Friday, April 5, 2013

Weeknight Paleo Paella (Recipe Revisit)

I've shared a couple of different versions of paleo paella on here, as it's one of my favorites. I love the mixture of proteins and little bit of zip, and cauliflower rice lends itself perfectly to the dish.

Today's recipe was one I first served last summer, when I was trying to recreate my easier (and paleo-compliant) take on Emeril Lagasse's paella. It required saffron, which is obviously on the costlier side. I wanted to experiment with omitting the pricey spice, subbing a little turmeric instead for color and a bit of flavor.

I found the flavor was quite similar, so it's certainly a workable substitution. The caveman was helping me make dinner, and I think he added a bit too much broth (my head of cauliflower wasn't the largest). I thought the end result was a little too "wet," but he remarked he can't stand overly dry rice dishes (whether they contain real rice or not), so he was quite happy with it.

This time I was out of parsley so used some chopped green onion to garnish. I actually preferred the taste, but I'm also not the world's biggest parsley fan! I think either would work well, as would some minced cilantro.
 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, sliced on the bias
1 medium onion, diced
3 minced garlic cloves
3 medium roma tomatoes, chopped
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp. turmeric (or 1 tsp. saffron threads)
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)
potential garnishes: minced parsley or cilantro, minced green onion, lemon wedges

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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