I couldn’t be more excited to partner this holiday with my friends @oliveoilworldtourus for a culinary destination to the breathtaking coastal waters of the Mediterranean. Inspired by the traditional paellas of Valencia, this surf and turf paella is prepared in cast iron over live fire with a short grain arborio rice, caramelized onion and roasted garlic, a homemade savory chicken stock infused with saffron, spicy cheshire pork chorizo, a bounty of low country crawfish, breathtaking Kauai Prawn and lobster tails freshly-harvested from the icy depths of the North Atlantic Ocean, all finished with an aromatic garden of seasonal herbs and a splash of @oliveoilsspain extra virgin olive oil. Paired with a beautiful glass of Spanish Rioja Gran Reserva and a slow view of a late summer sunset here in the rustic north of pure Michigan.
Olive oil is foundational to paella and both historical and modern Spanish-style cooking. Olive oils produced in Spain represent 8 of the top 10 extra virgin olive oils awarded anywhere in the world. @OliveOilsSpain finds a home in my pantry because of it’s quality and consistency, excellence in flavor and variety of unique aroma characteristics, cultivating the baseline for memorable live fire fare and a feast for all the senses.
-Cheers and long live the adventure, David
Tortilla de Patatas – Valencia-Inspired Lobster and Prawn Paella over Wood Fire
- 4 1/2 cups chicken stock
- 1/2 teaspoon saffron threads
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 cup Olive Oils of Spain Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 yellow onion, finely chopped
- 1/2 red pepper, finely chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 6 ounces ground chorizo sausage
- 3 cups arborio rice
- 14 ounces fire-roasted diced tomatoes
- 1 cup frozen green peas
- 1/2 pound calamari
- 1 pound large prawn, peeled and deveined, with tails left on
- 1 pound mussels, rinsed and scrubbed
- 1 pound crawfish
- 4 lobster tails, chopped in half and cleaned
- 1/4 cup chopped parsley, for garnish
- Kosher salt and fresh ground peppercorn, to taste
- 1 Preheat the grill: Heat a gas grill to medium-high heat (375ºF), or light a charcoal grill and let burn until the charcoal is covered with gray ash.2 Steep the saffron: In a saucepan over medium heat, bring the stock to a boil. Add the saffron and salt. Turn off the heat and let the saffron steep for at least 15 minutes. Taste and add more salt, if needed.3 Cook the sofrito base: In a 12- to 14-inch stainless steel skillet or cast iron pan, heat the oil over medium heat on top of the stove. Add the onion and red pepper, and cook for 5 to 7 minutes, or until the onion is translucent. Stir in the garlic and chorizo.4 Assemble the ingredients by the grill: On a table next to the grill, set the skillet with the sofrito, the rice, tomatoes, infused stock, salt, peas, shrimp, mussels, and clams.5 Begin cooking the paella: Set the skillet with the sofrito on the grill. Add the rice, and cook, stirring often, for 4 to 5 minutes, or until the rice is coated with oil and lightly toasted.Stir in the stock, tomatoes, and peas. Taste for seasoning and add more salt, if you like.Spread the rice evenly over the bottom of the pan. Close the grill cover and simmer the rice without stirring for 15 minutes, or until the rice absorbs most of the stock. If the mixture looks dry, pour about 1 cup of hot water over it, but do not stir.6 Add the seafood: Nestle the mussels and clams into the rice with the hinge sides up so they release their juices into the rice. Arrange the shrimp around the shellfish.Cover the pan with foil, close the grill and cook for 6 to 10 minutes longer (depending on the heat of your grill), or until the rice and shrimp are both cooked through and the mussels and clams are open. (Discard any shellfish that remain tightly shut once everything else is cooked.)7 Check to see if the bottom is browned: Slip a spatula under the rice and check to see if you have achieved the elusive golden brown socarrat. If not, set the pan over the heat, uncovered, for a few minutes to lightly caramelize the bottom.Sprinkle with parsley and bring the whole pan to the table for serving.