Shrimp and Sausage Paella on the Grill

grilled paella

I’ve made paella many times but honestly I never made grilled paella until recently, and now I don’t think I’ll ever make it any other way. Making paella on the grill gives you a larger cooking surface which gives you more even cooking all around as opposed to using just a burner on the stove.

Having the rice spread out evenly on the wide, shallow paella pan creates the perfect condition for socarrat, which is the crunchy, crust that forms on the bottom, known as the prized part of eating a paella. I once read that socarrat is to a paella what the smoke ring is to a brisket, and by making a grilled paella it’s easy to achieve.

paella ingredients

Let me just say I’m no expert on making paella, but I do love making it. The presentation is dramatic and it’s cooked all in one vessel! There are so many versions of paella, seafood, vegetarian, meat, I could go on and on, but for this grilled version I kept it simple by using shrimp with andouille, a spicy smoked sausage.

For paella you have to use a short grain rice, you can find the brand above or a rice called bomba but if not, arborio or carnaroli will do.

Another key ingredient is the spice saffron, a little goes a long way. I found this spice packet from Spain on Amazon which has just the right amount in it along with some other spices to flavor the paella so well.

grilled paella

Making a grilled paella gives you a rich, smoky flavor and it’s fairly easy to do providing you have all your ingredients prepared and ready to go.

 

grilled paella

I have two paella pans, a 15 inch and a 22 inch depending on what ingredients you decide on and what you’ll be serving with it, you can feed quite a few people, so it’s a great dish for entertaining.

grilled paella

A beautiful grilled paella is a wonderful option for a special occasion or just a casual dinner with friends. It’s still grilling season, so get on out there and make this!

socarrat

Look at that crusty bottom, the famous socarrat! That’s exactly what you want to see as you’re serving it up.

I hope you enjoy as much as I do!

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Shrimp and Sausage Paella on the Grill
 
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Ingredients
  • 1 lb. jumbo shrimp, cleaned and deveined and tail on, dried of all moisture and tossed with a little olive oil, salt and pepper
  • ½ lb. smoked andouille sausage or any smoked sausage of your choice, sliced
  • 1½ cups of short grain rice, valencia, bomba, arborio or carnaroli
  • 1 white onion, finely chopped
  • 4 small fresh tomatoes, chopped
  • 5 cloves, garlic chopped
  • 1 Paellero spice packet or a pinch of saffron and a teaspoon of smoked paprika
  • 2 heaping Tablespoons of a roasted red pepper sauce, store bought or made by whizzing roasted red peppers in a food processor
  • 1 quart of chicken broth, warmed up
  • 1 red, yellow and orange pepper sliced thin
  • 1 cup of frozen peas, defrosted
  • parsley and lemon wedges for garnish
  • olive oil
Instructions
  1. Heat your grill up, for gas have all burners on and leave on medium high
  2. Put the paella pan on and drizzle the bottom with olive oil.
  3. When pan is hot add the sliced smoked sausage tossing for a couple of minutes.
  4. Add the onions and garlic until you start to smell them.
  5. Add chopped tomatoes, the rice and the spices, tossing and toasting the rice for a few minutes.
  6. Add the roasted red pepper sauce, mixing until incorporated.
  7. Then add in 2 cups of the warm broth making sure the rice is evenly spread across the bottom of the pan, now is the time you do not stir. Just make sure the sausage is evenly distributed as well.
  8. Place the thinly cut peppers all around.
  9. Add 2 more cups of warm broth then distribute the shrimp all around the paella pan.
  10. Toss in the peas and put the lid on the grill down and let it go for a few minutes.
  11. If it's looking dry add 2 more cups of the broth, but no stirring.
  12. You can taste test the edges, because that will be the last to get tender, so you'll know when it's ready when the rice is tender but firm to the bite.
  13. Remove, garnish with lemon wedges and parsley.
  14. Serve it up right in the pan.

 

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How To Make Grilled Artichokes Italian-Style

grilled artichokes

 

Today I’m going to show you step by step how to make grilled artichokes, a must for summer entertaining. This is my favorite side dish and sometimes appetizer to make during the the grilling season. Present a big platter of these smoky grilled artichokes to your guests and watch them disappear quickly. I’m certain you’ll be making them over and over throughout the season.

These lovelies are lightly stuffed, not with the traditional breadcrumb mixture but with the pronounced flavor of grated parmesan, or pecorino cheese, fresh parsley and lemon zest. The grill adds a smoky dimension and the cheese mixture when melted through the layer of leaves, takes the flavors over the top!

grilled artichokes

 

And if that’s not enough to rock your world you can dip each leaf into a simply made bright and citrusy lemon and garlic aioli. The recipe for the aioli will be provided at the end of the post, but first lets get these artichokes prepped because you can’t put them straight on the grill raw, they have to be pre-cooked by either steaming or boiling them first.prepping artichokes

Choose a nice medium sized fresh artichokes, you’ll want to cut the very end of the stem off, then if the stem is long enough use a veggie peeler and peel the top layer off of the stem, because that’s edible too.

Remove and tear off the small leaves at the bottom of the artichoke by hand then turn it on it’s side and with a sharp serrated knife cut about a third of the top off all the way through, then immediately rub all the cut surfaces with a raw lemon, because artichokes oxidize fast.

If you see any remaining outer leaves that have a pointy top just snip the tip off with a pair of scissors, remember rub all cut surfaces with lemon.

Now turn the artichoke cut side down and slice it right through the middle like I did in the photo above leaving the choke and spiny thistle fuzz in tact. It’s so much easier and neater to remove it all after they’ve been cooked and become tender throughout.

I like to steam my artichokes in water in a pot that has a lid. I throw in a few slices of lemon, whole garlic cloves, salt, pepper and a good drizzle of olive oil. Get the water to a boil then simmer it down and put the lid on.  The cooking time varies according to the size of the artichokes that you have, but a good rule of thumb is if you can tug at a leaf and it comes off easily with no effort they’re pretty much done, but taste it to make sure.

Take the cooked artichokes out with tongs making sure the water is drained out by turning them upside down, then set aside and let them cool down.

 

prepping artichokes

To clean the insides of all the spiny chokes I like to use a grapefruit spoon to gently scrape it out, like I said it comes out really easy after the artichokes are steamed.

Now at this point if you were making them for a party the prep is done, you could refrigerate them as is ready to be stuffed for the day you’re going to be grilling them.

Try not to be intimidated by the steps above, it’s really pretty easy and once you get the hang of it everything else is a breeze.

stuffing artichokes

As for the cheese mixture there are no specific measurements, again it all depends on how many artichokes you’ll be making, just grab a bowl put a handful or two of grated parmesan, pecorino or even a mix of both, the zest of one lemon and a handful of chopped parsley, if you need more, make more as you go, there’s no set rule here.

Take a spoon with some of the cheese mixture on it and stuff it into the layered artichoke leaves, you don’t need to over stuff it, a little on each leaf layer is fine.

Finally drizzle olive oil all over the top with a few grinds of black pepper, you won’t need salt because the cheese is salty enough.

grilled artichokes

Get your grill nice and hot, I put mine on high, then place them cut side down and don’t move them until you see deep golden char marks. The cheese mixture will also be melty and slightly crispy, at this point they’re done just take them off  because you don’t need to flip them over, remember they’re already cooked through.

grilled artichokesgrilled artichokes

Cheesy goodness with a nice smoky dimension all throughout, delicious warm or at room temperature.

grilled artichokes

If you haven’t had a grilled artichoke yet I promise you you’re in for a special treat!

grilled artichokes

Now for that citrusy aioli for dipping that I promised you, go grab a bowl and add a few big tablespoons of good quality mayo, one smashed or grated garlic clove, lemon zest and enough fresh lemon juice to thin it out into a dipping consistency with some salt and pepper to taste, I told you it was easy!

Now go ahead and make some grilled artichokes, happy grilling!

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Grilled Pizza with Slow Roasted Tomatoes and Whipped Ricotta

pizza on the grill If you haven’t tried making grilled pizza yet I can honestly say you’re really missing out. Many people are intimidated by it, I was too when I first started making it a couple of years ago. I made many mistakes, especially when grilling the dough you have to get it just right in my opinion because it can make or break the whole pizza.

When grilled correctly the crust becomes crunchy with just the right amount of chew and the perfect platform for your toppings.

slow roasted heirloom tomatoes Speaking of toppings, for grilled pizza I wouldn’t use meat unless it’s been pre-cooked and sliced thin.

For me using veggies of any kind is the way to go, but again they should cooked and  prepped first. Pizza made on the grill goes really fast, you have no time to cook a meat on top, after you crisp up the crust you’re basically waiting for the cheese to melt. Usually  I’ll roast up some zucchini coins or thin slices of eggplant, mushrooms, peppers beforehand so I’m all ready when it comes to topping the pizza, you have to have all your toppings prepped and ready.

This time I decided I was going to use these beautiful heirloom tomatoes that I found which I had slow roasted a couple of days before. They’re basted with garlic and olive oil and slow roasted with fresh thyme or basil for four hours, I love having them tucked away in my fridge to use for appetizers or to top off a special dish or in this case grilled pizza, the flavor is out of this world.

This has now become my new favorite grilled pizza of all times!

ingredients for grilled pizza My ingredients were: One ball of pizza dough, ( I get mine from a good Italian store, but you can make your own of course), fontina cheese, fresh mozzarella, whipped ricotta, basil and the slow roasted tomatoes.

raw pizza dough I don’t like to grill one big pizza, I tried it many times but the crust never turns out the way it should. I like to cut my dough ball in half and make two pizzas. The dough needs to be at room temperature for best results otherwise it keeps springing back when your trying to spread it out and form it nice and even.

Brush both sides with olive oil, place them on a baking sheet and take them out to the grill.

making grilled pizza Heat your grill up nice and hot, burn up any bits, your grill grates should be impeccably clean, then take a paper towel soaked in oil and wipe it all over your grates.

I have a gas grill with three burners, all are lit but kept at medium heat. Now place your dough onto the grill, and don’t touch it!

making grilled pizza You’re going to see it start to bubble, that’s a good thing, let it bubble all around, now take your tongs, lift it and see how it’s doing, you can move it, turn it, but don’t flip it over!

You want to get it nice and crispy, only on one side for now.

making grilled pizza When it looks like this take it off and put it on your baking sheet cooked side up,it’s time to put the toppings on. Remember, the underside is still not cooked.

grilled pizza dough You can tell the dough is cooked in the photo above,  it’s not pale, it doesn’t look gummy or raw, it’s sort of crunchy and slightly hollow if you tap on it, and it’s sturdy enough to  stand up to your ingredients.

grilled pizza toppings I put the grated fontina down first, then cut and scattered my fresh mozzarella around, added the slow roasted tomatoes and fresh basil. The whipped ricotta goes on after the pizza is finished.

grilled pizza Go back out to your grill now and place the uncooked side down onto the grates, close the lid and let the cheese melt, keep checking so the crust doesn’t burn lifting it with your tongs, again you want it nice and crispy like the top with a firm feeling to it, not limp.

grilled pizza It only takes a few minutes so don’t walk away!

grilled pizza The bottom is now cooked and crispy, the cheese has melted, the tomatoes with the garlic oil have permeated the whole pizza and the basil just tops it all off.

But hold on we’re not done!

grilled pizza Time for the whipped ricotta, mix it up and place it in a zip bag, cut off the tip and squeeze fluffy dollops onto your pizza.

grilled pizza Just one bite and you’ll be smitten! There are no words…

grilled pizza

Here’s the link to make the slow roasted tomatoes and whipped ricotta, now get grilling!

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