Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Weeknight Paleo Paella

According to the caveman, the best meal I've ever made was paella; two summers ago we hosted a dinner party and I cooked up two huge pans of the stuff. The only thing that truly keeps paella from being paleo is the rice that plays such an integral role in the dish. Bring on the cauliflower!

It's Emeril Lagasse's take on paella that resonates so memorably with the caveman, but love him though I do, it's not exactly a Tuesday kind of dish. Instead I decided to make a weekday version, using more basic ingredients like Trader Joe's frozen seafood blend (shrimp, scallops and squid) in lieu of clams and mussels.

Weeknight Paleo Paella

1 head of cauliflower
1 32 oz. container chicken broth
2 tbs. olive oil
1/2 lb. chicken thigh or breast, cut into cubes
8 oz. spicy sausage (I used chicken andouille), crumbled or chopped
1 medium onion, diced
3 minced garlic cloves
3 medium roma tomatoes, chopped
1 bay leaf
1 tsp. saffron
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1 lb. total mixed seafood (could use just shrimp or seafood of your liking... thaw if frozen)
minced fresh parsley & fresh lemon, to garnish

Run cauliflower florets through food processor to "rice" and set aside. Bring chicken broth to a simmer over low heat and keep warm.

Meanwhile, heat 1 tbs. olive oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add chicken and sausage, cooking until brown. Add onion through black pepper, stirring to combine. Cook for another 5-10 minutes until onion is soft.

Add about a cup of broth and riced cauliflower. Use a wooden spoon to stir and scrape any dried bits from bottom of pan. Continue to cook over medium until all broth is absorbed, then add another cup. Cook in this manner until cauliflower is rice-like in texture. You may or may not need to add more broth, depending on how much cauliflower you have.

Once cauliflower is cooked to your liking and most of the broth has been absorbed, add seafood and a a smidge more broth. Stir and then lower heat and cover skillet. Cook for about 5 minutes, or until all seafood is done.

Taste for seasoning and remove bay leaf. Sprinkle with minced parsley and squirt with fresh lemon juice before serving.

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