Sometimes technology can be a nightmare for a parent. For every way that it makes our lives easier, it also makes life with a child in possession of an iPad or computer, very frustrating. The daily battles to put the iPad down and pick up a book are, in the words of my kid, "epic". No, I did not purchase this device for him and dig my own grave, the iPad was given to my kid as a gift. What does this have to do with Paella? Absolutely nothing at all. Happy cooking.
Adapted from The VB6 Cookbook by Mark Bittman
Note: Bittman has a few very delicious variations of this recipe in his book.
2 teaspoons Kosher salt
1 1/2 cups short grain brown rice
1 pound fresh tomatoes, cut into thick wedges
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 pound sea scallops (half of the frozen Costco scallops)
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 onion, chopped
1 tablespoon minced garlic (1 big clove)
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
2 cups vegetable stock
1/4 cup fresh parsley, for garnish
1) Heat the oven to 450 degrees fahrenheit. Bring a medium pot of water and 1 teaspoon of salt to a boil. Stir in rice, adjust the heat so that the water bubbles steadily, and cook rice undisturbed until the rice is plump and partially tender, 10-15 minutes. Drain well. (I used a rice cooker for this part and the dish came out great. If you have a rice cooker, it's much easier.) Put the tomatoes in a medium bowl, sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and drizzle with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Toss gently.
2) Put 2 tablespoons of the oil in a 10- or 12-inch ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Pat the scallops dry with paper towels, add them to the pan, and sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of salt and the pepper; work in batches if necessary to avoid crowding the skillet. Cook, turning once, until the scallops are browned on both sides and just cooked through, 1 to 3 minutes per side depending on how thick they are. Transfer them to a plate.
3) Put the remaining 1 tablespoon oil in the same skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables soften, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste and paprika and cook about 1 minute. Add the rice and cook, stirring occasionally about 1 or 2 minutes. Add the stock and stir until just combined.
4) Put the tomatoes on top of the rice and drizzle with the juices that accumulated in the bottom of the bowl. Transfer the pan to the oven and cook undisturbed for 15 minutes. Test a kernel of rice. If it's not quite tender and the pan looks too dry, add a small amount of stock and return it to the oven; if it's not tender and the pan looks soupy, just return it to the oven. Check again in another 5 minutes.
5) When the rice is ready, nestle the scallops in among the tomatoes, return the pan to the oven, and turn off the heat. Let the paella sit until the scallops are heated through, 2 or 3 minutes. Garnish with the parsley and serve with the lemon wedges.