Paella on the Q

I stopped into a local Spanish food store last fall and saw these cool Paella pans on display. Because I love to cook, of course, I had to have one! Now paella is traditionally cooked over a  wood fire and is made in a large quantity –  to be shared at the table, with a group of people – forks in hand. Because we were having some good friends over for dinner last night, I figured it was the perfect time to christen the pan. I have made paella before in a frying pan however in a smaller quantity and on the stove but what better way to prepare it than on a BBQ, listening to great music, sipping Spanish white wine and laughing with friends.

I didn’t really follow a strict recipe but I knew the basic ingredients – rice, shell-fish,  Spanish chorizo sausage, saffron, tomatoes, chicken broth, white wine, sweet paprika,onion,garlic …

Place the paella pan on a heated BBQ (moderate heat is best). Coat the pan with olive oil and add the rice (for 6 people I used a 750 g bag of long grain). Sauté until the rice is toasted, then, add 3 chorizo sausages, (cut into bite-size pieces), a diced red pepper, garlic, one red onion, one tomato diced, and sliced green onion. Continue to stir (here is where your friends can lend a hand). Start adding the chicken stock in small batches and continue stirring until the broth has evaporated  (I used a 900ml box of stock). Once all the stock is added and the rice is tender, season with saffron threads, paprika, salt and pepper. Next, add your shellfish – I used about 20 shrimp, shell-on and a lobster tail (meat removed and diced) – you can also vary the dish by adding chicken pieces, mussels, clams and scallops. Add small quantities of  white wine or water until the seafood is cooked. (Close the lid of the BBQ to help the process). Finish the dish with a sprinkling of chives and lemon wedges. Serve the Paella hot off the Q !

© 2012 Ann Ivy Male

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