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!

Pesto On Everything!

A summer classic and one you should make yourself. Pesto is just fresh basil plus five other on hand ingredients, a food processor, and minimal effort. Spread it on a fresh tomato mozzarella sandwich, drizzle it over grilled veggies and meats, or simply add it to pasta. Pesto on everything!

Pesto recipes are all pretty much the same with slight variations but I am particularly fond of Ina Garten’s recipe. She mixes pine nuts and walnuts which is provides a nice balanced nutty flavor. A bit of fresh squeezed lemon is also nice. Play with the garlic; this recipe is not shy with it. Ina just hits recipe home runs. Her cookbooks are ones to own and you’ll always find yourself flipping through for inspiration.

Ingredients:
1/4 cup walnuts
1/4 cup pine nuts
3 tablespoons chopped garlic (9 cloves)
5 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups good olive oil
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan

Directions:
Place the walnuts, pine nuts, and garlic in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Process for 30 seconds. Add the basil leaves, salt, and pepper. With the processor running, slowly pour the olive oil into the bowl through the feed tube and process until the pesto is thoroughly pureed. Add the Parmesan and puree for a minute. Serve, or store the pesto in the refrigerator or freezer with a thin film of olive oil on top

Pasta, Pesto and Peas is delicious. Picnic food! Barefoot Contessa

I Cooked It: Goop’s Cauliflower Rice

Goop’s Tasty Little Number From Dr. Will Cole’s cooked book, Ketotarian

isostilo is focused on healthy eating and a retail detox this week ( don’t worry, I am always hunting for stylish finds to pass along).  I will be sharing more recipes that capture my taste buds and hopefully yours too.  If you are clean eating and detoxing this month, you will be delighted with this recipe.  I am not a detoxer but respect those that have that level of commitment.  I really try to eat and cook healthy dishes 80% of the time.  I would have no problem being a vegetarian (with the occasional burger) but not so much my family.  Salads get tiresome and unsatisfying in the winter but warm rice bowls on the hand are a wonderful replacement.  

Coconut Veggie Stir-Fry with Cauliflower Rice is a happy, warm, loving bowl that is good for your mind and body.  It is a grain free, diary free, healthy, tasty, flavorful, fast cooking dish that is totally satisfying in a comfort food kind of way.  I found this delicious plant-based recipe on the Goop website.  I am a little late on the cauliflower rice trend really only because I thought it would be a pain in the butt to prepare.  Embarrassed to say it is a two second pulse in the food processor!  The prep is minimal on this dish and the sauce is easy peasy.  The sauce makes this dish a winner!  Flavor to me is everything!  A healthy dish makes me excited!  Prep and cook time under 20 minutes makes this mid week friendly!      

You will actually feel full with this dish if it is your main meal.  I can  recommend sliced tenderloin as a perfect paring if you are not restricting your diet.  I have meat lovers in my house so too many vegetarian meals in a week receives a bit of a protest hence the tenderloin.  It’s all good when you balance it out!  

Recipe below is from Goop‘s website. 

SERVES 2

3 cups fresh cauliflower florets

2 cups fresh broccoli florets

5 small pattypan squash, trimmed and quartered

2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil

⅓ cup thinly slivered red onion

2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger

1 clove garlic, minced

¾ cup full-fat coconut milk

1 tablespoon liquid aminos

1 tablespoon cider vinegar

½ teaspoon coarse salt

¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons refined coconut oil

¼ cup unsweetened large coconut flakes, toasted

2 tablespoons snipped fresh cilantro

1. Place the cauliflower in the container of a food processor. Cover and pulse until the cauliflower is finely chopped (about the size of rice). Set aside.

2. In a large wok, stir-fry the broccoli and squash in the sesame oil over medium-high heat for 4 to 5 minutes, or until the vegetables are crisp-tender. Reduce the heat to medium if the vegetables brown too quickly. Add the onion and stir-fry for 2 minutes more. Transfer the vegetables to a bowl; cover to keep warm.

3. To the same wok, add the ginger and garlic. Cook and stir over medium-low heat for 30 seconds. Carefully add the coconut milk, liquid aminos, vinegar, ¼ teaspoon salt, and ⅛ teaspoon pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes, or until the sauce is slightly thickened.

4. Meanwhile, in a large skillet heat, the coconut oil over medium heat. Add the cauliflower rice, the remaining ¼ teaspoon salt, and the remaining ⅛ teaspoon pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, for 3 to 5 minutes, or until the cauliflower is just tender and starting to brown.

5. Return the vegetables to the wok. Cook and stir for 1 minute to heat through. Spoon the cauliflower rice evenly onto two serving plates. Top with the broccoli mixture and sauce. Sprinkle with the coconut and cilantro.

Happy cooking and add some spice to this one!  

Serving Up A Smitten Kitchen Dish

Made it!  Loved it!  You should too! 

I am a visual person, so no surprise this yummy looking bowl caught my attention with its golden soft egg and colorful thinly sliced veggies.  Smitten Kitchen’s Crispy Rice and Egg Bowl with a ginger-scallion dressing is a delightful mid-week winner.  It’s a belly warming dish full of flavor, made with simple ingredients, and is quick and easy. 

FYI I doubled the short grain brown rice, sautéed garlic with the fried rice, and topped off the bowls with sliced avocado for an extra creamy finish.  Extra hot sauce is standard in our house!  Maybe roasted sweet potatoes next time around or whatever else may be in the crisper.  See the recipe below or read about it for more helpful tips on SK.  (image from SK)

 

Crispy Rice and Egg Bowl with Ginger-Scallion Vinaigrette

  • SERVINGS: 4
  •  TIME: 10 MINUTES 
  • SOURCE: SMITTEN KITCHEN
  • 1 1/4 cups minced scallions, both green and white parts (from a 4-ounce bundle)
  • 2 tablespoons minced or finely grated fresh ginger
  • Neutral oil (such as grapeseed, safflower, or sunflower)
  • 1/4 cup sherry or rice wine vinegar
  • Fine sea salt
  • About 1 heaped cup julienned or coarsely grated carrots (from about 8 ounces fresh)
  • 8 ounces small (Persian-style, about 2) cucumbers, thinly sliced
  • 3 cups cooked, cooled rice (my favorite here is short-grain brown or white)
  • 4 eggs
  • Soy sauce or tamari (to serve)
  • Toasted sesame oil (to serve)
  • Sriracha, gochujang or another hot sauce of your choice (to serve)

Make the vinaigrette: Mix scallions, ginger, 1/4 cup oil and sherry or rice wine vinegar in a bowl. Season with salt (I use about 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt). Set aside.

Crisp your rice: Heat a large frying pan over medium high. Add 1 to 2 tablespoons oil; you’ll want to coat the bottom with a thin layer of oil all over. Nonstick pan (as I used) are more forgiving here, so you can use the lower amount. Heat the oil until it’s hot, another minute, then scatter half the rice over the surface; it’s okay if small clusters remain. Season lightly with salt and do not touch it. In 3 to 5 minutes, the underside will become golden brown and crisp. Use a spatula to flip it in sections then fry on the other side until it is also crisp. Divide between two bowls and repeat with remaining rice, dividing it between two remaining bowls.

Crisp your egg: If there isn’t enough oil left in the pan (you want a thin layer), add another splash and heat this on high heat. Add eggs one at a time and season lightly with salt and pepper. Cook until brown, lacy, and crisp underneath, and the whites are opaque, bubbly and dramatic and the edges are brown. You can spoon some oil from the pan over the egg whites to help them cook faster. Place one egg on each bowl of rice.

Assemble bowls: Arrange some cucumbers and carrots to each bowl. Spoon 2 tablespoons vinaigrette onto each bowls. Drizzle each egg with a half-teaspoon of tamari and toasted sesame oil, letting it roll onto the other ingredients, plus hot sauce to taste. Eat immediately. Repeat frequently.

Do ahead: The dressing will keep for 5 to 6 days in the fridge; the chopped vegetables will keep for 3 to 4.

Mid Week Dinner With Scallion Turkey Meatballs

Scallion Meatballs With Soy-Ginger Sauce

Smitten Kitchen always makes my evenings a little easier in the kitchen.  It is my go to sight for tasty easy peasy recipes.  I should mention quick recipes are the ones I seek out for mid-week options (who doesn’t?).  I have been making SK’s scallion meatballs with soy-ginger glaze for the past few years.  They are one of my low prep dinner favorites that are healthy, tasty, and a crowd pleaser.  Even picky eaters can’t resist these yummy little nuggets.  They are meant to be appetizers but I serve them over a bowl of brown rice with a side of roasted broccoli or baked sweet potato.  I should also mention I don’t get too caught up with a perfect shape when I am forming them.  Sometimes they are more like small patties.  The turkey mixture is pretty soft.  Wear food grade gloves then wet your hands with water (so the turkey doesn’t stick to the gloves) to make the meatballs before placing them in the skillet.  (sometimes brown each side and then let them finish off cooking in the oven on a low temp around 300.)

isostilo in the kitchen
Meatballs and sauce can be made ahead to save time! You could do the same with rice and veggie.

Smitten Kitchen Scallion Meatballs With Soy-Ginger, you won’t be disappointed.  Dinner is served and you can thank me later.

(top image from SK, bottom image with the imperfect meatballs are from isostilo:)

Fruit Lovers Only

The season for fresh juicy peaches and vibrant berries is here. Last weekend, the peaches and berries were on full display at the farmers market.  I am already regretting not buying more of them.   The season is short and you must take advantage of your local farmer’s bounty.  Pick them yourself if you have the time.  Such a wonderful summer activity.  I have found two different ways to enjoy these summer delights from epicurious that if times allows, I will give a go.  Otherwise, I will add them to my greek yogurt or enjoy them one bite at a time while lounging on deck.

Peach Salad, Blueberry and Corn Crisp from epicurious.  And if you are really up for enjoying some peaches long after the season then this jam looks damn tasty (maybe it is the bourbon that caught my attention).

Pesto Perfect

Pan Seared Salmon With Spinach Basil Sauce

Came home from the farmers market with a bounty of fresh basil and salmon.  I did a quick surf on the web and found this lovely recipe from Whole and Heavenly Oven for pan seared salmon with spinach basil pesto sauce.  Pesto is one of those easy peasy dishes to whip up quickly.  The vibrant green sauce has just a few ingredients and boy is it good.  It is so summer!  I did a hybrid of Whole and Heavenly Oven’s  recipe with my favorite pesto recipe from Silver Palate (sorry but it is so damn good!).  I wanted to insure that I would have extra sauce to enjoy throughout the week.

At the end I did 1 cup basil, 1 cup spinach, 1/2 cup of toasted pine nuts, 3 garlic cloves, lemon instead of lime, 1 cup of olive oil, 1 cup fresh parmesan, and salt and pepper.  Pesto is one of dishes that you can play with by adding a little more or a little less of any of the ingredients and you will be enjoying it by the spoonfuls!  Happy cooking!

image from Whole and Heavenly Oven