Friday, March 25, 2011

Seafood and Chorizo Paella

Have you ever had paella?  Better yet, have you ever made it?  Both are quite an experience!  

Bo loves to make paella, so it isnt uncommon for us to make it at least once a year so we decided it was time to purchase a paella (pan) that would correctly conduct the heat and could be used on the grill!  So what you are seeing in these pics is the inaugural use of the paella on the Big Green Egg.

We began by frying the chorizo then removing it to cook the veggies.

After that the rice is added along with the hot saffron broth I had been simmering in the kitchen

Finally the mussels and shrimp make their appearance.

Between the chorizo and its oil infusing throughout and being cooked over natural wood charcoal, it was a beautiful smoky dish with perfectly plumped rice.

Now dont discount this if you dont like seafood, or red meat.  Paella is made with chicken, pork, seafood....there are so many recipes and most are made on the stove top or oven.  Just do some research and try one!  PS - paella makes a lot of food, so grab some company and be prepare to impress! 

Grilled Seafood and Chorizo Paella (Sunset Cookbook)

2 pounds ripe tomatoes, cut in half
1 medium onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
2 tablespoons minced garlic
5 teaspoons sweet Spanish paprika*
2 teaspoons kosher salt
4 cups Spanish Valenciano or Arborio rice
24 mussels, scrubbed, beards pulled off
24 small littleneck clams, scrubbed (we doubled the mussels and left out the clams)
24 shelled, deveined medium shrimp with tails (3/4 pound; 36 to 42 per pound)
1 1/4 pounds fully cured or semicured Spanish chorizo, cut into thin diagonal slices
1 teaspoon saffron threads
9 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth, divided
2 cups dry white wine
7 tablespoons olive oil, divided (for grilling) (We discovered that only about half of this oil is needed)
Coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley

Coarsely grate tomatoes into a bowl and discard skins. Put onion and bell peppers in another bowl. Measure garlic, paprika, and salt into a small bowl. Put rice, seafood, and chorizo each in a separate bowl.

Toast saffron in a large saucepan over medium heat, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add 6 cups broth and the wine, cover, bring to a boil, and keep hot. In a small saucepan, boil remaining broth; keep hot.

Heat grill to medium (350° to 450°). Bring prepped ingredients to grill, along with a long-handled wooden spoon, a slotted spoon, and oven mitts. For charcoal add 15 briquets to fire just before cooking and cook with lid off until adding seafood. For gas keep lid closed as you cook.

Heat a 17-in. paella pan on grill. Add 3 tbsp. oil to pan, then brown chorizo, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer chorizo back to bowl.

Sauté onion and peppers in pan until onion is softened, 5 minutes. Stir in tomatoes and cook, stirring often, until liquid evaporates and paste turns a shade darker, 10 to 12 minutes. Stir in the remaining 1/4 cup oil and the garlic mixture; cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Stir in rice, then pat it level.

Carefully pour hot saffron liquid over rice and scatter chorizo on top. Adjust position of grill if necessary so grill and liquid in pan are level. Maintain a steady simmer for 12 minutes, reducing heat (for gas) or airflow through vents (for charcoal grill) if needed.

Pour enough hot plain broth over paella so rice is just covered. Arrange mussels around rim of pan, almost touching, pushing them into liquid. Distribute remaining seafood over paella.

Cover grill. Cook until clams and mussels open and rice is al punto (al dente), 6 to 10 minutes. Remove paella from grill, drape with paper towels, and let stand about 5 minutes. Scatter parsley on top.

*Find sweet (unsmoked) Spanish paprika in the spice aisle or at

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