Gwyneth Paltrow burned the hell out of her homemade vegetarian paella, right?

Gwyneth Paltrow fancies herself an expert and an intellectual. She studied abroad in Spain when she was a kid, and she spent a lot of time in Spain as an adult, vacationing there and filming a PBS docu-series on Spanish cuisine with Mario Batalli. When she branded herself as a cookbook-writer, she included many recipes which were Spanish in origin (just goopified) and many Spanish dishes in general. The point is that Gwyneth loves Spain and Spanish cuisine.

So Gwyneth decided to cook a Spanish dish as a way to direct money to God’s Love We Deliver, a nonprofit which delivers meals to people dealing with serious illnesses. She posted a video onto Instagram, showing how she made her special version of vegetarian paella. Her method, from what I can see, is completely solid – saute the onion, garlic and vegetables (I think she’s using leeks) first in a paella pan while simmering the vegetable broth in a second pan. Put the rice into the paella pan and allow the rice to first develop a “crust” alongside the veggies. Then add the broth and simmer. Gwyneth added raw artichokes and frozen peas as the rice simmered – the peas are fine, but those artichokes look gross to me (I’m not an artichoke person though).

The thing is… ideally, for the finished paella, the rice on the bottom of the paella pan – in Spanish, the socarrat – should be toasted, crusty and brown. The rice on the bottom of the paella pan should not utterly f–king black and burnt. Which is what Gwyneth did. Look at the photo of the finished paella! She burnt the f–k out of HALF the rice in her dish. Which really makes me question how she managed to brand herself a celebrity cookbook-writer, honestly. Still, I mean – this was for charity. Good on her for doing something for charity. But now I really wonder if Gwyneth kind of sucks as a cook?

Spanish Royals Video Conference at Zarzuela Palace

Gwyneth Paltrow walks with a friend on Prince Street in Soho, New York

Photos courtesy of WENN, Backgrid and IG.

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29 Responses to “Gwyneth Paltrow burned the hell out of her homemade vegetarian paella, right?”

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  1. manda says:

    I got some vegetarian paella once and it was so bland.

  2. Powermoonchrystal says:

    My favorite paella included seafood, but it does look burned. Cooking rice in general is an art, for it to have the right consistency and flavor, and it is very important when cooking paella.

    • manda says:

      cooking rice IS an art and I am very far from mastering it. Thank goodness for my zojirushi rice cooker!

      • Ali says:

        The spilled rice all over the stove top bugged the heck out of me. Mostly because I doubt she cleans her own messes up.

        Peas and rice….yum!

      • Pineapple says:

        Ali … I noticed the same thing! The rice on the stovetop bothered me too! And I also thought, why would she care? She doesn’t clean it.

        Oh, the stories housekeepers could tell. XO

  3. Eleonor says:

    Spanish cuisine is AMAZING!

  4. MCV says:

    spaniard here- that paella it’s indeed a little bit burned but the best paella is the one with “socarrat” which is the caramelized layer that is created between the paella and the rest of the rice so I would say she’s on the right path. The original recipe of paella is from Valencia and they do it like that.

    • Tchotchke says:

      I wish I’d seen your comment before commenting, but yes! As someone with Spanish family, the socarrat is often the most fought-over part of the paella. I know we’re supposed to hate Gwyneth over here, but the woman does know food, especially Spanish food. Let’s save the criticism for her plenty of other flaws, k?

    • Anon says:

      Hubby agrees on the socarrat. And he also says it’s all about the pan used and then the heat on the grill……..socarrat is crispy and brown, not black

  5. CidyKitty(CidySmiley) says:

    True comment: never had a paella that I liked outside of when i went on a school trip to Spain in middle school. I have tried and failed time and time again to make it, and I’ve just stopped ordering it at resturants. But I have such fond memories of that one that I had that I wish it could be recreated

  6. Dude says:

    Geez pull your hair back when cooking. Gross

  7. Lisa says:

    That does not look good.

  8. BYk says:

    there are several “mistakes” in her paella to be called a real paella (i.e. frozen peas!!!) , but I’m not a cuisine taliban like others, I like when people have their own version of traditional recipes. Having said that, nope, she did NOT burn her paella, actually in Spain the slightly burnt crust at the bottom is considered normal and a good thing and at the end of the meal there’s real fights about who gets to eat the crust, it tastes delicious.

    • Kate says:

      This👆 I just learnt about fighting over the burnt bits from my Catalonian sister in law. They take it seriously

  9. Leah says:

    Yes, I’ve been to Spain a couple of times and quite remember eating paella at a few restaurants and some of them would scrape the bottom of the dish for you as a kind of service courtesy and they all had this layer of crisp dish on the bottom.

  10. Esmom says:

    I’d say it looks borderline burnt. I’d eat it and enjoy it but I get why some people wouldn’t like it. It actually looks really good to me. *runs and hides*

  11. L says:

    At one time, I took a class on writing about food. One of the people there said this: ‘Anyone can write about food. But the people who are really good are good cooks. When you’re cooking in camera you don’t have room to screw it up.’ I think Gwennies family and friends told her she was a good cook and she took that as ‘I’m a celebrity chef.’

  12. Lucy2 says:

    I’ll give her credit for promoting a great charity.

  13. Mabs A'Mabbin says:

    The trick is getting a yummy crunch without the bitter blackness, right before it’s burned. It’s a skill to be sure, and hers falls flat and not rich. Hers looks a bit like stir-fried rice lol. I like mine brimming with all sorts of things and lots of color. If you Google paella, you’ll see what I mean. Lots of reds and greens and chunky with proteins and/or veggies. When I’ve cooked this delicious dish, I’ve never focused as much on the socarrate as maybe I should’ve because I’m all about the rest of it, lol, but it’s like a Spanish jambalaya and vice-versa. My husband is Cajun so meaty spiced up rice dishes are always on the menu crunch or no crunch. Just nothing burnt pretty please.

  14. Tiffany says:

    Judging by the photos that show that there is still more of it left than anything else, I’m gonna go with yes and it did not taste very good.

  15. Tchotchke says:

    No, paella is supposed to have burnt/caramelized crust on the bottom of the pan. It is called the “socarrat” and it’s delicious and a key part of properly-made paella.

  16. Missskitttin says:

    The “Socarrat” does look legit actually. I think Im going to make a Paella tonight. Craving.

  17. Jaded says:

    I actually use the exact same rice when I make paella, it’s sort of like risotto rice, a short-grain, creamy rice. One thing she did wrong though was the cooking instructions on the back of the bag say you’re supposed to soak it in water for a few minutes before you put it in the pan to remove some of the surface starch, otherwise it tends to go kind of gooey.

  18. ana says:

    This paella don’t look so Catholic…says my Yaya sitting in heaven.

  19. mika says:

    Im just here to say that I hate how she pronounces “Paella”.

  20. whatIthink says:

    burning the bottom of rice dishes is very common is Moorish Cuisine.