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Paella on the grill

Posted by Jeanne on November 7, 2010

If this post makes limited sense, you’ll have to forgive me – Kim and Adam’s wedding was last night and I am SO TIRED.

They got wed, we all danced our butts off, and a good time was had by all.

Also there was amazing cake from Cake Lady Karen, and DONUTS!

On Friday night, we had plans to meet up with their friends in town from Chicago for the wedding.  Curt’s friend Scott, who is a CIA-trained chef, and his lovely girlfriend Andrea stayed with us, and he wanted to make paella on the grill before we went. We based it on the recipe that appears in this post.

We got some baby squid to grill too.

It’s hard to photograph raw squid and have it not look like a pile of innards.

Do they look prettier like this?   I think we should probably abandon ship on squid photography.

Vegetarian paella, on the grill

0.5 cup water

A heavy pinch of saffron threads

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 red bell pepper, diced

1 medium onion, diced

1 9-ounce package frozen baby artichokes, thawed, quartered (I actually use the marinated jarred ones)

2 large cloves garlic, minced

1.5 cups paella rice, Arborio rice, or medium-grain white rice

4 cups stock or broth (we used veggie)

1 TB smoked paprika

2 cups chopped chard or spinach

1 15-ounce can great northern rinsed, drained (I used about 1.5 cup of cooked dried beans)

1 cup frozen peas

A couple of pretty tomatoes wedged for garnish (I used a handful of frozen pear tomatoes)

Salt

Light your grill and get it pretty darn hot – this post says high heat means that you can only hold your had 5 inches above the flame for 1 second.  I would go for about 3 seconds.  Keep in mind you may have to add more coals to keep the grill at temperature.

Bring water to a boil in small saucepan or teakettle. Add saffron and steep for 10 to 15 minutes.

Heat olive oil a 10-inch cast iron skillet on your grill until warmed.  Add bell pepper and onion and sauté until onion is golden, about 8 minutes.

Add artichokes and garlic and sauté 5 minutes.  Add rice and stir to coat with oil.

Add stock, paprika, spinach, and beans and stir to combine. Add saffron water, paprika and salt. Cook about 15 minutes; don’t stir.

Sprinkle peas over the paella, and top with the garnish tomatoes.  Cook about 15 to 20 more minutes without stirring, until all stock is absorbed and a nice crust has formed on the bottom of the rice.

We didn’t get as much developed crust as I would have liked, but we did get some!  Next time I won’t be as afraid to just leave it on the grill.  It also started to get really, really dark so we don’t have pictures of the later cooking stages.  Damn winter.

And alas, my squid earrings were grilled as well after marinating in some rosemary and garlic and olive oil.  They made better dinner than they did earrings.

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