One Dish, One Pan, Weber Style

How about Paella to celebrate the Labor Day Weekend! But on the Weber. We love dining at home, especially on weekends. My husband typically gets excited and becomes adventurous on the weekends with meal planning. He enjoys a challenge, seeks out flavorful food, and loves firing up the grill. He did all the work for this dish and deserves all the glory! Cook’s Illustrated and The New York Times are his go to sources for interesting dishes.

Paella on the Weber should be on your next weekend menu. Invite some friends because this dish is best shared with be those you love. Maybe you add a fresh herby green salad and sliced watermelon for dessert. FYI this dish takes time but well worth it. The charcoal Weber grill makes this the perfect summer, fall, and spring dish to cook outside.

It takes a run to the grocery store and some prep with a little bit of kitchen time. He used an aluminum disposable pan which has its benefits but you don’t get that crisp crunchy rice sticking to the pan. But nothing to scrub is a major upside to me!

Here is the recipe from Cook’s Illustrated. We substituted spicy chicken for the chorizo and also left out the clams. The dish still had loads of flavor. Don’t be afraid to add some of your favorite hot sauce along with the fresh squeezed lemon!

1 ½pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed and halved crosswise
Salt and pepper
12ounces jumbo shrimp (16 to 20 per pound), peeled and deveined
6tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
6garlic cloves, minced
1 ¾teaspoons hot smoked paprika
3tablespoons tomato paste
4cups chicken broth
1(8-ounce) bottle clam juice
cup dry sherry
Pinch saffron threads (optional)
1onion, chopped fine
½cup jarred roasted red peppers, chopped fine
3cups Arborio rice
1pound littleneck clams, scrubbed
1pound Spanish-style chorizo sausage, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1cup frozen peas, thawed
Lemon wedges

Instructions:

This recipe was developed using a light-colored 16 by 13.5-inch tri-ply roasting pan; however, it can be made in any heavy roasting pan that measures at least 14 by 11 inches. If your roasting pan is dark in color, the cooking times will be on the lower end of the ranges given. The recipe can also be made in a 15- to 17-inch paella pan. If littlenecks are unavailable, use 1½ pounds shrimp in step 1 and season them with ½ teaspoon salt.

1. Place chicken on large plate and sprinkle both sides with 1 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon pepper. Toss shrimp with 1 tablespoon oil, ½ teaspoon garlic, ¼ teaspoon paprika, and ¼ teaspoon salt in bowl until evenly coated. Set aside.

2. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in medium saucepan over medium heat until shimmering. Add remaining garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until garlic sticks to bottom of saucepan and begins to brown, about 1 minute. Add tomato paste and remaining 1½ teaspoons paprika and continue to cook, stirring constantly, until dark brown bits form on bottom of saucepan, about 1 minute. Add broth, clam juice, sherry, and saffron, if using. Increase heat to high and bring to boil. Remove saucepan from heat and set aside.

3A. For a Charcoal Grill: Open bottom vent completely. Light large chimney starter mounded with charcoal briquettes (7 quarts). When top coals are partially covered with ash, pour evenly over grill. Using tongs, arrange 20 unlit briquettes evenly over coals. Set cooking grate in place, cover, and open lid vent completely. Heat grill until hot, about 5 minutes.

3B. For a Gas Grill: Turn all burners to high, cover, and heat grill until hot, about 15 minutes. Leave all burners on high.

4. Clean and oil cooking grate. Place chicken on grill and cook until both sides are lightly browned, 5 to 7 minutes total. Return chicken to plate. Clean cooking grate.

5. Place roasting pan on grill (turning burners to medium-high if using gas) and add remaining ¼ cup oil. When oil begins to shimmer, add onion, red peppers, and ½ teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring frequently, until onion begins to brown, 4 to 7 minutes. Add rice (turning burners to medium if using gas) and stir until grains are well coated with oil.

6. Arrange chicken around perimeter of pan. Pour broth mixture and any accumulated juices from chicken over rice. Smooth rice into even layer, making sure nothing sticks to sides of pan and no rice rests atop chicken. When liquid reaches gentle simmer, place shrimp in center of pan in single layer. Arrange clams in center of pan, evenly distributing with shrimp and pushing hinge sides of clams into rice slightly so they stand up. Distribute chorizo evenly over surface of rice. Cook (covered if using gas), moving and rotating pan to maintain gentle simmer across entire surface of pan, until rice is almost cooked through, 12 to 18 minutes. (If using gas, heat can also be adjusted to maintain simmer.)

7. Sprinkle peas evenly over paella, cover grill, and cook until liquid is fully absorbed and rice on bottom of pan sizzles, 5 to 8 minutes. Continue to cook, uncovered, checking bottom of pan frequently with metal spoon, until uniform golden-brown crust forms, 8 to 15 minutes longer. (Rotate and slide pan around grill as necessary to ensure even crust formation.) Remove pan fr

Why this dish works from CI:

Grilling paella lends the dish subtle smoke and a particularly caramelized crust and makes it a great dish for summer entertaining. In place of a traditional paella pan, we cooked ours in a large, sturdy roasting pan that maximized the amount of socarrat, the prized caramelized rice crust that forms on the bottom of the pan. Building a large (7-quart) fire and fueling it with fresh coals (which ignited during cooking) ensured that the heat output would last throughout cooking, but we also shortened the outdoor cooking time by using roasted red peppers and tomato paste (instead of fresh peppers and tomatoes), making an infused broth with the seasonings, and grilling (rather than searing) the chicken thighs. To ensure that the various components finished cooking at the same time, we staggered the addition of the proteins—first the chicken thighs, followed by the chorizo, shrimp, and clams. We also deliberately placed the chicken on the perimeter of the pan, where it would finish cooking gently after grilling, and the sausage and seafood in the center, where they were partially submerged in the liquid so that they cooked through; once the liquid reduced, the steam kept them warm.

Such a great dish for entertaining. Thanks Cook’s Illustrated! Happy cooking!

Escape The Heat With Art

Two massive abstract pieces: The Mural from Jackson Pollock and Untitled from Katharina Grosse

Both pieces are currently on display at the MFA Boston. Two artists that truly excite me with their bold large creations being showcased together in one space. I don’t have deep knowledge when it comes to art. But little by little with help from my museum buddy (aka my mother-in-law), I am appreciating more art in my life.

Museum memberships are great for short visits. Even better when you enjoy it with a friend. This exhibit is showing now through February 23,2020. MFA

Straw Party Hats For Sun Protection!

Love, love, love HEMLOCK Hat Co. Fun straw hats that are designed for an active lifestyle. I discovered this hat company in a surf shop while I was visiting Florida last spring. A hat that has you fully covered and reasonably priced. The under brim liner comes in super fun prints for every personality. The fabric is UPF 50+ and comes with a draw string for those windy days. Also sweet for the youngsters!

Beach Days + Sun Protection

Protecting your skin from the sun’s harmful rays while enjoying the outdoors is a challenge.  Who doesn’t love the warm sunshine and beach filled days?!  Applying and reapplying sunscreen is a must along with sun shades and sun hats. But still it can be difficult to protect yourself from sun damage and exposure. If you cover up with UPF clothing then you don’t need to worry about reapplying sunscreen to your whole body. Just your face, neck, hands, and feet! Or simply head to the beach after 5.

Check out the following: Salt Gypsy, Patagonia, ATHLETA, Nalu Tribe, HEMLOCK Hat Co.

Carry-On Essentials

Vacation time! Trying to keep it light with just my travel essentials. To become a more efficient and smarter traveler is the goal. It starts with a carry- on suitcase. One of my favorite gifts that I have received, a RIMOWA roller. It effortlessly rolls along with plenty of space for a weekend getaway or simply to carry all your airplane requirements. No longer do I carry multiple bags or anything on my shoulders with the exception of a crossbody bag for easy access to my wallet and passport. All the extras tuck neatly into the roller.

My on-board essentials:

iPad fully loaded with movies and series for both flights. Big Little Lies is top of the list.

Noise cancelling headphones from B&W. A fab and useful holiday gift I received. Headphones is something I would never purchase for myself. I feel a bit spoiled with them but they make a huge difference.

Compression socks are a game changer. A gift to your legs! No more swelling. Your legs and feet feel 100% when you reach your destination. I am trying out COMRAD. I’ve been rocking some sexy CVS Pharmacy socks. I am ready for a stylish upgrade. Packing my Nike slides for arrival.

Hand sanitizing wipes, always. Super handy for hands as well as giving everything a quick wipe down. Airports + planes are pretty gross.

For the face: Jet Lag Mask from SUMMER FRIDAYS. Can’t wait to give this new product a try. My skin always feels dry when I travel so perhaps this will do the trick. Always nice to have a lippy on hand. I like Aquaphor. Lots of water before, during, and after flight.

Clothes: Always a sweatshirt + large scarf to wrap. Dark colors in the event of a spill.

What you don’t see that has space in the RIMOWA: the newest Vogue, unsalted nuts, a take away salad or sandwich that from my local bakery to eat on the plane, phone charger, tissues, Advil, and a deck of cards to play with my son.

Happy Summer!

Putting On A Face

I’m most comfortable with a fresh, clean, makeup free face. Lippy and mascara are the only two make up products that are in my wheelhouse. Beyond that, seems like too many steps for me. But sometimes it is nice to go all out. This above look was not done by me but rather by a talented make up artist at Barneys. Here is a little secret for you! You can get your make up done for free with the expectation that you buy some product. I walked away with a glowing face, mascara, lipstick, and blush. Always fun to shake things up!

Nike top, Nike kicks, and pants from Heidi Merrick