This Chorizo and Seafood Paella with Cauliflower is a Paleo version of paella. Instead of using rice I used cauliflower. It looks a little different but the flavor and texture is exceptional. Once you have done the prep work, it comes together very quickly. I love how the flavor of the saffron is so subtle in every bite. When I made it for my sister, I used chicken instead of shrimp. I have made it with and without clams and mussels. The juices from the clams and mussels just adds even more flavor. One of the most important items in this recipe is the chorizo, the quality of the chorizo make all the difference. I used chorizo from Whole Foods. This is a great example of a Paleo meal that does not sacrifice flavor.
Serves: 4-6 (Can easily be doubled)
Prep Time: About 30 minutes
Cook Time: About 20 minutes
2 cups chicken stock
2 pinches of saffron threads (15 to 20 threads)
1 head of cauliflower, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1 pound chorizo, removed from casing
2 fresh tomatoes, coarsely chopped
1 large yellow onion, chopped
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 tablespoon sweet paprika, plus more for garnish
1 small bunch of fresh flat leaf parsley, leaves chopped, stems left whole
½ pound extra large uncooked shrimp (31 to 40 shrimp per pound), peeled, deveined, with tails left on
1 pound mussels, cleaned (optional)
¾ pound clams, cleaned (optional)
Freshly ground pepper
Olive oil, for drizzling for garnish
½ lemon, juiced, for drizzling for garnish
HINT: Cleaning the clams and mussels.
To clean the mussels and clams, put them each in a large bowl with 2 quarts of water, a little salt and a ¼ cup of flour. Soak for 30 minutes, allowing the mussels to disgorge any sand. Drain the mussels, then remove the “beard” from each with your fingers. If they’re dirty, scrub the mussels with a brush under running water. Discard any mussels whose shells aren’t tightly shut.
Why do this?
Most of the mussels we buy today are farmed, so they don’t contain very much, if any, sand or grit. But, for the mussels and clams that do have debris, the flour helps to speed up its removal. While soaking, they breathe, filtering in the water and flour, and expelling any grit.
- Soak and clean your mussels and clams, set aside.
- In a small saucepan, over medium heat, add the chicken stock and bring to a simmer. Take the pan off the heat and stir in the saffron, set aside.
- In a food processor with the blade, pulse the cauliflower into pieces (about the size of rice), set aside.
- In a large frying pan or stockpot with a cover, over medium high heat, add and heat the coconut oil. Add the chorizo, break apart with the back of a wooden spoon and fry until cooked through, about 5-7 minutes.
- Reduce the heat to medium, add the tomatoes, onion, garlic, tomato paste, and paprika and cook for about 3-5 minutes.
- Pour in the warm stock, add the parsley stems and bring to a boil. Boil for 2 minute. Remove the parsley stems with tongs and discard.
- Add the shrimp, mussels and clams, place a lid on the pan and cook until the mussels and clams are open and the shrimp is cooked (slightly pink), about 3-6 minutes.
- Fold in the cauliflower, cook for 1 minute and season with sea salt and freshly ground pepper.
Serving: Transfer to a serving bowl. Garnish with the chopped parsley leaves, drizzle with olive oil and lemon juice and sprinkle with paprika.