Grilling A Paella Feast

Chef José Andrés, host of PBS' "Made In Spain" and one of Spanish cooking's most ardent missionary to the United States, says he won't rest until every American family has a paella cooking away on the backyard. He visits The Early Show to demonstrate how to make a Spanish feast con mucho sabor.

Gazpacho

I like to keep a pitcher of gazpacho in my refrigerator in the summertime. That way, I always have something cold and satisfying to share with my friends and family.

Serves 6-8

For the soup:
1 cucumber, peeled, seeded and chopped
1 green bell pepper, seeded and diced
3 pounds ripe plum tomatoes, diced
2 garlic cloves, peeled
¼ cup sherry vinegar
1/2 cup Oloroso sherry
¾ cup Spanish extra-virgin olive oil

For the garnish:
2 1 inch-thick slices rustic bread
¼ cup Spanish extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cucumber, diced
1/2 green bell pepper, seeded and diced
1/2 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
Sea salt to taste

To make the soup, combine the cucumbers, peppers, tomatoes, garlic, vinegar, sherry, olive oil and 2 cups of water in a food processor or blender. Puree the ingredients until everything is well blended into a thick pink liquid. Pour the gazpacho through a medium-hole strainer into a pitcher. Refrigerate for about 30 minutes.

For the garnish: Preheat oven to 450˚F. Cut the bread into 1-inch cubes and toss in a mixing bowl with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Spread the bread on a baking sheet and bake on the middle rack until golden brown, about 7 minutes. Set the croutons aside to cool.

To serve, put a few croutons and some of the diced cucumbers and peppers in each bowl and pour the gazpacho over them. Drizzle with the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil, top with remaining croutons, cucumbers and peppers and sprinkle with salt.

Paella De Verdures (Vegetable Paella)

Serves 6-8

1/4 cup Spanish extra-virgin olive oil
6 baby yellow squash or baby patty pan squash, halved
1 cup 1/2-inch cubed eggplant (about 1/2 of a globe eggplant)
3 cups cauliflower florets
1/2 pound fresh wild mushrooms, such chanterelles or oyster, sliced
6 baby zucchini, halved
1 teaspoon minced garlic
2 ripe plum tomatoes, diced
1/4 cup salmorra sauce (see recipe)
1 cup dry white wine
5 cups flat mineral or filtered water
Pinch of saffron
1 1/2 cups Spanish bomba or calasparra rice
3 ounces fresh or frozen green peas
3 ounce piquillo peppers, cut into 1/2-inch thick strips

Build a pyramid shaped pile of coals in the base of your Weber kettle or similar charcoal grill. You can use a chimney starter if you prefer. Light and burn until the coals start to turn gray.

You want hot coals. You'll know they're ready by the color. Another way to check: if you put your hand about 4 inches from the coals it should be very uncomfortable after 3 seconds or so. Spread out the coals to create even heat. Place the rack 3-4 inches from the coals and place an 18-inch paella pan or flat bottomed skillet on the rack. You want the pan to cover most of the grill but leaving enough space to allow air to flow around and keep the fire burning.

Heat the olive oil in the paella pan. Add the squash and brown on each side, about 2 minutes per side. Add the eggplant and cauliflower and cook for 2 minutes, then add the mushrooms, zucchini and garlic and cook for 2 more minutes. Stir in the plum tomatoes and the salmorra and cook for 1 minute. Pour in the white wine and let it reduce by half, about 2 minutes.

Crumble in the saffron into the pan and pour in the water. Once it comes to a boil, add the rice and peas and stir until well combined. Season to taste with salt and cook for 4 minutes. Do not stir the rice again!.

After 4 minutes, lay the pepper strips on top of the paella and cook for another 5 minutes. The rice should have absorbed all of the liquid now. Remove the paella from the grill, cover with a clean kitchen towel and let the paella rest for 5 minutes before serving. Serve with spoonfuls of alioli, if you like.

Arroz de pollo y setas silvestres

Chicken and wild mushroom paella on the backyard grill

2 tablespoons Spanish extra virgin olive oil
10 ounces chicken thighs (cut into 1/2" cubes)
2 cups black trumpets and small chanterelle mushrooms
1 1/2 cups Spanish rice like Bomba or Calasparra
4 ounces salmorra (récipe below)
Pinch of azafran de la Mancha (saffron)
6 cups hot chicken stock (recipe below)
Salt to taste

Build a pyramid shaped pile of coals in the base of your Weber kettle or similar charcoal grill. You can use a chimney starter if you prefer. Light and burn until the coals start to turn gray.

You want hot coals. You'll know they're ready by the color. Another way to check: if you put your hand about 4 inches from the coals it should be very uncomfortable after 3 seconds or so. Spread out the coals to create even heat. Place the rack 3-4 inches from the coals and place an 18-inch paella pan or flat bottomed skillet on the rack. You want the pan to cover most of the grill but leaving enough space to allow air to flow around and keep the fire burning.

Heat the olive oil in the paella pan. Add the chicken and sauté until browned on all sides, about 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms and sauté until they are soft, about 2 minutes. Add the salmorra in the center of the pan and briefly sauté. Add the saffron and pour in 5 cups of the hot stock.

Once the stock boils, add the rice and stir until well-combined. Set your timer for 16 minutes. After five minutes, stop stirring. Cook for remaining 11 minutes without touching the rice. The coals may have cooled down a bit, but you'll need to pay attention. Unlike a stove where you can simply lower the heat, that is not an option with a charcoal grill. You'll need to be careful here. Listen and look at the rice. If it begins to make a "crack, crack" sound like it is frying, add a little more hot stock.

After 16 minutes, the rice should have absorbed all of the liquid. Remove the paella from the grill, cover with a clean kitchen towel and let the paella rest for 5 minutes before serving. Serve with spoonfuls of alioli, if you like.

José's tips:

You add the stock first when cooking on the grill. Why? Because adding the liquid first gives you greater control when cooking the rice.
You must use a short grain rice that can stand up to the high heat of cooking over a grill without falling apart or getting mushy. Spanish rices like bomba or calasparra are perfect for this.
The intense charcoal heat will likely create a crust or socorrat. Don't worry! You haven't ruined the paella. For many the socorrat is the best part of the paella.
You can make this paella with water instead of stock although it won't be as good. Stock adds a lot of richness and flavor to the paella.

Escalivada Catalana (Catalan-style roasted vegetables)

The word escalivar means to cook over hot embers. Perfect for the backyard grill! All of the vegetables take on a smokiness from the fire.

1 medium eggplant
3 small Vidalia onions
1 red bell pepper
3 large ripe tomatoes
¼ cup Spanish extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 tablespoon sherry vinegar
Salt and white pepper to taste

Build a pyramid shaped pile of coals in the base of your Weber kettle or similar charcoal grill. You can use a chimney starter if you prefer. Light and burn until the coals turn gray.

You want hot coals. You'll know they're ready by the color. Another way to check: if you put your hand about 4 inches from the coals it should be very uncomfortable after 3 seconds or so. Spread out the coals to create even heat. Place the rack 3-4 inches from the coals and use a paella or flat bottomed skillet.

Coat all the vegetables with a thin film of olive oil. Place them on the grill. Grill the vegetables for 15 minutes turning so they char on all sides. Remove the eggplant, pepper, and tomatoes and set aside. Leave the onion on the grill for another 5 minutes until it too is soft. Remove and set aside.

By now the skins of the vegetables will be a bit charred and loose. When cool enough to handle, peel the skins off the vegetables. Seed the pepper and remove the top. Remove the top of the tomato and the eggplant with a knife.

Using your hands, tear the pepper into strips and the tomato into three or four pieces. Do the same to the eggplant. With a knife, slice the onion into rings. Mix the vegetables together and place them in a serving dish. Cover them with the ¼ cup olive oil and the sherry vinegar. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and serve.

Jose's tip If you don't have a grill, you do this in the oven. Roast the vegetables in the oven.

Salmorra (Smoky tomato garlic sauce)
Makes 2 cups

1 tablespoon Spanish extra-virgin olive oil
12 whole garlic cloves, peeled
3 ñora chili peppers (or any other dried sweet chile pepper), seeded
16 ounces canned plum tomatoes, drained
1 teaspoon sugar
1/8 teaspoon sweet pimentón (Spanish smoked paprika)

Heat the oil in a medium pot over medium heat. Add garlic and sauté until soft, about 2 minutes. Add the chili peppers and toast, stirring, for about 3 minutes, then add the tomatoes and sugar. Cook for 15 minutes or until the tomato liquid evaporates. Stir in the pimentón. Transfer the mixture to a blender and purée. Pour into a bowl, and season to taste with salt.

José's tips: This sauce can be kept in the refrigerator, covered, for up to two weeks or frozen for up to 3 months. Be sure to drizzle the top of the sauce with some olive oil before you cover it to prevent it from drying out.

Adapted from Made in Spain: Spanish Dishes for the American Kitchen (Clarkson Potter, Fall 2008)

Caldo de pescado (Traditional fish stock)

In all the fish restaurants across the Spanish coast, fish stock is the common denominator. The caldo de pescado is used for a great fish soup, to make a great paella and is the base for many traditional fish stews across the country.

Makes about 11/2 quarts

Bones of 1 whole red snapper, including the head, washed well
4 stalks parsley, washed
1 Spanish onion, peeled and halved
1 leek, washed, outer leaves removed
3 tablespoons Spanish extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup white wine

Place 3 quarts of water in a stockpot along with the fish bones and bring to the boil. Remove the white foam with the use of a ladle, which will help you create a cleaner, clearer stock at the end of it all.

Reduce the heat to low and add the remaining ingredients, including the oil and wine. Simmer for 25 to 30 minutes, cleaning the surface of the stock as any more foam appears. Remove from the heat, let it rest for 10 minutes, then strain. Keep in the refrigerator for up to 1 week or in the freezer for 3 months.

Paella de bogavante y pollo

(Lobster and chicken paella on the backyard grill)


Serves 6 - 8

People know me to be Spanish cooking's most ardent missionary to the United States. I have spent fifteen years preaching the gospel jamón and pimentón to anyone who'll listen. I have often said I wouldn't rest until every American family has a paella cooking away on the backyard Weber. That is my calling.

1/4 cup Spanish Extra Virgin Olive oil
1 2-pound whole lobster
10 oz chicken thighs (cut 1-2" cubes)
2 cups morel mushrooms
2 tablespoons salmorra [see recipe]
6 cups hot fish stock
1 pinch azafrán de la Mancha (saffron)
1 1/2 cups Spanish rice such as Bomba or Calasparra
Salt to taste

Build a pyramid shaped pile of coals in the base of your Weber kettle or similar charcoal grill. You can use a chimney starter if you prefer. Light and burn until the coals start to turn gray.

You want hot coals. You'll know they're ready by the color. Another way to check: if you put your hand about 4 inches from the coals it should be very uncomfortable after 3 seconds or so. Spread out the coals to create even heat. Place the rack 3-4 inches from the coals.

Using a sharp knife, cut up the lobster. Separate the head from the body. Discard the head or save for another use, such as stock. Separate the claws from the knuckles and slice the tail into 4 pieces. Crack the claws with the knife so they will be easy to pull apart once they are cooked. Cut the knuckles into 2 pieces.

Place an 18-inch paella pan or flat bottomed skillet on the rack of the grill. You want the pan to cover most of the grill, leaving enough space to allow for air to flow around the pan.

Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in the paella pan heat until just smoking. Add the lobster pieces and sauté about 1 minute on each side. Transfer the lobster to a plate. Pour 2 more tablespoons of the olive oil into the pan, add the chicken pieces and sauté for 2 minutes on each side. Add the morels and sauté for about one minute more. Stir in the salmorra and cook for about one minute. Pour in 5 cups of the hot stock, add the saffron and stir until well combined, about 30 seconds. Once the stock begins to bubble, stir in the rice. Set a timer for 5 minutes. Continue to stir the rice to combine with all the ingredients.

Once the five minutes is up, stop stirring. Do not touch the rice again. Set the timer for 6 more minutes. Pay attention to the coals as they may have begun to cool down. Unlike a stove where you can simply lower the heat, that is not an option with a charcoal grill. You'll need to be careful here. Listen and look at the rice. If it begins to make a "crack, crack" sound like it is frying, add a little more of the hot stock.

Once the timer goes off again, add the lobster pieces, shell-side down, to the pan. Set the timer for 5 more minutes. Again do not touch the rice!

The rice should have absorbed all of the liquid now. Remove the paella from the grill, cover with a clean kitchen towel and let the paella rest for 5 minutes before serving. Serve with spoonfuls of alioli, if you like.

Jose's tips:

  • You add the stock first when cooking on the grill. Why? Because adding the liquid first gives you greater control when cooking the rice.

  • You must use a short-grain rice that can stand up to the high heat of cooking over a grill without falling apart or getting mushy. Spanish rices like bomba or calasparra are perfect for this.

  • The intense charcoal heat will likely create a crust or socorrat. Don't worry! You haven't ruined the paella. For many the socorrat is the best part of the paella.

  • You can make this paella with water instead of stock although it won't be as good. Stock adds a lot of richness and flavor to the paella.

  • CBSNews

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