enjoy the Paella Cooking Class at Malaga’s Tapas and Wine Bar located in Downtown Austin
Malaga’s has been a long time favorite of mine for my Spanish food-fix! From the authentic tapas,to the great selection of Spanish wines and the chic yet casual ambiance of the restaurant. Austin is known for its abundance of outdoor seating and their patio area is a great place for a glass of wine and tapas with friends on the many beautiful sunny Austin days or cool evenings when the sun goes down.
On Tuesday nights about once a month, Chef Alejandro Duran, the Executive Chef and co-owner of Malaga teaches a Paella Class. “Paella de Gambas a la Marinera” or “Garlicky Shrimp Paella” was the featured Paella this night.The paella was vibrant with flavor and brilliantly colored by earthy deep orange-yellow Spanish saffron. Every bite was filled with juicy shrimp and a perfect harmony of authentic flavors of garlic,lemon and authentic Spanish seasonings of smoked paprika and toothsome Valencia rice. Chef Alejandro prepares a different paella each month. Two glasses of wine and the recipe are included in the price of the dinner. Check the website for the paella he will be cooking each month!
Chef Alejandro grew up making paella and family dishes with his grandmother in his home town of Madrid. He shares his culinary skills and history of cuisine of Spain and paella,the prized rice dish, in a fun and enjoyable evening with lots of stories and laughter. His stories about his childhood and his culinary career are enjoyable to listen to and you can tell that he enjoys interacting with his guests. This evening was a real treat!
Guests surround the grill in the restaurant sipping on wine and enjoying tapas while watching Chef Alex prepare the paella from scratch. He is an amazing chef and historian. While he is preparing the paella, he shares his secrets for making an authentic paella by the proper techniques and ingredients necessary so we can make it at home for our own paella dinner.
Tara Earnest and I were able to sneak in a picture with Chef Alex. Tara was a guest as well as an employee of Malaga and I was lucky to meet her as well. I highly recommend this class to anyone who enjoys Spanish cuisine and wine and wants to know how to make it!
Step by step, Chef Alex begins to prepare the Garlic Shrimp Paella. He begins by sautéing a mixture of leeks,red bell pepper,onions and garlic which is called the sofrito.
Essential to a great paella is using the best and freshest ingredients possible. The shrimp were fresh and full of flavor.
Another essential for an authentic paella is the paella pan. He uses a 22 inch paella pan;the same one I use!
For any foodie,watching the paella come together ingredient by ingredient as it slowly cooks to perfection is the highlight of the evening.
Just before the paella is served, Chef Alex spoons a smoky aioli-style romesco sauce. This of course was yet another layer of flavor that was exquisite and pulled all of the flavors together!
Vibrant yellow colored paella and succulent shrimp are finished with smoky romesco for a delectable authentic Spanish dish.
Chef Alex serves his paella in authentic bowls that he brought from Spain which makes it even more
yummy! They are rustic and beautiful!
Piquant Piquillo peppers stuffed with crab and baked with lemon, olive oil and capers is one of my favorite tapas dishes at Malaga.
Malaga Tapas and Bar
440 W 2nd Street
Call for reservations and to reserve a spot for the monthly Paella Class
Malaga’s is one of Austin’s best restaurants for tapas and wine! The Paella Class is awesome!