Another in the Lenten Season Series
There is something about the aroma of onions and peppers grilling or sautéing in butter or extra virgin olive oil, and it brings back memories of grilled sausage with onions and peppers, which is a staple accompaniment with the ritualistic red beans rice every Monday in New Orleans. The combination of the two just seems like one of those food ingredients matched in heaven. These two ingredients are included in this recipe, which is an adaptation of a “Seafood Paella” recipe from the Weight Watchers cookbook Simple and Classic Home Cooking, and found on page 68 in the Fish & Shellfish section.
Recipe Retool: Once again, this recipe is being adapted to fit more with our own style of cooking, and have made several updates to improve upon the style and complexity, without loosing any of the original flavors. The recipe title is the first change updated to reflect mutually in ingredients and procedures, several ingredient quantities were increased, and the procedures for preparation steps modified as well.
The original recipe named “Seafood Paella” utilizes Arborio rice and is prepared much like a risotto; therefore, as our first update we have added “Risotto” to the recipe title. Thought about removing the “Paella” portion of the title since there is no sausage in the dish, but with the paprika and saffron the name persists.
The original recipe calls for ½ teaspoon of saffron, I have increased the amount to 1 full teaspoon. In addition, smoky paprika replaced the plain paprika in the original recipe and increased from ¼ teaspoon to a full teaspoon.
The onion, bell pepper, and garlic amounts were also increased by the following amounts: onion from 1 cup to 2 cups, and the recipe called for sliced onion, I made them julienne, bell pepper from 1 ¼ cups to 2 cups, and changed the diced to diced on a bias cut, and garlic from 3 cloves to 8 cloves.
The original procedures call for the rice to cook for 1 minute, with the onions, bell pepper, and garlic before adding the stock; we cooked the rice for about 2 minutes or so, stirring well.
The recipe also called for ½ pound of shrimp, we bought 1 pound of shell on shrimp and peeled them with the tail on, so the actual weight was more like ¾ (12-ounces) of a pound.
The original recipe calls for boiling the stock for 10 minutes with the paprika, saffron, and black pepper. I brought these ingredients to a boil, and then simmered on low for the 10 minutes.
I add the garlic to the sauté onions and peppers several minutes later, in the original recipe the garlic is added initially with them. I like to reserve minced garlic for later in the sauté process as it tends to burn if allowed to cook too long.
The original procedure also calls for stirring in the shrimp and scallops with the tomatoes and corn and cooking an additional 10 minutes or until all liquid is absorbed. I omitted the seafood in this step and allowed the tomatoes and corn to cook 10 minutes on their own, then I added the seafood and continue to simmer for another 5 minutes uncovered, this keeps from overcooking the seafood.
Other Considerations: For future reference, some char grilled corn on the cob, then cut the kernels right off and into the saucepan in place of the canned corn would add a completely new flavor and dimension to this dish. In addition, seafood stock in place of the chicken stock would change the flavor profile up a bit.
|¼||Tsp||Fresh cracked black pepper|
|2||Cups||Green bell pepper, bias cut diced|
|1 ½||Cups||Arborio rice|
|2||Cups||Plum tomatoes, diced|
|1||Can||Mexican style corn,(11-ounces)|
|12||Ounces||Shrimp, medium-sized, shelled, tail-on|
|1.||Combine the chicken stock, saffron threads, black pepper, and smoky paprika in a 2-quart saucepan. Bring to a boil, and then reduce heat to a low simmer to keep warm.|
|2.||Meanwhile, in a large sauté pan add the olive oil over a medium-high heat. Sauté the onions and peppers until tender, and then add the garlic. Stir well to combine as the ingredients cook.|
|3.||Add the rice and stir well to incorporate and allow to cook for several minutes. Then slowly stir in the warm stock mixture and reduce heat to simmer, uncovered for 10 minutes.|
|4.||Stir in the tomatoes and corn, and continue to simmer another 10 minutes, stirring often.|
|5.||Add the shrimp and scallops and stir well, continue to simmer another 5 minutes or until liquid is absorbed, stirring occasionally.|
|6.||Turn off heat, cover, and allow to rest for five minutes.|
This recipe yields approximately 8 one-cup servings, and the nutritional values of the original recipe my be altered with the addition of the extra onions, bell peppers, garlic and shrimp: 6 WW points value, 279 calories, 42.4g carbohydrates, 4.6g fat, 1.7g fiber, 16.3g protein, 48mg cholesterol, 673mg sodium, 31mg calcium.