Sunday, April 18, 2010

Seafood Orzo Paella - week 16 of 52



On request from a loyal follower in the US, I have decided to feature a savory dish this week. I was inspired to make this recipe by the Seafood and Orzo paella Daily Special at Buster’s Sea Cove, a small restaurant at St Lawrence Market.

Did you know: Paella is a Valencian rice dish that originated in its modern form in the mid-19th century near lake Albufera, a lagoon in Valencia, on the east coast of Spain. Generally paella is made with rice, but this recipe uses orzo. Orzo is a small pasta in the shape of rice, made of semolina wheat flour.

I changed a couple of things in the recipe – instead of mussels, which generally come in large bags, I used clams instead. I had some issues with the clams cooking in the paella, so I had to steam them separately before putting into the paella. I like the texture of the orzo a little better than rice. Just a tip – this paella not great the next day, so no leftovers for this one.

Bon app├ętit!


Seafood Orzo Paella - serves 6
$$


• 1/2 cup chorizo; sausage
• 1 cup chicken breast meat, diced
• 2 tablespoons olive oil
• 1/4 cup onion, diced
• 1 teaspoon fresh garlic, chopped
• 1/2 cup tomato, seeded and diced
• 2 tablespoons parsley, fresh chopped
• 1/2 cup red bell pepper, large dice
• 8 ounces orzo (I used about 1 ½ cups)
• 1 pinch saffron threads
• 3 cups chicken stock
• 1/2 pound medium size shrimp, peeled and deveined with tails on
• 1/2 cup fresh scallops
• 1/2 cup fresh calamari
• 6 to 8 fresh mussels
• 1/2 cup garden peas, fresh or frozen
• Salt and pepper to taste

Prepare and wash clean the shrimp, mussels, calamari and scallops. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt and pepper . Reserve.

In a large heavy skillet, saute chicken and chorizo and chicken over medium-high heat until cooked. Add some olive oil depending on how much grease the sausage has in it; the pan may be too dry. Transfer chorizo and chicken to a plate from skillet and set aside Stir-fry garlic and onion in olive oil for 3-4 minutes. Add red pepper, tomato, parsley and saute for an another 2 minutes.

Stir in orzo. Add 3 cups chicken broth and saffron. Simmer until 3/4 of liquid is absorbed, about 10-12 minutes. Add shrimp, calamari, mussels and scallops. Continue to simmer until fully cooked. Add peas then immediately remove from heat, cover with towel for 5-7 minutes before serving. The liquid must be absorbed into the ingredients.

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