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Q-talk *ON TOPIC ONLY* QUALITY ON TOPIC discussion of Backyard BBQ, grilling, Equipment and just outdoor cookin' in general, hints, tips, tricks & techniques, success, failures... but stay on topic. And watch for that hijacking.


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Unread 08-12-2012, 10:06 AM   #1
chingador
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Default Paella on the Primo XL

There have been some excellent threads lately on Paella on the grill. Paella is one of my favorite things to cook on my Primo. I have made it several times. I am by no means an expert on Paella but I enjoy the finished product.

I first want to start by saying that most of my guidance on how to do this was learned from the Naked Whiz. If you want to learn how to cook Paella on a ceramic grill this is the perfect place to start:

http://www.nakedwhiz.com/paella/paella.htm

I cooked my Paella on my Primo XL grill. I used an 18" Paella pan. It fits perfectly. I bought it online. It is a standard steel Paella pan, not frills. It will rust so you have to take care of it.

They say that traditional Paella is made from rabbit and snails only. I am not a traditional guy, so I like to make mine from chicken or pork + seafood. Headed off to Central Market in the morning and picked up my ingredients. Here is the ingredient list:

stock:
1 pound chicken wings
2 celery ribs
1 onion quartered
1 red bell pepper quartered
4 cloves of garlic
2 links spanish chorizo
3 quarts of water
salt and pepper to taste

Paella:
3 cups Bomba rice
6 cups (plus a half of cup in reserve)
heavy pinch Spanish saffron
1.5 cups fine chopped spanish onion
1 cup fine chopped red bell pepper (I went a little heavier on the red bell)
1 cup diced roma tomato
half can of petite diced tomatoes (drained)
1/2 cup chopped garlic
1 cup frozen peas
2 tablespoons smoked spanish paprika
1 teaspoon salt
1.5 pounds of wild caught gulf shrimp, peeled and diced
2 lobster tails, shelled and diced
1 pound of pork, diced
4 - 5" links of Spanish Chorizo, diced.
olive oil.

Okay, so I started off by making my stock. In a 4 quart stock pot, I combined the ingredients and allowed to simmer for 6 hours. More would be better, but this worked. A note on stock: I much prefer a chicken stock to a seafood stock. Chicken stock is a little more neutral. I have made Paella with seafood stock and it kind of overpowers the flavor profile. It is extremely overpowering when heating up leftovers in the microwave. You want your flavors in balance and you do not want to outshine all of the wonderful flavors from the Soffrito. Trust me, you will get plenty seafood flavor in the Paella from all of the seafood you add to the Paella later.

While the stock is simmering, I like to do all of my prep work, and there is a lot of it. It is extremely important to have all of your ingredients prepped before hand. This is also a great time to crack a nice bottle of wine. When you get the Paella pan up to temp it is important to have all ingredients on hand, so having a proper Mise en Place is vital here.

Okay, all of my ingredients are chopped, organized and ready to go. My stock is done. I filter off all of the solids and remove 6.5 cups to a smaller pot. I put a heavy pinch of saffron in the pot before adding the stock and toast at a medium temp for a few seconds. I add the stock, bring to a simmer to release the saffron into the stock, remove from the heat and cover to allow the saffron to steep into the stock.

Ready to light the fire. I fill the firebox 3/4 full of lump charcoal. I light a chimney of lump and allow to get completely lit. Once that happens, I add to the firebox, distributing the lit coals as evenly as possible. I then put on the cooking grate and close the lid with the vents all the way open. Once the temp hits 400 degrees, I open the lid and close the bottom vent. There will be plenty air to keep the temp right at this point. Put the pan on the cooking grate.

The pan will get hot quick. Add a good chug of olive oil to the pan and add the pork (or chick if you prefer) and get a good sear on it. You do not have to cook it all the way through but get a good sear all over it. Once that is done remove from the pan and place in a clean bowl( you will have time to run in and clean out the bowl that the raw meat was in).

Now it is time to make the soffrito. Here is my thought on soffrito. It is a layered flavor thing, so do not add all ingredients to the pan at once. Start out by adding the onions and red bell peppers. Sautee them until they are a little transparent. The pan will have some brown bits stuck to it from the pork. The vegetables will pick these up off of the pan.

Once the onions and peppers are where you like them, add the garlic. Now the garlic will want to stick to the pan and overcook. You only want to sautee the garlic for a minute or so.

Now add the Spanish Chorizo. As Emeril says, it is a pork fat thing. The pork and garlic add a wonderful layer of flavor and are the essential base of flavor to what we are doing. At this point, you might have too much garlic sticking to the pan. Not a problem. Just deglaze the pan with some wine. Red or white, doesn't matter. Now wine? Use some cognac or brandy instead. No booze at all? a little water would be fine.

Now add the tomatoes, paprika and salt. Sautee it down until the tomatoes are fully cooked down and the soffrito is paste like. Once this is done, add the pork back to the soffrito and now you are ready to move on.

Once the soffrito is where you like it, add the rice and fry until the rice is a little clear. Should only take a couple minutes. Now you want to add the stock. Important note. You want the stock to be hot, so make sure it is. Give it a good stir to make sure the rice is as evenly distributed as possible. VERY IMPORTANT NOTE: This is the last time you stir.

Close the lid and regulate the temperature to 350 degrees. Normally they say that looking is not cooking. That is not true for Paella. Do not stress out about the temperature if you are having trouble getting to 350. A little over wont kill you either but way over will. Be vigilant and do your best to keep the temp around 350. You want to peek in to make sure things are cooking evenly. You might notice that one half of the pan is bubbling harder than the other. IF this is the case, rotate the pan often for even cooking.

You do not want to add the seafood and peas until the liquid is reduced enough until you can see all of the rice. Trust me, there will be plenty of heat to cook the seafood.

Once the seafood is added you really want to be paying attention. You want the paella to be burned a little on the bottom. This is the soccorat and is considered a delicacy. Get a heavy spoon and check. You can also taste a little rice for doneness. Knowing when to remove the Paella is a true skill and you will have to work on this but don't stress out. It is all good.

Once the paella is done, remove from the pan and cover with foil and allow to rest for 10-15 minutes. Serve and enjoy
Attached Images
File Type: jpg paella 2.JPG (126.6 KB, 227 views)
File Type: jpg paella 3.JPG (103.6 KB, 223 views)
File Type: jpg paella 4.JPG (115.3 KB, 226 views)
File Type: jpg paella 5.JPG (123.1 KB, 224 views)
File Type: jpg paella 6.JPG (111.7 KB, 223 views)
File Type: jpg paella 1.JPG (110.6 KB, 220 views)
File Type: jpg paella 7.JPG (155.2 KB, 222 views)
File Type: jpg paella 9.JPG (132.6 KB, 222 views)
File Type: jpg paella 10.JPG (117.1 KB, 220 views)
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Unread 08-12-2012, 10:17 AM   #2
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That looks beautiful!
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Unread 08-12-2012, 10:40 AM   #3
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Man that looks good! Can I make that in a Dutch Oven? (My wife would consider murder if I bought another pan )
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Unread 08-12-2012, 11:26 AM   #4
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Looks great!! That XL is nice!
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Unread 08-12-2012, 04:02 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DerHusker View Post
Man that looks good! Can I make that in a Dutch Oven? (My wife would consider murder if I bought another pan )
I am sure you could. It would be the same technique as making Jambalaya I guess. Paella pans are pretty cheap all things considered.
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Unread 08-12-2012, 04:37 PM   #6
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I assume the 6 cups plus 1/2 cup reserve is stock?
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Unread 08-12-2012, 06:56 PM   #7
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yeah, I always like to have a little extra ready to go. I start with 6 cups.
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Unread 08-12-2012, 06:59 PM   #8
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Looks really good. I like your version better than the traditional.
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Unread 08-12-2012, 07:34 PM   #9
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That looks incredible I would have thought from your discription more stock would be absorbed before the schrimp and peas are added. I keep saying I am going to try to do this
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Unread 08-13-2012, 09:36 AM   #10
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the picture really doesn't show it that well, but when the seafood was added, the stock was well below the rice. As the stock continues to reduce it will steam the seafood and the peas. The picture I took right after I added the stock came out horrible. I wish I had one I could use.
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