Paella is one of my favorite dishes, hands down. It's meant to be eaten from one big pan in the center of the table and is often street food in Spain, cooked over an open fire – one of my favorite ways to cook. The brown bits on the bottom of the pan that everyone fights over even has a name – sacarat.
Because saffron is the most expensive spice on the planet, you can substitute tumeric and paprika for the saffron, use 1 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric and 1/2 teaspoon paprika in place of the 1/2 teaspoon saffron. Add it to the sautéing onions instead of the chicken stock.
Maine Lobster Paella
2, 1 1/2 pound lobsters
1/2 teaspoon saffron
3 1/2 cups lobster broth
2 tablespoon olive oil, use in two places
1 pound chorizo, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 whole head garlic
1 1/2 teaspoon salt, add when needed depending on the stock
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 red pepper, cut into 1 inch slices
1 medium onion, grated
2 tomatoes, cut in half and grated, discard peel
1 1/2 cup medium grain white rice, uncooked
1 sprig of rosemary
2 lemons cut in wedges for garnish
In a large stockpot, bring 1 inch of salted water to a boil. Add the lobsters and cook until bright red all over, about 10 minutes. Remove from the pot and set aside to cool slightly. When cool enough to handle, use a chefs knife to cut the tail in half lengthwise and break the claws of the lobster. Save the body as there's good meat there too! Save for another recipe or an industrious guest. Strain and reserve 3 1/2 cups of lobster broth for later in the recipe. In a large paella pan or skillet, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add the chorizo, whole garlic head, salt and pepper and cook for 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate and add the peppers to the pan. Salt and pepper and cook for 4 minutes. Transfer to the chorizo plate and cover. To the pan, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and then the onions, tomatoes salt and pepper. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, bring the broth and saffron to a boil and then turn off the heat until you are ready to add it to the rice. When the onion mixture is a nicely browned paste, add the rice and cover the pan. Arrange the chorizo and peppers over the rice. Add 3 cups of stock (reserving 1/2 cup) and bring to a boil. Add the rosemary to the top of the rice. Cook for 15-20 minutes and then add the lobster. Cook for another 5 minutes or until the rice is al dente. When you break open a rice kernel there should be a little white dot in the center. Cover for another 1-2 minutes with foil and increase the heat. When the rice starts to crackle on the bottom of the pan, it’s done. Remove from heat and let rest for 5-10 minutes still covered.
Now wishing I was having paella for dinner instead of the turkey gallentine I already made!
© 2008 Baggywrinkle Publishing