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Sunday, April 10, 2016

Paella on the Grill

Part of the festivities last weekend at The Ironman BBQ competition was a friendly, informal Paella cooking throw down between a few of the teams.  No cash or trophies were on the line.  Just bragging rights.  Sometimes, bragging rights are enough.  The only problem, I have made Paella exactly twice before in my life.  Once on the stove and once a month or so ago on the grill to prove to myself that it could be done.  My grill experiment was a partial success.  Based upon those results, I dove into the competition headfirst.  What else is there to do the night before a BBQ competition, right?

I decided on a seafood Paella.  Scallop to be precise.  Here is the ingredient list:

Three Dogs BBQ Grilled Scallop Paella

1 lb. Frozen Dried Bay Scallops
1 16 oz. can of Clam Stock
1 16 oz. can of Chicken Stock
1 lb of bulk Chorizo sausage
2 cups of Arborio or other short grain rice
1/4 cup of minced Sun Dried Tomatoes packed in oil
1/2 Tablespoon of oil from the Sundried Tomatoes for sautéing
1 Small to Medium Sweet Onion, roughly diced
4 Cloves of Garlic, minced
2 Pinches of Saffron Threads
2 Tablespoons of quality Spanish paprika.  I used the smoked variety
2 Teaspoons of Garlic Powder
2 Teaspoons of Onion Powder
1 Teaspoon ground black pepper
1 Teaspoon of Sea Salt
1/4 Teaspoon of Cumin
A couple dashes of Thyme and Oregano
One Jalapeño and about 1/2 cup of thawed Peas for garnish
Garlic Parmesean Aioli for garnish

To start, I lit one chimney full of charcoal and placed about 1/2 a chimneys worth of charcoal off to one side of my Weber kettle.  Once the coals were ready, I spread them off to one side, put the grill rack in place, and heated up my nine quart cast iron dutch oven with 1/2 tbsp of the tomato oil.  Once the oil was hot, I added my chorizo.  I stirred the sausage until it was starting to turn brown and crumbly. At this point, I added the minced garlic, onion, and sun dried tomato and sautéed this mixture, stirring fairly constantly, until the onions were getting translucent.

Next, I added the rice and allowed the mixture to cook for five minutes, stirring occasionally.  Finally,  I added the dry spice mixture and sautéed this mixture for five more minutes.

Next, I added the clam and chicken stock along with my scallops, stirred the mixture thoroughly, placed the cover on the Dutch Oven and the grill, and walked away for 30 minutes.  While waiting on the rice to absorb the liquid, I thinly sliced my jalapeño and prepared my aioli.

Garlic Parmesean Aioli

1/4 cup of mayonnaise
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 Tbsp of grated parmesan cheese
Juice of one lemon
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp of ground black pepper
Enough olive oil to make the mixture mobile

After 30 minutes of simmer time on the grill, the rice mixture was almost done.  At this point I added my sliced jalapeño and peas and replaced the cover on the Dutch Oven for 10 more minutes.  Then, I removed the Dutch Oven from the grill and let sit for 10 more minutes.  Then, I drizzled my aioli over the top of the Paella.  Wallah, done!

The other two entries for the evening were a Chicken Wing Chorizo Paella prepared by Terry West with 270 Smokers:

And a Shrimp and Rabbit Paella from the guys at Plum Crazy BBQ:

The judges, assembled from the ranks of our hosts at Mason Dixon BBQ Supply, sampled and deliberated for an eternity.  At least 15 minutes...

The results were:

1. 270 Smokers
2. Three Dogs BBQ
3. Plum Crazy BBQ

It was going to be hard to beat the Paella King, Terry West.  As the judging was open, comments were offered to the three chefs.  Our comment was that Three Dogs would have won had we had some crust, or Socarrat, on the bottom of the pan.  Close, but no cigar.  Terry may have won this time, but we will meet again.  Well done.

Thanks for stopping by,


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