Paella started as an outdoor dish. Grilling seafood, zesty sausage and vegetables before combining them with saffron-scented rice replicates that traditional character. This takes a little planning to get everything finished as needed, but the results are worth it. The first time, for simplicity, do the grilling and slicing before cooking the rice. If you have a side-by-side grill and burner, later you can perform both tasks simultaneously, which makes you look like a cooking wizard. Note that perfectly done paella rice will be dry and the slightest bit toothsome: it's not creamy or overly moist.
From EatingWell: July/August 2007
Yield: 6 servings
Active Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
- 1 green bell pepper
- 1 red or orange bell pepper
- 1 small red onion, sliced in 1/2-inch-thick rounds
- Olive oil cooking spray
- 3/4 pound raw shrimp, (21-25 per pound), peeled and deveined, tails left on
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
- 1 scant teaspoon crumbled saffron threads
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 cups short-grain white rice, such as bomba, Valencia or arborio
- 12 hard-shell clams, such as littlenecks or cherrystones, or mussels
- 10 ounces raw spicy turkey or chicken sausage links
- 1/2 cup frozen baby peas, thawed
- 1/4 cup halved pitted briny black olives
- 1/4 cup halved pitted briny green olives
- 1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
- Preheat grill to medium-high.
- Grill bell peppers, turning occasionally, until softened and charred in spots, about 8 minutes. Coat onion slices lightly with olive oil spray and grill, flipping once, until slightly softened and beginning to caramelize, about 2 minutes per side.
- Transfer the peppers to a plastic bag and let it steam until cool enough to handle. Peel off the skins; discard the stems and seeds. Chop the peppers and onion.
- Thread shrimp onto three 12-inch skewers. Lightly coat with olive oil spray.
- Heat oil in a 13-inch paella pan or large high-sided skillet over medium heat. Add the bell peppers, onion and garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in broth, saffron and salt; bring to a boil. Add rice, stir just to combine and spread to form a thin, even layer in the pan. Reduce heat to a gentle simmer and cook the rice, uncovered, for 10 minutes.
- After 10 minutes, gently fold the outside portions of rice into the center of the pan to ensure even cooking. Continue simmering, without stirring, until the rice looks dry and is just tender (it will still be a little toothsome), about 10 minutes more. Watch carefully and be prepared to shift the pan partially off the burner as necessary to keep the rice cooking at the same rate and prevent burning.
- Meanwhile, place the skewered shrimp, clams (or mussels) and sausage on the grill. Grill the shrimp until firm and pink, 1 to 2 minutes per side. Remove from the skewers and place in a large bowl. Grill the clams (or mussels) until their shells pop open, 2 to 4 minutes total. (Discard any clams or mussels that don’t open.) Add to the bowl with the shrimp, keeping them level to avoid losing their juices. Grill the sausage, turning occasionally, until cooked through, 10 to 14 minutes. When cool enough to handle, thinly slice and add to the bowl with the seafood.
- When the rice is done, remove from the heat, cover with a lid or heavy kitchen towel and let stand for 5 minutes. Gently stir in peas and black and green olives. Scatter the sausage and seafood plus any accumulated juices over the rice and sprinkle with parsley.
- Make Ahead Tip: Prepare peppers and onion (Steps 1-3), cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days. | Equipment: Three 12-inch skewers; 13-inch paella pan or large high-sided skillet
Nutrition Per serving:
386 calories; 15 g fat (3 g sat, 7 g mono); 127 mg cholesterol; 32 g carbohydrates; 29 g protein; 2 g fiber; 683 mg sodium; 330 mg potassium.
Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin C (90% daily value), Selenium (41% dv), Iron (40% dv), Vitamin A (30% dv).
2 Carbohydrate Serving
Exchanges: 1 1/2 starch, 1 vegetable, 3 1/2 lean meat, 1 fat