Saturday, October 3, 2009

Easy Lobster Paella

I was looking to make dinner tonight with ingredients I had on hand. One of my FAVORITE cookbook authors is Ina Garten, The Barefoot Contessa.

Looking through her books, I decided on Easy Lobster Paella (except I used scallops, since I had them on hand).

The flavors were rich and flavorful. Had this been an entree in a restaurant, it would have been at least $25 a serving. I served this with some chopped up heirloom tomatoes, dressed with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper. The wine we opened was a 2004 Cakebread Pinot Noir. It ended up being the perfect choice - not too bold and hearty, but enough of a bit of a bite to cut through the richness of the paella.

Easy Lobster Paella
Copyright 2006, Barefoot Contessa at Home, All Rights Reserved

Prep Time:
20 min
Inactive Prep Time:
10 min
Cook Time:
30 min
6 servings

1/4 cup good olive oil
1 1/2 cups chopped yellow onion (2 onions)
2 red bell peppers, cored and sliced into 1/2-inch strips - used 1 red bell pepper
2 tablespoons minced garlic (4 to 6 cloves)
2 cups white basmati rice
5 cups good chicken stock, preferably homemade - used water with a vegetable buillion cube
1/2 teaspoon saffron threads, crushed
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup licorice-flavored liqueur (recommended: Pernod) - used Pinot Noir
1 1/2 pounds cooked lobster meat - used 1 lb. sauteed scallops
1 pound kielbasa, sliced 1/4 to 1/2-inch thick - quickly sauteed kielbasa in the same pan as the scallops, after removing the scallops
1 (10-ounce) package frozen peas - omitted - didn't have
1 tablespoon minced fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
2 lemons, cut into wedges

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Heat the oil in a large ovenproof Dutch oven. Add the onions and cook over medium-low heat for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the bell peppers and cook over medium heat for 5 more minutes. Lower the heat, add the garlic, and cook for 1 minute longer. Stir in the rice, chicken stock, saffron, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper and bring to a boil. Cover the pot and place it in the oven. After 15 minutes, stir the rice gently with a wooden spoon, and return it to the over to bake uncovered for 10 to 15 more minutes, until the rice is fully cooked.

Transfer the paella back to the stove top and add the liqueur. Cook the paella over medium heat for 1 minute, until the liqueur is absorbed by the rice. Turn off the heat and add the lobster, kielbasa, and peas and stir gently. Cover the paella, and allow it to steam for 10 minutes. Sprinkle with the parsley, garnish with lemon wedges, and serve hot.

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