This was the meal that got my head back into grilling after my long lull. My grilled Easter dinner hadn't done it for me, I really wasn't in the mood to grill again. But when I was asked what I was going to make next weekend, I started thinking about how the weather was warming up and I could do my first paella back out at the grill. This is as opposed to doing it indoors on the stove then in the oven where you don't get that wonderful crispy bottom crust, called the socarrat. The socarrat is a badge of honor for paellas, not unlike the smoke ring on barbecued foods. The socarrat is not difficult to achieve outdoors on the grill and it makes doing paella on the grill the only way I like to cook them. The paella recipe was called Pealla de Pollo, Naranja y Alemendras (Chicken, Orange and Almond Paella). While looking through the Paella, Paella cookbook I also found a recipe called Ensaladia, which was a wonderful looking traditional Spanish potato salad recipe. I decided I would make that as well, with the alteration of my cooking the veggies on the grill, which in my mind would only make everything better. Another advantage to the salad was it was meant to be made a day before and refrigerated overnight. On the day I was making the paella, I just had to remember to pull a salad out of the fridge an hour before I was ready to eat. there are a ton of pictures, so rather than keep rambling on I'll let pictures tell the rest of the story. I'll only add that the paella was delicious as was the potato salad.
It was time to start making the Grilled Ensaladilla the day before. The ingredients are all gathered and they consist of: red potatoes, green beans, red bell pepper, onion, carrot, hard boiled egg, olive oil, sliced baby gherkins, capers, stuffed olives, peas, kosher salt and black pepper and garlic. The dressing used lemon juice, Dijon mustard and mayonnaise.
The potatoes and carrots of been parboiling and sliced and it is about time to head out to the grill. For those of you who are wondering: the vitamin C tablets are used with the oil for the green beans and keeps the green beans from turning a funny color on the grill.
The hard-boiled egg is done and is about to come out of the water. The other pan has the oil for the green beans. It consists of lemon rind, extra-virgin olive oil and garlic, which was heated to a boil and then is allowed to steep off of the heat for approximately an hour. The time is just about up and the oil will be strained to remove the solids. Then the green beans will be tossed with the oil before going out to the grill.
The veggies have been placed on a wire rack, sprayed with olive oil, and then seasoned with salt and pepper. It is time to go out to the grill, which is been preheated to medium heat.
The veggies are all on the grill. I used a wire rack for the green beans to prevent them from falling through the grill grates.
It is about 10 minutes later than last picture, and all the veggies but the potatoes are ready to come off the grill.
I was sure these grilled veggies will add even more flavor to the salad.
Everything is back off the grill. The potatoes took about another six minutes after Iâ€™d remved the other veggies. It's now time to cut and dice everything up and put it in the salad.
All of the ingredients of been combined for the salad. The dressing consisting of mayonnaise, Dijon mustard and lemon juice is just about ready to be mixed.
Here is a close-up of the salad before the dressing has been added.
Here is the salad after the dressing has been added. The next step is for the salad to go into the refrigerator for about 24 hours until I'm ready to use it the next day. The overnight stay in the fridge should help blend the flavors
It is now a day later and it's time to start making the paella. The ingredients have been gathered including: Slivered almonds, orange juice, diced onion, saffron, minced garlic, thin sliced pickles, sliced olives, Bomba rice, chicken broth, olive oil, kosher salt and black pepper.
Boneless skinless chicken breasts have been cubed and seasoned with olive oil kosher salt and black pepper.
Everything is out at the grill and the grill is fired up for direct medium heat.
The first step is to heat the olive oil in the paella pan until it shimmers.
Meanwhile the orange juice, chicken broth and saffron are being slowly heated in a small pan on the sideburner.
After the olive oil has come to temperature, the chicken is added and is browned on all sides.
The chicken is done browning.
The diced onions and minced garlic has been added to the pan.
Next the sliced olives & gherkins go in.
The rice is added to the pan and is allowed to sautÃ© for approximately 2 minutes.
The rice is done sautÃ©ing.
The chicken broth/orange juice and saffron mixture are added into the pan and the ingredients are thoroughly mixed.
The lid is closed on the grill and the mixture cooks for approximately 20 minutes, until the rice has absorbed all liquid and has been thoroughly cooked. Here is the paella after that 20 minutes of final cooking.
The Grilled Ensaladilla has been out of the fridge for an hour and is ready to serve. It gets sprinkled with some fresh cilantro just before serving.
The paella was rested for five minutes and was sprinkled with fresh parsley and slivered almonds and now is on the table ready to serve.
The Pealla de Pollo, Naranja y Alemendras and the Grilled Ensaladilla were very good pairing as they had similar ingredients and flavors.
This paella had interesting flavor. It was different from many of the paellas I have made before due to the citrus in the broth and the nuts on top.
This paella also had an interesting consistency too. It had a crusty bottom crust (the socarrat) plus the top layer was crispy as well due to the toppings of the slivered almonds.
I will definitely be making this unique paella and potato salad again.