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To Paella or Not?

Written by

Deanna Budnick

Paella is a saffron-infused rice dish that is traditionally cooked in a shallow pan to create a nice, crunchy bottom. It uses a lot of ingredients, many of which are seafood, and people often find this to be a very intimidating dish to make at home. Having a triple-tested recipe with step-by-step instructions from Weber's Way to Grill, and advance preparation are the keys to tackling this delicious Spanish classic in your backyard.

Scroll all the way down for the full recipe! 

Make sure all of your ingredients are prepped and measured before you start cooking. Put them in bowls for easy transport from the kitchen to your backyard. Since each step of this recipe moves fairly quickIy, I had everything on a sheet tray on my sidetable next to the grill. 

Paella-Ingredients-on-a-Summit-Charcoal-Grill

Special equipment needed: Gourmet BBQ System Wok, or a 12-inch cast iron skillet. Using the Gourmet BBQ System is a great and fun way of grilling foods you don't normally think of to put on the grill. And no mess in the kitchen! 

The broth can be made up 2 hours ahead, and can be made using your side burner, or just on the grates. I cheated and did mine inside

Prepare the grill for direct high heat and grill the shrimp about two minutes per side, turning once. 

Shrimp-on-a-Charcoal-Grill

Once the shrimp is done cooking, place the wok on the grill directly over the charcoal. Carefully add the oil and prosciutto.

Wok-and-Grilled-Prosciutto

Add the onions, garlic and bell pepper.

Onions-Garlic-Bell-Pepper

Add the rice. Stir until everything is combined.

Adding-Rice-to-Paella

Add broth, close the lid, and let the rice simmer for about 15 minutes or until al dente. 

Adding-Broth-to-Paella

Next, add the seafood, close the lid and cook until the mussels open, about 8-10 minutes. 

Adding-Seafood-to-Paella

Enjoy with friends and family! This recipe makes enough for 6 people or 2 people with leftovers.

Seafood Paella
by Jamie Purviance

Serves: 6 to 8
Prep time: 40 minutes
Soaking time for wild mussels: 30 minutes to 1 hour
Grilling time: 35 to 37 minutes
Special Equipment: Gourmet BBQ System wok or 12-inch cast-iron skillet

Ingredients:
½         pound large shrimp (21/30 count), tails left on,shells reserved for broth
2          teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil            

Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Broth
Shells from peeled shrimp
4          cups low-sodium chicken broth
¾         cup dry white wine
2          bay leaves
1½       teaspoons smoked paprika
1          teaspoon kosher salt
½         teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
¼         teaspoon crushed saffron threads

12        live mussels, scrubbed and beards removed
3          tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4          ounces thick-sliced prosciutto, cut into ¼-inch dice
1          cup finely chopped red onion
¾         cup finely chopped red bell pepper
1          tablespoon minced garlic
2          cups medium-grain rice, such as Italian Arborio
1          cup frozen baby peas

Instructions:
1. Peel and devein the shrimp, reserving the shells to make the broth. In a large bowl toss the shrimp with the oil, and season evenly with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate until ready to grill.

2. In a medium saucepan over high heat, bring the shrimp shells and the broth ingredients to a simmer. Strain, discarding the shells and bay leaves, and reserve the broth. (The broth can be made up to 2 hours ahead.)

3. Check each mussel and discard those with broken shells, any that don’t close up when you lightly tap on their shells, and any others that feel unusually heavy because of sand trapped inside.

4. Prepare the grill for direct cooking over high heat on one side and medium heat on the other side. Brush the cooking grates clean. Grill the shrimp over direct high heat until cooked halfway, about 2 minutes, turning once (the shrimp will finish cooking in the broth). Remove from the grill and set aside to cool.

5. Place a 12-inch cast-iron skillet on the cooking grate over direct high heat. Heat the oil in the skillet. Add the prosciutto and cook, stirring occasionally, until it begins to crisp, about 3 minutes. Add the onion, bell pepper, and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes, rotating the pan for even cooking. Slide the pan away from the fire.

6. Place the skillet over direct medium heat, stir in the rice, and cook until well coated with the pan juices, about 2 minutes. Stir in the shrimp broth and the frozen peas. Close the grill lid and let the rice cook at a brisk simmer until the rice is al dente, about 15 minutes. Nestle the shrimp into the rice. Add the mussels, hinged sides down. Cook, with the grill lid closed, until the mussels open, 8 to 10 minutes. 

7. Remove from the heat, cover with aluminum foil, and let stand for 5 minutes. Serve hot from the skillet.

©2008 Weber-Stephen Products Co. Recipe from Weber’s Way to Grill™ by Jamie Purviance. Used with permission.