Food & Cocktail Cooking Series with Chef La Che

The Las Vegas Review-Journal and La Bonita Supermarkets teamed up to bring you a virtual food & cocktail cooking series.  The first episode took place on March 18, 2021, where Chef La Che cooked a delicious paella dish, paired nicely with a refreshing mojito, and ended  with a light dessert […]

The Las Vegas Review-Journal and La Bonita Supermarkets teamed up to bring you a virtual food & cocktail cooking series.  The first episode took place on March 18, 2021, where Chef La Che cooked a delicious paella dish, paired nicely with a refreshing mojito, and ended  with a light dessert of strawberries and cream.  Learn more or register for future episodes.

Paella is a Spanish rice dish from Valencia, Spain, and is one of Spain’s best-known recipes.  Two types of meat are usually in the traditional dish and the original paella recipe called for chicken and rabbit. Seafood is often a main ingredient, including  shrimp, mussels, or the local catch of the day.  Paella is traditionally cooked in a large round pan and shared among family and friends.  Another important tip when making paella is not constantly stirring while cooking after the rice is incorporated, so that the socarrat begins to form.   Most people consider socarrat the paella’s best part, which is where the flavors concentrate.  Socarrat is the crusty, crispy rice on the bottom of the pan that becomes caramelized while it is cooking.

Why did Chef La Che choose to cook paella?  Paella typically brings friends and family together and because of the variety of meats that you can use.  La Bonita Supermarkets is mainly a meat shop, so they wanted to feature many of the products they carry in their stores.

Mojitos were first made in Havana, Cuba, and are traditionally a summertime drink but have grown in popularity over the years.  La Bonita Supermarkets picked mojitos to pair with paella because it pairs nicely with the paella, and they have all the ingredients from the muddler to the ice to make this fun drink.

The strawberries and cream dessert is a secret recipe that Chef La Che wanted to share with everyone as it is an easy and delicious dessert to make.  So, what is the secret ingredient?  Rum is the secret ingredient. The cream is infused with rum adding to the strawberries.

Enjoy the video and share your paella dishes on social media and be sure to tag your photo with the hashtag #rjcooking.

For more information or to register for future episodes, click here.

Spanish Paella

  • 1/3 cup Olive Oil, Extra Virgin
  • 4 Chicken thighs with no skin no bone and cut in half
  • ½ Red Pepper cut in strings
  • 1 package of Seasoning
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 pack (200gr) of Mushrooms cut in half
  • 200gr – Green Beans, cut strings on both ends
  • 3 Garlic cloves peeled and finely chopped
  • 3 tsp of Paprika
  • 1 Tomato peeled and blended (add a pinch of salt and a pinch of olive oil-optional)
  • 4 cups of cold water or 4 cups of cold shrimp stock. Shrimp stock easy recipe is below
  • 1 ½ Tbsp of Azafran (Saffron)
  • 2 cups Parboiled White Rice
  • 8 Shrimp without head, uncooked and with shell
  • 1 Lemon cut in 4 wedges for decoration and end juice
  • 4 Sprigs of parsley for decoration
  • 2 Pieces of aluminum foil big enough to cover the pan
  • Cayenne Pepper (optional for spiciness)

Shrimp Stock Recipe

*USE COLD/ MUST be prepared and chilled in advance Peel the shrimp and reserve the shells.

In a skillet heat 1 tbsp of olive oil over medium-low heat. Add the shells and toss well.
Add 4 cups of water. Bring to a simmer, pressing down on the shell with a spatula to extract maximum flavor. Simmer for 5 to 7 minutes.
Pour the stock through a mesh strainer into a bowl. Reserve the stock and let it seat inside the fridge.
It will be used cold.

Suggested Cookware

1  15-inch paella pan or a 13-inch or larger shallow, wide, heavy skillet of aluminum or stainless
steel.

Preparation

  1. Add olive oil into the paella pan keep it on high once the oil is hot (about 1 minute).
  2. Add chicken and red pepper. Sauté the red pepper strings until golden and then, remove and reserve.
  3. Add the package seasoning and salt to taste. Cook until golden color or about 8 minutes.
  4. Add mushrooms and green beans stir well with chicken for 2 minutes.
  5. Add garlic and paprika keep stirring for another 1 or 2 minutes.
  6. Add tomato sauce, combine all by stirring for 2 more minutes.
  7. Add the 4 cups of water or the 4 cups of shrimp stock. Immediately add the Azafran (Saffron). The Azafran seasoning must be put in cold water; otherwise, it won’t dissolve. If you are using a paella pan, make sure the water is touching the bottom of the screws of the paella handles.
  8. Cook this on high for 15 minutes. You do not need to stir.
  9. Add the rice and spread to be even in the pan, rectify the salt by tasting the broth and adjust to your taste. Cook for approximately 15 minutes on medium-high heat, check the water level and add 1 cup of water.
  10. Add the peeled shrimp to the paella about 10 minutes before you bring paella to simmer. Shrimp will cook with the broth.
  11. Cover the paella pan with aluminum foil – careful not to burn. Let it cook for 15-20 minutes more until water is absorbed and it is sticky on the bottom.
  12. Turn off and decorate with the red pepper strings, lemon wedges and parsley sprigs.

Classic Mojito

Ingredients

  • 1.5 oz Bacardi Superior or Bacardi Spiced Rum
  • 1 oz Lime Juice
  • 0.75 or 3/4oz Simple Syrup (1:1 Sugar water Ratio – recipe below) or use Agave that was provided in your bag
  • 6-8 Mint leaves
  • Top with club soda
  • Glassware: Collins/Tall
  • Ice: Crushed or Cubed
  • Garnish: Mint Bouquet / Lime Wheel

Simple Syrup Recipe at home

Bring a pot of water to boil, add equal portion of sugar (1:1) ratio. You can utilize any variety of sugar to create different flavor profiles.
Stir the sugar in until it completely incorporates with the boiling water and becomes clear.
Set aside, chill and enjoy in cocktails.
Lime juice; Fresh squeeze using a citrus press, good for 3-5 days if stored in refrigeration.

Cocktail Instructions

In a mixing glass; add 6-8 mint leaves and .75oz or ¾ oz of simple syrup or agave. Muddle the mint gently to release the oils in the mint, careful not to break down the mint! Add your 1 oz of lime juice and finally your 1.5 oz of Bacardi Rum to your mixing glass. Add ice and shake gently not to break up the mint, but enough to aerate the lime juice and mix all the ingredients. Dump into your Collins glass, or strain over fresh ice and top with soda water. Gently stir to incorporate everything and finally garnish with a mint bouquet and lime wheel.

Strawberry in “Che” Cream

Ingredients

  • 2 Boxes of Fresh Strawberries cut in pieces (do not cut them too small). Wash them and cut stems off.
  • 1 Pt of Heavy Whip Cream.
  • 1 Shot of Bacardi Coconut Rum.
  • 1 ½ Cups of sugar.
  1. Place cut strawberries in a place and sprinkle them with some sugar. Mix them and let them seat inside the fridge.
  2. In a bowl, add heavy whip cream, 1 shot of Bacardi Coconut Rum and one cup of sugar.
  3. Mix with a mixer or a hand mixer until whip cream is not too liquid or too whip. Normally about 7 minutes.
  4. Bring strawberries out of the fridge and serve with cream to taste.

Members of the editorial and news staff of the Las Vegas Review-Journal were not involved in the creation of this content.

Next Post

Wine & Dine for the Arts launching virtual event series

ALBANY — After canceling its popular weekend of events in January because of pandemic restrictions, the Wine & Dine for the Arts festival will host its first event of the year next month, a virtual cooking class with a celebrity chef who won “The Next Food  Network Star” competition series […]