Tapas and Paella!
On a recent training event in St. Louis, instead of going out to dinner at a restaurant, our Solae sales manager, Ms. Marty Boothman took us to a cooking class! After a long day of working in the meat processing lab and tasting and eating all kinds of soy protein enriched meat products, the last thing you think we would enjoy was making our own dinner – actually we had a fantastic time!
The Kitchen Conservatory is nestled in the back of a retail shop filled with unique kitchenware and is a completely stocked kitchen with an island large enough for our group of eleven to prepare a four course meal. Over the next hour and a half, we created four working groups to prepare Paella Valencia, Goat Cheese Baked in Spicy Tomato Sauce, Meatballs in Saffron Sauce, and Mango Sorbet with Sherry Glazed Peaches. All the ingredients were prepped for us and following Chef Beth’s recipes and instructions, we cut, chopped, seasoned, browned and baked. Of course, we had Dr. Arno Sandoval and Dr. Seok Lee, Solae’s PHD meat scientists, preparing and cooking the meatballs and Erin our own UC Davis food technologist helping Marty with the paella. Kathy and Claudio made a wonderful mango sorbet accompanied by glazed peaches. Tim and Don prepared garden fresh roma tomatoes, blended and baked in oven proof ramekins covered with slices of goat cheese, fresh thyme, olive oil, and a hint of paprika. (When you take a class they prep the ingredients, provide recipes, preparation methods, and of course do the dishes – it’s easy!)
Oh, and what about the Paella Valencia? It was delicious! A fine mixture of chicken, Spanish chorizo, mussels, shrimp, fresh tomatoes and peas, and special paella rice made in a special paella pan, it was perfecto!!
How is this relevant? Just when you think you’ve had enough, try something different:
Special Calasparra rice with a creamy texture
Dry aged sausage or a little lamb instead of pork
A pinch of unique spice like saffron or smoked paprika
What about green mango with honey?
Let caramelized sugars in roasted tomatoes take the edge off sour goat cheese
What else is new that might inspire you?