Another long and hot summer in the kitchen is winding down and its time to break out some of the recipes I’ve been working with…more specifically My Greek Version of a Paella featuring the exotic and fairly uncommon hellenic ingredient from the Northern Greece…Saffron.
So obviously Paella is not a Greek Dish but I’ve taken Greek ingredients and had some fun with the Spanish Classic.
Red Snapper has been the Main Focus accompanied by PEI Mussels, Mexican White Shrimp, and Macedonian style Loukaniko. The Snapper can be substituted for pretty much any white fish that you like to use…I’ve tried Halibut and Tile fish recently but the Snappers have been the go-to for the past few weeks.
4 oz Red Snapper Filet
12-15 PEI Mussels
3 U21-25 Mexican White Shrimp
2 oz Loukaniko- casing removed and sliced
1 tbsp Butter
1 tbsp EVOO
a pinch of Saffron
2 cloves Garlic – thinly sliced
a pinch of Lemon Zest + the some of the lemon for squeezing
2 tbsp Shallot – minced
¾ cup Carrots – bruinoise (fine chop)
1 tbsp Celery – thinly sliced
1 cup Tomatoes – rough chop
1 tsp Paprika
2 tbsp Ouzo
¼ cup Dry White Wine
1 Bay Leaf
1 Sprig of Thyme
1 ½ cups Pre-Cooked White Rice (plain Rice – this can be done up to one day in advance)
¼ cup Peas
½ cup Shrimp Stock/Chicken Stock/Vegetable Stock/Water
1. Grab a large saute pan (grab the one with the lid) and set the burner to med-high heat. Season the Snapper and Shrimp with Salt and Pepper. Add the butter, EVOO, loukaniko, saffron, bay and thyme. When the butter is melted and the loukaniko begins to render add the garlic, carrots, celery, shallots and lemon zest. Season with Salt and Pepper. Allow the vegetables to sweat for a few minutes then add the tomato.
2. Stir in the paprika and add the shrimp to the pan. Coat the shrimp with the oils and flambe with the ouzo. Add the White Wine and reduce all the way down.
3. Add the Snapper to the pan and then the stock. Cover and allow the fish to steam with all of those aromatics.
4. By this point the Snapper should be about ¾’s cooked so add the mussels and put the lid back on. When the mussels open that means they are cooked. If they don’t open along with the others…that means it is dead and you should throw it away.
5. Remove all of the seafood from the pan and cover with plastic wrap to keep warm. Or put the seafood into an extra pan and place in a low heat oven. 200° is fine.
6. Add the rice and the peas to the pan with that beautiful broth and let the rice absorb all of that flavor. Once the liquid is cooked out adjust the seasoning and squeeze in some fresh lemon juice. Pour the rice into a paella dish or a big round platter and arrange the seafood however you’d like. The plate with the seafood should have some excess broth and should be drizzled right back on top of the fish.
I hope you like it…drop me a line and let me know what you think.