Paella is a Valencian rice dish originating on the east coast of Spain, which is usually cooked over an open flame. The base of Paella is prepared with Bomba rice, which is a Spanish short grain rice found in specialty stores, or online. The Soccarat, or crust formed on the bottom of a Paella, is a true artform and separates a good Paella from a great Paella.
Paella is usually prepared in a Paella Pan, easily found today at Williams Sonoma or other specialty stores and makes the perfect vessel for cooking. Saffron and paprika are classic spices in a Paella, but the other ingredients can range from meat, to seafood and assorted vegetables depending upon your tastes.
While in Spain, I’ve enjoyed several types of Paella, from lamb to chicken and even vegetarian. However, I do have a favorite, which is Seafood & Sausage Paella on the Grill. This recipe has a mix of two kinds of seafood – wild cod and prawns – as well as Spanish chorizo and kielbasa. I love the contrasting sweetness of the fish with the smoky sausage, it just gives an excellent balance to the dish.
Another great thing about Paella is it is usually served family-style right on the table, and you know how I enjoy a great meal with family. Paella is the perfect summertime meal prepared right on the grill, the ingredients are super fresh, and the weather is perfect to dine al fresco.
1 medium white onion, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound smoky kielbasa sausage, cut into 2-inch pieces
4 ounces cured Spanish chorizo (not raw chorizo), diced
1 tablespoon sweet paprika
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 cups bomba rice
1 1/2 cups crushed tomatoes
1 quart chicken broth
1 teaspoon saffron threads
1 pound wild cod, cut into chunks
1 pound wild prawns, peeled
fresh basil leaves
1. Prepare your charcoal or gas grill. If using gas, preheat to 375 degrees. Place pan on grill and drizzle with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add onion and cook for 2 minutes, while stirring. Then, add red pepper and garlic and continue to cook for 1 minute.
2. Add paprika, cayenne, salt and pepper and stir to combine, continue cooking for 1 minute. Add both sausages and cook for 2 minutes to release the flavors and caramelize slightly. Pour in the rice and spread out in the pan. Cook for 2 minutes to toast lightly.
3. Pour in the tomatoes and chicken broth and stir to combine. Add the saffron and stir. Cover the pan with grill lid and cook for 20 minutes.
5. Remove lid and place seafood on top of Paella. Do not stir. Cover again and cook for 5 minutes or until the seafood is cooked through. Top with fresh basil and serve family-style right on the table. Enjoy!