So I signed on to Yahoo! tonight and saw a feature on Paella. Of course, I immediately wanted to make it, but I thought I would give it a bit of a twist. Since Quinoa is such an awesome grain and leaves me feeling much more light and less stuffed than rice does, I figured I would try making a Paella out of it. It came out awesome! Since I used an oven safe pan and finished it off in the oven, it even got this beautiful "socccarat" which is the term for the crispy layer of rice (or in this case quinoa) that forms on the bottom of the pan. It really makes a difference baking the paella vs. just cooking it in a pot. Also remember, if you don't like seafood or want to save some money, you can always just make this dish with some chicken and chorizo or sausage (the seafood really makes it though).
12 Sea Scallops (Cleaned w/ lemon and water and Cut in Half)
12 Large Shrimp (Cleaned w/lemon and water and Deveined)
3 Chicken Sausage Links Cut (or 6 oz of Chorizo if available)
2 Cups Quinoa
1 Can Diced Tomatoes (14oz) (no flavoring or additives)
1 Medium Onion or 2 Small Shallots, Chopped
1 Red Bell Pepper, Chopped
2 Cups Chicken Broth
6 Cloves Garlic, Chopped
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
2 Tsp Paprika
1 Tsp Saffron (if available)
Heat oven to 350 degrees. In a large, oven safe paella pan or deep fry pan, saute garlic, bell pepper, and onion over medium heat until onions are translucent and garlic begins to brown. (about 3 mins) Add chicken sausage (or chorizo) and continue to saute over medium heat. (If using chorizo, make sure chorizo cooks through.) Add scallops and shrimp and cook until shrimp and scallops are no longer raw on the outside (about 5 minutes). (Do not overcook seafood as it will continue to cook in the oven.) Add paprika, safron, and dry quinoa and saute together for a couple of minutes. Add tomatoes and chicken broth and stir. Cover and place in oven. Cook for 30-40 minutes stirring occasionally, until quinoa absorbs all water and is light and fluffy. Let rest, fluff with fork, and serve. Serves 4.