Last week I shared my culinary memories of my trip to Spain, and the week before that Jerry was talking about the grill. So this week we've decided to blend the two concepts and talk about something rather novel. And Chef Jerry Pellegrino of Schola Cooking School has figured out how to throw a Spanish classic on the barbie.
Click on the photo for recipe and instructions.
Using a grill to make paella is actually a very common sense approach, since the real thing in Spain is in fact cooked over a big old wood fired grill. You can pick up a paella pan of the proper size to suit your grill on the Internet for under $25. They are not hard to find. But measure your grill first!
Paella starts with olive oil and some of the ingredients like the meats and aromatic vegetables. The meats get browned, the veggies, such as onions, get cooked until softened. Meats are set aside, and a broth is added to the veggies. When it comes to a boil you add the rice and cook away.
Now the rice should be a variety called "bomba" which is a Spanish rice available on-line. It has the proper qualities of absorbency and starchiness to make a good paella.
Cooking a paella should not be a rush job, so take your time and enjoy a glass or two of albariño while you chat with your friends and work up an appetite.
Here are some ideas collected by Jerry and his partner Amy von Lange. These recipes have been adapted from Marimar Torres’ book ‘The Catalan Country Kitchen".
Heat oil in a paella pan over medium-high heat. Sauté the chorizo until they just start to give up some of their red oils, about 5 minutes.
Add the onions, garlic, and parsley. Cook them until they become soft and just browning in the edges, about 8 to 10 minutes. Then, add tomatoes and cook until the mixture caramelizes a bit and the flavors meld.
Fold in the rice and stir-fry to coat the grains. Pour in the stock and simmer for 10 minutes, gently moving the pan around so the rice cooks evenly and absorbs the liquid. Add the pork shanks in a symmetrical pattern around the pan.
Cook for 5 minutes and turn over, pushing the down into the rice. Add the shrimp in a symmetrical pattern around the pan and gently push them into the cooking rice. Give the paella a good shake and let it simmer, without stirring, until the rice is al dente, for about 15 minutes.
During the last 5 minutes of cooking sprinkle the peas over the rice. When the paella is cooked and the rice looks fluffy and moist, turn the heat up for 40 seconds until you can smell the rice toast at the bottom, then it's perfect. (note: The ideal paella has a toasted rice bottom called socarrat) Remove from heat and rest for 5 minutes. Garnish with parsley.