Daniel and I went though a paella phase about a year ago wherein we invested in two different sized paella pans that we purchased from the now defunct and much missed Buffalo Hardware. One thing we hadn’t tried, however, was lobster paella. During our vacation, we decided to modify a lobster paella recipe from Epicurious and it is both decadent and delicious. Evidently Bomba rice doesn’t exist in this part of Long Island (Isaac will tell you about it, he tried!) but sushi rice does the job and does it well. The key to this recipe is not stirring the rice and timing the seafood just right. We upgraded the dish with homemade lobster stock that Jesse had made the weekend before and threw in a bunch of other fresh seafood in addition to the lobster for good measure. The most delicious part of this dish is the “socorat” or burnt/ crusty rice at the bottom of the pan. It’s a delicacy! The seafood (while amazing) was really just an excuse to eat a whole bunch of crusty yet ooey-gooey rice.
4 cups lobster stock (preferably homemade)
4 cups vegetable stock + more on hand
3 lobster tails
1/2 pound clams
1/2 pound shrimp
3 cups sushi rice
1 tsp saffron
3 leeks chopped
2 tsp sea salt (such as Maldon)
1 tbsp smoked paprika
1 cup sliced Spanish chorizo
3/4 cup olive oil
handful or so of frozen (and thawed) green peas or green beans
Start heating combined stocks with saffron over medium low. Meanwhile, place a 16 inch paella pan (or similar flat enamel casserole dish) over medium high heat. Add olive oil and chorizo. Cook until chorizo has rendered some fat and is starting to brown then add in your leeks. Once those are melting (starting to turn transparent) (about 5 minutes), add rice and coat with oil. Season with salt, pepper (optional) and paprika and cook for a minute or two. Add 6 cups of stock and stir once, then let cook undisturbed for 5 minutes. Add clams to the rice, do not stir. Cook 10 more minutes. Add in lobster and shrimp. Cook 20 minutes longer. Checking to see if the rice is tender and adding more stock as needed. You will just have to feel this part out. Don’t get nervous if you smell a slightly burnt smell (within reason). Its the rice at the bottom of the pan doing its thing. You may need more stock then what is indicated here so, just have some on hand. You want toothsome, slightly chewy rice, but not underdone. Once you like the consistency of the rice and the seafood is about cooked (shrimp are pink, clams have opened and lobster is white inside) add in peas and cook for 5 more minutes. Serve with crusty bread.