Lobster Paella

Wedding season is glorious.

I love getting dressed up.  I love drinking champagne.  I love rocking out way too hard on the dance floor with the Husband.  I love the many, multiple reasons to come home to Boston and see my friends.

And I love going to bridal showers hosted by my mom.

A little over a year ago, my mom called me in a panic.  She’d offered to do the bridal shower for her BFF’s daughter, but now she didn’t know what that actually entailed.  Food? Decor? Drinks? She was supposed to figure out GAMES!?!  She asked me if it’d be appropriate to call in sick, citing European-ness.  (According to my mom the German, Europeans just don’t DO showers.)  She made her delicious Beef Bourgouignon, and needless to say, the shower was amazing.

Last night, my mom hosted a shower for another friend’s daughter.  As we cleaned up the kitchen, she turned to me and said, “this is just the most wonderful tradition.”

Agreed, Mom.  Made all the more wonderful by this lobster paella.  That’s right.  Lobster paella.

IMG_3378[1]

Lobster Paella (Recipe adapted from Ina Garten)

  • olive oil
  • 2-3 chopped yellow onions
  • 2-3 red bell peppers, sliced
  • 6-8 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups basmati rice
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon saffron threads
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • salt & pepper (about a teaspoon each)
  • 1/3 cup Pernod or Ouzo
  • 1.5-2 pounds cooked lobster meat
  • 1 pound cooked shrimp
  • 1 pound kielbasa, sliced
  • 1 package frozen peas
  • for serving: parsley, lemon wedges
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Heat olive oil in large, ovenproof Dutch oven.  Add onions and cook over medium-low heat for 5-6 minutes.  Add bell peppers and cook an additional 5 minutes.  Lower heat, add minced garlic and cook another minute.  Stir in rice, chicken stock, saffron, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper and bring to a boil.  Cover pot and place it in the oven.
  3. Cook in the oven for about 12 minutes, remove, stir rice gently, and return to the oven to bake uncovered for an additional 10 minutes (or until rice is fully cooked).
  4. Remove from oven and transfer back to the stove top.  Add Ouzo or Pernod and cook over medium heat until the liquid is absorbed.  Turn off the heat; add lobster, shrimp, kielbasa, and peas.  Cover and allow to steam through, about 10 minutes, so all of the protein heats through.  Sprinkle with lemon and/or parsley and serve hot.

IMG_3379[1]The Verdict:

That was one happy bride-to-be.  And for an extra bonus round, we sent guests home with peppermint patties from Chequessett Chocolate and felt mighty pleased with ourselves.  (We kept the leftovers for us!)

Frost Living: Shrimp “Scampi”

It’s Monday night and our fridge is still full from Friday’s dinner party.  In addition to baked rigatoni, a bit of salad, cheese and some bread, we also have quite a few leftover shrimp (thanks, M!).  Which means tonight, we’re feasting on the frost of the land.

Leftover shrimp means shrimp scampi.  This meal has a special place in my heart, as it was the very first thing I learned how to cook without a recipe.  It was also a serious test of (now) my brother-in-law’s love for my sister: I made this for him and Kathryn one night in a small dorm room kitchen and used probably 6 or 7 times the amount of lemon a normal person could reasonably tolerate.  He ate the whole thing, a smile on his face.  (My sister was less sanguine.)  And now they’re married.

Frost Living Shrimp Scampi

  • pasta – linguine, fettuccine, spaghetti
  • 1 pound shrimp, peeled and de-veined (ideally, they’re the uncooked kind; I had only pre-cooked)
  • 2-3 tablespoons butter or olive oil
  • 1 shallot, sliced and diced
  • 3-4 cloves minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine (or vermouth – use less of this)
  • Half of a 15 oz can diced tomatoes, juice partially drained
  • greens – we have leftover baby bok choy, but normally I like to toss in arugula or spinach
  • juice from 1/2 lemon
  • grated lemon zest
  • salt and pepper, crushed red pepper
  • optional: Parmesan, fresh parsley
  1. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil; cook pasta according to directions.  Reserve about a cup of starchy water.
  2. Pat your shrimp totally dry; set aside
  3. Heat butter or olive oil in a large saute pan.  Add shallot and cook down until they start to soften.  Add garlic, and a dash of salt, pepper and crushed reds.
  4. If shrimp is uncooked, add them now and cook until just pink on both sides – 2-3 minutes.  Remove from pan.  If already cooked, skip this step.
  5. Add white wine, diced tomatoes, a squeeze of lemon and either a bit more olive oil or butter.  Add some lemon zest.  Bring to a boil.  Add your greens.
  6. Add shrimp to the pan and heat all the way through.  Season with salt and pepper.  Depending on the amount of sauce, add the leftover starchy water.
  7. Serve shrimp and sauce over pasta.  Top with fresh parsley and/or Parmesan.
frost living chez nous.
frost living chez nous.

The Verdict:

Well…not sure it was a good sign that the Husband picked out all the shrimp.  I think (I hope) that was more a referendum on the seafood (he’s not a number one fan) than the dish.  On the bright side, I got to eat twice the amount of shrimp!