Grilled Summer Paella

grilled summer paellaIt may sound strange to "grill" paella -- it's a rice dish, after all, right?

But Grilled Summer Paella is a twist on the classic Spanish dish that features grilled ingredients -- bell pepper, onions, shrimp, clams, and sausage -- stirred into a savory dish of rice, garlic, and saffron slow-cooked on the stove. It's close to the original recipe, but grilling gives it that bright and summery flavor. It's a perfect match for a glass of chilled Spanish white wine or even rose. Cheers!

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Grilled Summer Paella adapted from Eating Well

Ingredients

  • 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 arborio
  • 12 hard-shell clams or mussels
  • 10 ounces raw spicy turkey or chicken sausage links
  • 1/2 cup frozen baby peas, thawed
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh parsley

Instructions

1. Grill bell peppers over medium-hot grill, 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.

2. 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.

3. Thread shrimp onto three 12-inch skewers. Lightly coat with olive oil spray.

4. Heat oil in a paella pan or large skillet over medium heat. Add the bell peppers, onion, and garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant -- about 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.

5. 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.

6. While the rice is cooking, 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 -- about 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.

7. 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. Scatter the sausage and seafood plus any accumulated juices over the rice and sprinkle with parsley.


Image via jules: stonesoup/Flickr

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