Cooking Class next to the Triana River

Authored by:
Yitongyue (Lilian) L.

Yitongyue (Lilian) L.

Andalusia has countless special Spanish dishes: Jámon, Tortilla, Paella, Migas, Salmorejo, and Piononos.  As the capital of Andalusia with over ten centuries history, Seville is the spot of trying and learning southern Spain cuisine.  Ciee Seville organizes four cooking workshops for its students throughout the week before finals. Although students may not bring everything they love about Seville back to the states, they could bring the flavor of Seville home and cook for their families and friends. As the cooking workshop takes place in the studio of “Taller Andaluz en Triana,” students are ready to learn and record the steps of making the “perfecto”paella.

Paella is a traditional and symbolic Spanish dish originated from Valencia. It has different types and normally is made with rice, saffron, meat or seafood, garlic, onions, peas, tomatoes or other vegetables. It is cooked in a wide and shallow pan, which has  a diameter from 20 cm to 60 cm, depending on the number of people it serves.

Today, students are instructed on how to make a chicken paella. Each of them has their own aprons, cutting boards, and cooking tools. In the middle of the counter, the chief already sets up a giant pan and a pot filled with water aside. First, he demonstrates how to de-boned a complete chicken, then, students peel and cut basic ingredients for making the chicken broth which includes: garlics, green onions, and artichokes.

After 30 minutes ish,  when the chicken is mostly cooked, the chief puts the chicken broth aside. The chicken is put into the pan filled with heated olive oil.  Students add the green peas and the rest of artichokes into the pan. While some students stir frying,  a bowl of special sauce mixed with smoked paprika is added as well. Then the chief filters some chicken broth into the pan. Before putting into rice, the paella looks more like a soup than a dry dish. The chief takes out tinfoil and covered the entire pan, after,  everyone starts making potato salad.

After 10 minutes, the tinfoil is removed and rice is added carefully in the middle of the pan. The chief adds the rice three times in total. Each time he starts from the middle by using hands and then flattens the rice with a ladle. The final step is to cover the pan with tinfoil again and wait for rice to get cooked. “One important thing is do not stir the rice because we do not want its starch.”

As students finished cooking potato salad, the big project is done as well.  The paella  has no left water  in it and a flavor of combined rice, chicken and vegetables suddenly disperse in the entire room. In this chilly evening before the final exams and departure, students sit together talking, laughing and having fresh paella and potato salad they cooked. What a night!

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