Paella with Pacific Spiny Lobster and Pasilla Peppers

Posted on 24. Jan, 2012 by in Family Dinners

Paella is a traditional dish from Spain orginally known as a poor man’s lunch. Historically this dish of saffron flavored rice and vegetables was slow cooked in a flat pan over an open fire with whatever else that could be found anything from snails or rabbit to the scraps left in the fishing nets. Salty Dog brought home a lobster this morning so as is fitting to the origins of the dish I used what we had although I did draw the line with the pet guinea pigs and left them out of the dish. I had just recently made a fish stock from the remains of the ocean bass Salty Dog had speared last week which I used here. If you don’t have any homemade fish stock handy simmer a quart of good chicken or vegetable broth for 20 minutes with the shells of shrimp or lobster that you could later add to your paella.

  • 2 bone in chicken breast cut into 6 pieces
  • 10 oz or about 3 sausages or chorizo cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 lobster tail steamed and cut into bit-sized pieces OR 1 lb of medium shrimp, deveined, shells reserved
  • 1 lb manilla clams
  • 4 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 large yellow onion diced
  • 1 pasilla pepper diced
  • 2 large tomatoes, seeded and chopped OR 1 pint of cherry tomatoes cut in half lengthwise
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 1/2 cups uncooked Arborio or other short grain rice
  • 1/4 t saffron threads crushed
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 4 cups fish stock OR stock simmered with shells

Optional Additional Ingredients

  • 1 14 oz can artichokes
  • 1 lb mussels, bearded and scrubbed

Season the chicken with salt, pepper and a pinch of cayenne. Heat oil in a 12- 15 inch wide paella pan or large shallow skillet. Add the sausage and chicken and brown it well turning occasionally for about 15 minutes. Remove and set aside. Add onions, pasilla pepper and garlic and stir to coat and saute for about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes and cook another few minutes until all the vegetables are soft. Add the rice to the vegetables and cook stirring for a couple of minutes while the rice heats. Add the strained stock (check to make sure you still have 4 cups as it may have simmered down) saffron, a good pinch of salt and pepper. Bring back to boil. Return the chicken and sausage to the pan. Cover and simmer for 25 minutes. If excess liquid remains remove lid and let it continue to simmer. Place clams, mussels, lobster pieces, peas and any additional toppings on top of rice. Cover and cook another 10 minutes. Discard any unopened shellfish and remove bay leaves. Remove from heat and let sit for 15 minutes and serve.

Serve the paella with lemon wedges or squeeze a little lemon juice into the rice and stock during cooking. Lemon juice helps to keep the rice grains separate.



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3 Responses to “Paella with Pacific Spiny Lobster and Pasilla Peppers”

  1. janet schlihs 16 February 2012 at 6:27 pm #

    this i must try! all of them! beautiful!!

    • ej 23 February 2012 at 10:05 am #

      The idea is to do the Pacific Coast Paella with all things harvested from Topanga Beach. I just tried some lovely Norris Top Shell snails gathered from the
      seaweed just off shore that I used in a paella. These ocean snails were much like the french land snails only bigger!

  2. Marcy 19 January 2015 at 3:09 am #

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