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Posts Tagged ‘Paella’

March 27th, 2014

Pearl Barley Paella, Shrimp, One Pot, Easy, Nutritious, Delicious, Rehoboth Beach Eats!

Using pearl barley instead of rice when making a paella might not be looked upon as the traditional Spanish dish.  But, after having 50 pounds of pearl barley sitting in my freezer, every time I see dishes incorporating this healthy grain, I try them.

It is so interesting because since we got the pearl barley many of the magazines offering new and innovative ways of cooking, barley has become center of attention.

Pearl barley has a very low glycemic index, no cholesterol or salt.

Paella recipes for the most part have a pinch of saffron added to the pot.  Saffron is very expensive.  You can use smoked paprika instead and it will be just as good.

Paellas also turn to be dryer and I prefer my paella to have more broth than usual.  So, needless to say that my easy one pot wonder is a tad different.  I find recipes, I change them to my taste and then make them my own.

This Barley Paella has medium shrimp, but feel free to make it with bite size pieces of chicken, or a combination of both.


1 cup barley

2 1/2 cups water

3 tablespoons Olive oil

1 onion chopped (any size)

1 small red pepper, cut in strips

1 small yellow pepper, cut in strips

1 small fennel bulb, remove stalks, cut also in strips

2 large garlic cloves crushed

3 bay leaves

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/4 cup white wine vinegar

2 1/4 cups of vegetable stock, heated

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 pound medium shrimp

1 cup peas

1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved

2 cups marinated artichokes, drained and quartered

1/2 cup Kalamata olives, halved

Mix the barley with water in a saucepan and bring to a boil.  Cover and boil for about 2 minutes, then turn off the heat and let it sit for an hour.  You want the water to be absorbed.

Peel the shrimp and place the shells in a saucepan with the vegetable stock.  Heat and cook for about 5 minutes, turn off and let it sit.  This will give added flavor to the broth. Discard shells before adding to the pot.


Heat oil in a large pan over medium heat.  I don’t have a paella pan so I used the largest pan I could find.  Add onions, cooking until soft, then add the peppers and fennel.  Cook for about 5 minutes, then add garlic and cook for a bit longer.


Add bay leaves, paprika, turmeric, and cayenne. Mix in the barley.  Cook for a few minutes and add the vinegar, 2 cups of stocks and salt (optional).  Bring to a simmer.


Stir and cook until liquid reduces by half, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat and simmer until some of the liquid is absorbed.

Stir in shrimp, peas, tomatoes, artichokes, olives and remaining 1/2 of stock.  Simmer for a couple of minutes and then turn off the heat.  Cover and let it rest 10 minutes or until shrimp are just cooked through.


I served the Shrimp Pearl Barley Paella over steamed asparagus and to tell you the truth it was so good!!

I also sprinkled a few peas over the dish for added color.



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January 11th, 2012

What’s Cooking? Shrimp Paella with a Twist, A Twist? Yes, Quinoa, The Mother of All Grains, Recipe, Easy, Healthy


I had cut out this paella recipe, knowing that it was going to have to be adapted to our way of eating.  It was healthy and a bit different, using barley instead of rice.  Barley was out of the question, my husband having a gluten allergy.  And rice?  Well, I was a little bored with it.

Something new to try was Quinoa.  It is a grain as ancient as the Incas.  They thought this grain was sacred.  It is known as “the mother of all grains”.  It has the best amino acid profile of all grain.  It is gluten free, healthy for your heart, a whole grain, low in sodium and rich in fiber.  It is as versatile as rice. It resembles couscous; smaller than barley.


A Paella is a Spanish dish, cooked in a paellera.  Well, I did not have one.  A large pan would have to do.  Some are Paella Valenciana, Paella de Mariscos and the Paella Mixta.  Boy, mine was going to be, definitely, different.  There are hundreds of ways to cook one and everyone has their favorite.

This was the first time I had used this recipe and I found it to be very good.  The paella ended up being more wet than a traditional paella.  Hope you like it.


Shrimp Paella with a Twist


1 1/2 cups Quinoa

3 or 4 tablespoons virgin olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped

1 cup red pepper, sliced in thin strips

1 cup yellow pepper, sliced in thin strips

1 small fennel bulb, stalks removed and cut into strips (1 1/2 cups)



3 cloves garlic, crushed

2 bay leaves

1/2 tsp. smoked paprika

1/2 tsp. ground turmeric

1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper

1/4 cup white wine vinegar

1 pinch of saffron  (This is the world’s most expensive spice.  Only a pinch is needed to add aroma, flavor, and color. You can find it at most grocery stores.)

2 1/12 cups of hot vegetable stock (I bought reduced sodium)

1/2 tsp. salt

3/4 lb. shelled large shrimp (about 17 shrimp) I decided to used the medium size shrimp and added about 20 shrimp or so to the pan.

1 cup peas, fresh, canned or frozen

1 cup grape tomatoes, halved

1 can artichokes, drained and quatered, marinate them in 2 tablespoons of  Italian dressing. I used Wishbone, gluten free. Or, you can buy already marinated artichokes, drain and quarter them.

20 pitted Kalamata olives, halved.




Cook the Quinoa per directions.  Does not take long.  Fluff and keep aside.  Keep enough Quinoa to sprinkle over the dish when serving.

Heat oil in a large pan or skillet over medium heat and cook onion until softened; 5 minutes or so.

Add peppers and fennel.  Cook until vegetables soften.  Another 5 minutes.  Add garlic and cook 1 minute.


Add bay leaves, paprika, turmeric, and cayenne.  Mix in Quinoa and cook for 2 minutes.  Add vinegar, saffron, 2 cups of the stock and salt.  Bring to a nice simmer.


Stir and cook until liquid reduces by half.  It won’t reduce completely.  This might take about 15 minutes.  Remove the bay leaves and discard.


Stir in shrimp, peas, tomatoes, artichokes, olives and remaining 1/4 cup of stock.  Simmer for about 2 or 3 minutes, then turn off the heat.  Cover tightly and let it rest for about 10 minutes until shrimp are just cooked through. 


Serve, sprinkle with extra Quinoa and enjoy.  It has a nice kick to it, don’t you think?


Note:  This recipe is gluten free as I prepared it.  If you want to use rice, then, be my guest.  But, if you decide to use the barley, the recipe will not be gluten free.


Have a good one!!  Talk to you later…

May 1st, 2011

“Wet” Paella with Green Chiles, Corn and Clams, Recipe, Easy, One Dish Meal, Gluten Free


Chilly and rainy, don’t you think?  I had seen this recipe in a Cooking Light Magazine but I changed it all around.  Different chiles and chicken broth used instead of water.  It is also “wet” instead of the traditional dryer version.

A Paella is a Spanish dish from the city of Valencia.  It is served as a main course.  There are 3 types:  The Valencia Paella, the seafood paella and the mixed paella.  But, there are many other variations, as well.  The key ingredient?  Olive oil and saffron.

I hope you like this one; perfect for tonight’s weather.


“Wet” Paella with Green Chiles, Corn and Clams


3 tablespoons olive oil

2 cups yellow onion, chopped

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 can of whole green chiles, chopped (usually 2 or 3 per can)

1/2 tsp. salt (optional)

1/2 teaspoon, black pepper, divided

3/4 cup short-grain brown rice.

1/2 teaspoon, saffron threads, crushed

2 1/2 cups low sodium broth (If you want the regular, well you know what to do.)

1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper

1 1/2 cups corn (fresh, frozen or canned)

1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved

2 lbs. littleneck clams

A sprinkle of parsley for garnish. 

Lemons wedges on the side


Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

Heat oil in an ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat.  Add onion, garlic, green chiles, 1/2 teaspoon salt (optional), and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper.  Saute for around 3 minutes.


Add rice and saffron.  Cook for about 2 minutes, stirring constantly.  Then, add two cups of the chicken broth, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, and red pepper.  Bring to a boil.  Cover.


Bake at 450 degrees for 50 minutes or until rice is done.

Stir in the corn and tomatoes and 1/2 cup of chicken broth.  Then, nestle the clams into the rice mixture.


Keep baking at that same 450 degrees for another 12 minutes or until the shells open.  Then, take the ovenproof skillet out of the oven and discard any unopened clams.

Place skillet on top of the stove.  Cook without stirring on medium-high heat for about 10 minutes or so, covered.



You can top it with parsley and serve it with a wedge of lemon.

It will serve 4. 

Please note that this dish is gluten free.

As usual, the best way is to make it your own, just like I did.  This dish hit the spot tonight.


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