Sunday, April 10, 2011

Easy Surf and Turf Paella

Chicken Broth and Diced Tomato
Featured Ingredients: Chicken Broth X 2 and Petite Diced Tomatoes

I miss my blog.  I started a new job on Wednesday.  Back in Marketing, the old 9 to 5 grind... but really, who in Marketing works 9 to 5?  After the 25 mile commute against traffic and wolfing down whatever my husband threw together for dinner, chasing down my boys to do homework, walking the dog, or working out, there is not much energy left to cook. I don't have the pleasure of the extra time anymore. 

On the flip side, my culinary choices are based now even more on recipes with fewer ingredients or things that can simmer or bake so I can multi-task. So now Uncanny Goodness really lives up to its Time Saving philosophy.

That said, what's easier than the one pot meal.  Now that the snow and ice dams have melted, the trees are budding and robins are scurrying around, stew weather is behind us.  But the crisp spring air is perfect for a satisfying paella.

I make mine with chorizo. Chorizo is available in varying degrees of heat. I used this kind:

It says it's hot, but it was a mild heat. Only a little more kick than kielbasa.(Trust me I'm a wuss when it comes to spicy food.) Whole Foods sells a really good chorizo, which I wouldn't classify as hot. If hot is your thing, you can use Andouille or Linguica or a hotter Chorizo.

I also add chicken.  This is a great way to use up leftover cooked chicken, from say a store-bought rotisserie chicken.  Finally, to me, a paella is not complete without some form of seafood, so I add shrimp.  My older son and I are the only shrimp eaters.  So in this case, I saute them separately and place them on the plate that wants them.  By cooking and adding them last minute, this also ensures that the shrimp don't get overdone and gummy.  Plus it takes not time to cook them in a saute pan.

Easy Surf and Turf Paella - Serves 8

Extra virgin olive oil as needed
12 oz. package or 4 links chorizo sausage sliced into about 1/2 in rounds
1 medium onion finely chopped
1 cup diced red pepper
2 gloves garlic minced
1 1/2 cups long grain white rice
1/4 tsp turmeric (turns rice yellow and cheaper than saffron)
1 14.5 oz. cans diced tomatoes, undrained
2 14.5 oz. cans low sodium chicken broth
1 cup diced cooked chicken 
1 cup frozen peas, thawed
salt and pepper to taste
24 shrimp, shelled and deveined (less if not everyone is a shrimp eater)
1/2 lemon for lemon juice
1/4 cup parsley, finely chopped

In a heavy 12 inch pan, heat 1 tbsp oil over medium heat.  Saute chorizo about 4-5 minutes until it starts to brown.  Remove from pan.  Add red pepper and saute about 2 minutes to start cooking process, scraping up brown bits.  Remove to the pan with sausage.  Add onion and saute until translucent 3 to 4 minutes.  Add rice and toast a few minutes until you start to see translucent grains 1 to 2 minutes.

Stir in turmeric, tomatoes and broth, scraping any more brown bits. Stir in chicken.  Heat to a boil and reduce to a low simmer.   To borrow a line from Guy Fieri... Everybody in the pool.

Cover and simmer for 15 minutes.  Check liquid level and doneness of rice.  Add a little water if needed Stir in peas. NOTE: the peas will also release a little water.  Cook about 5 more minutes.  Finish with parsley.

Separately, squeeze a little lemon juice on your shrimp.  I usually put them in a colander with a bowl underneath.  Heat a non-stick saute pan with 1 tbsp olive oil.  Add shrimp and saute. Turn shrimp over when you start to see pink underneath.  Shrimp should take more than 5 minutes to cook.  When they are pink and begin to curl they should be done.  

Plate paella and top with shrimp.

Easy Surf and Turf Paella

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