Sunday, January 4, 2009

Passionate for Paella!

There is something to be said about the power of suggestion. The force was strong last night indeed! I was watching "Spain...On The Road Again" on PBS, a food and travel show with Claudia Bassols, Mario Batali, Mark Bittman, and Gwyneth Paltrow. In the series the four travel all around Spain sampling the best wines and foods the country has to offer. In last night's episode Mario and Gwyneth traveled to Valencia to experience their infamous paella. They had it cooked for them on an outdoor grill over wood from orange trees. As Mario and Gwyneth articulated on the smoky flavor, texture of the dish and how delicious the crispy bits from the bottom of the pan (the best part!) were my mouth was watering and I knew I had to make it for dinner tonight! Enjoy my version of paella!

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 lb large shrimp (cleaned and deveined)
2 hot turkey sausages removed from their casings
1 yellow onion finely chopped
4-5 chopped garlic cloves
1 jar of diced or whole pimentos (dice them if they come whole)
1/2 cup chopped fresh grape tomatoes
1 tsp smoked paprika (add more if you want more smoky flavor)
1 tsp saffron
1 tsp salt
1 cup homemade lobster stock (or store bought fish stock)
1/2-1 cup chicken stock
2 cups rice (white, or I used basmati)

Shrimp marinade:
Juice of 1 lime
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp sweet paprika
1 tbsp onion powder
1 tbsp dried thyme
1 tsp cayenne pepper

Add all the shrimp marinade ingredients together and let shrimp sit in it while you prepare the other ingredients (about ten minutes)
Put 2 tbsp oil in large pan/paella pan over medium high heat. Add marinated shrimp once pan is heated, cook shrimp 2-3 minutes per side, remove from pan and set aside for later. Add diced onion and cook for about 5 minutes, add garlic and turkey sausage and brown sausage. Next add tomatoes and pimentos for about 3 minutes. Add salt, saffron, smoked paprika and cook for another 5 minutes. Next add the lobster/fish stock, bring to a boil and cook for 5 minutes, add the rice and stir well to distibute it all evenly. Cook without stirring for 10 minutes. Reintroduce shrimp to the paella, stirring in, add more salt if so needed and more smoked paprika if you desire if you so desire (to replicate the outdoor grilled flavor) Add 1/2- 1 cup chicken stock now depending on how dry the paella is. Now cook again without stirring for 10-15 minutes more or until all the liquid is almost completely absorbed and you hear the pan make a crackling noise (it's a good thing!) Remove from heat and let it rest before serving.
Tip: When serving give everyone a few bits of the bottom of the pan goodness!

Wine Pairing Suggestion:
2003 Rincon del Baron Double Blanc
A Mexican wine that my friend Robin Mackenzie gave me, it's crisp with a hint of sweetness that was perfect with the heat from the paella spices

1 comment:

JSchwo said...

oh MAN this looks good. And I was looking for a use for the pimenton I bought at Peta Negro in PB