This easy, saffron-infused seafood paella with shrimps and lobster has fewer ingredients and requires no special pan. You don’t have to wait until a special occasion to enjoy this dish.
- 4 small lobster tails (6-12 oz each)
- 3 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil (I used the Private Reserve).
- 1 large, yellow onion, chopped
- 2 cups Spanish rice (or medium-grain) soaked in water for 20 mins, then drain.
- 4 cloves of garlic, chopped
- 2 large pinches Spanish saffron threads, soaked in 1/2 cup of water
- 1 tsp Sweet Spanishpaprika
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon chile pepper flake (I used aleppo pepper).
- 2 large Roma tomatoes, finely chopped
- 6 oz French green beans, trimmed
- 1 lb prawns, large shrimp or any other choice, peeled & deveined
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
- Bring 3 cups water to a boil in a large saucepan. Let the lobster tails boil for 1-2 minutes until they turn pink. Turn off the heat. Use a pair of tongs to remove the lobster tails. The lobster cooking water should not be thrown away. Once the lobster is cool enough for handling, take out the shell and chop into large pieces.
- Heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in a large, heavy pan or skillet made of cast iron. Turn the heat up to medium-high, and then add the chopped onion. Sauté the onions for 2 min, then add the rice and cook for 3 minutes more, stirring occasionally. Add the lobster cooking water and chopped garlic. Add the saffron, its soaking liquid, salt, cayenne pepper and aleppo pepper. Add the green beans and chopped tomatoes. Bring to boil, reduce the liquid and cover with foil or a lid. Cook on low heat for 20 min.
- Spread the shrimp on top of the rice. If necessary, add a little water. Cook the shrimp for 10 more minutes, or until they turn pink. Then, add the lobster pieces. Turn heat off once the lobster has warmed through. Sprinkle with parsley.
- Serve hot the paella with your favorite white wine
Pro-Tip – Depending on what kind of rice you choose, you may need to soak the rice in water before you cook it. My experience has shown that rice can be cooked faster if it is soaked in water for at least 15 minutes (until the grain is broken between your thumbs and index fingers). This will allow you to use less water. You can cook the rice evenly and faster.
Pro-Tip : Some paella recipes forbid you from stirring the rice at the beginning of the cooking process. This worked for me the best. Thank you Bobby Flay!
You can also add Chorizo to the recipe: dry Spanish Chorizo is a great addition. Once you have sliced the onion into thin halves (step 2), add the chorizo to the pan and cook it until it becomes crispy. Then continue with the recipe.
Shellfish, such as mussels or clams, can be added to rice by placing the clean mussels or clams in the rice (step #3). Make sure that the hinge sides of the mussels are facing up so the rice releases their juices. Cook until the shrimp turns pink and the mussels and clams are opened.
To add fish: I was asked if it is possible to add fish fillets. You can also cut up a thin white fish, such as sole fillet. Then you can add it to the shrimp along with the shrimp (step 3). Give the fish some seasoning. Once again, cover the fish and let it cook for a few minutes to ensure that shrimp turn pink and the fish becomes flaky.