Just because guys tend to like to grill doesn't mean every Father's Day meal has to be a culinary cliche.
Not that most guys would argue if they were honoured with a honking steak over hot coals. But this year maybe mix it up a bit and do something a little more exciting. Without sacrificing any of the meaty goodness Dad craves, consider moving the meal inside and whipping up a monster paella he can share with everyone he loves.
Paella is a pretty simple dish. And anyone who has ever made risotto will recognize similarities in the process. You start by browning some onions and peppers, then adding some meat. OK, lots of meat. Once the meat is browned, in goes the rice and liquid, then it cooks merrily along for a while, mostly on its own. The whole thing finishes quickly in the oven, but only after you stir in some shrimp.
Want to make this dish even more decadent? You could add any number of other meats and seafood in addition to what is called for here. Add cubed sirloin tips at the same time (and same size) as the chicken. Ditto for lamb. Want more seafood? Scallops and hunks of salmon could go in at the same time as the shrimp.
SHRIMP AND CHORIZO PAELLA
Start to finish: 1 hour
1/4 cup hot water
1/4 teaspoon saffron threads
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 red bell pepper, cored and diced
1 medium yellow onion, diced
2 large cloves garlic, minced
1 pound chorizo, peeled and crumbled
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch chunks
1 1/2 cup Spanish or Arborio rice
3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
15-ounce can chopped tomatoes
3/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 pound raw, peeled shrimp
Chopped fresh parsley, to garnish
Lemon wedges, to serve
Heat the oven to 425 F.
In a small bowl or glass, combine the hot water and saffron. Let stand for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a very large skillet or paella pan (about 15 inches, if possible) over medium-high, heat the oil. Add the pepper, onion and garlic. Saute until the onion is just browned, about 6 minutes. Add the chorizo and chicken, then saute for another 5 minutes.
Add the rice and stir well. Add the water and saffron, then add the broth. Bring to a simmer, then reduce heat to low. Cover and cook for 10 minutes. Uncover and stir in the tomatoes, paprika, salt and pepper. Cook, uncovered and without stirring, for another 10 minutes. Stir in the shrimp, then smooth the paella and set in the oven for 15 minutes, or until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is cooked.
Remove the paella from the oven and let stand 5 minutes. Serve topped with parsley and lemon wedges on the side.
Nutrition information per serving: 560 calories; 260 calories from fat (46 per cent of total calories); 29 g fat (10 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 175 mg cholesterol; 1340 mg sodium; 37 g carbohydrate; 3 g fiber; 3 g sugar; 38 g protein.
J.M. Hirsch is the food editor for The Associated Press. He blogs at http://www.LunchBoxBlues.com and tweets at http://twitter.com/JM_Hirsch . Email him at email@example.com