Summer Heat: Paella on the Grill
I love grilling, however, I feel fire is a man thing.
Smokers, charcoal, soaking hardwoods until they are just right, flame dousing, grill marks................X chromosome.
I have an infrared grill.
It's like an outdoor oven. No flame ever licks my food, however, it still achieves a grilled result.
I love it. It's Y chromosome friendly, and I am not planning on being a pit master anytime soon (though pit "Mistress" does sound kind of interesting...........).
I use my grill all summer long for spatchcock chickens and cedar plank fish. Burgers and dogs are not my thing, but a nice piece of marinated flank steak, yes please.
I love paella, but never enjoy the process, and I never am able to achieve that "soccarat", the layer of burned, wonderful rice at the bottom of the pan.
If you have a cast iron skillet, then I promise, you will never make paella on the stove again!
This was so easy and SO GOOD!
Have everything ready to go, sliced, chopped, measured. Mise en place.
Make sure you have a nice little area to work outside with all your utensils, and don't forget the pot holders please.
That handle is HOT.
The original recipe calls for squid, along w/ cockles, shrimp, crab legs and chorizo.
I only had shrimp and chorizo in the freezer, and it was perfect. Feel free to use any combination of seafood you like best.
I used a good chorizo from Spain, and I added peas.
I grilled my red peppers along side w/ the paella, but feel free to use sliced peppers from a jar.
This dish gets 5 stars. *****
Easy Grilled Paella (adapted from Pete Evans in Food & Wine):
3 cups fish stock or low-sodium chicken broth
1/2 pound large shrimp, shelled and deveined, shells reserved
Pinch of saffron threads, crumbled
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
6 ounces fresh chorizo (2 small links), sliced 1/2 inch thick
2 ripe tomatoes, finely chopped (I used a small can of fire roasted tomatoes w/ chilis)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon smoked paprika (pimenton)
1 1/2 cups Calasparra or arborio rice (about 10 ounces)
1/2 pound cleaned squid—bodies halved lengthwise, scored in a crosshatch pattern and cut into 2-inch pieces
1 pound cockles, scrubbed
1/2 pound jumbo lump crab
1 cup roasted red peppers (5 ounces), cut into strips
handful of frozen peas
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
Hot sauce and lemon wedges, for serving
First, prepare the stock.
In a large saucepan, combine the stock with the shrimp shells and saffron. Squeeze in the lemon, add the half to the saucepan and bring to a simmer. Remove from the heat and let stand for 10 minutes. Strain the broth and discard the solids.
Or.....you could cheat, and use a good boxed stock, squeeze in the lemon juice and pinch of saffron and heat up in the microwave if you like. I won't tell anyone.
Meanwhile, light your grill.
Place a large flameproof skillet (I used a 12" cast iron skillet) on the grill and heat the olive oil in it.
Add the chorizo, cover the skillet and close the grill. Cook over high heat until the chorizo is sizzling and lightly browned, about 5 minutes.
Add the tomatoes, garlic and smoked paprika, cover the skillet, close the grill and cook, stirring once or twice, until the tomatoes are softened, about 5 minutes.
Add the rice and stir to coat with the tomato mixture.
Stir in the shrimp broth. Cover the skillet, close the grill and cook until half of the broth has been absorbed, about 10 minutes.
It's starting to look like paella!
Stir in the shrimp, and rest of the seafood. Cover the skillet, close the grill and cook until the rice is al dente and has formed a beautiful crust on the bottom and side of the skillet and the seafood is cooked, about 8 minutes.
Fold in the peppers, peas and parsley and cook just until heated through.
Serve with hot sauce and lemon wedges.