Lobster and Shrimp Paella - Rancho La Puerta
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Lobster and Shrimp Paella

Longer days are almost here and our Lobster and Shrimp Paella recipe is the perfect choice to ring in warmer evening dinners outside.  This beautiful and delicious recipe is taken from our cookbook, Ranch cookbook, Cooking with the Seasons at Rancho Puerta by Deborah Szekely, Deborah Schneider, and Robert Holmes.  Enjoy!

Deborah remembers…”Seafood paella is the perfect dish for entertaining.  I did a lot of paellas in the early days at my house on Dove Street in San Diego.  It’s part of my repertoire, so to speak, and some friends tell me I’m quite renowned for it.  Add the fish and the green peas at the very end – it’s really quite an artful piece.”

Traditional paella is cooked on a low grill over a hot wood fire.  In this foolproof method, you will start on top of the stove and finish in the oven.  Build the paella in any wide, shallow ovenproof sauté pan – even a large frying pan will do, so long as it is at least 12 inches wide and no more than 3 inches deep.  The recipe may also be halved and cooked in a 10-inch pan.  Always allow the paella to rest after cooking, no matter how eager you are to dive in.


  • 1 teaspoon Spanish saffron threads
  • ¼ cup hot water
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 poblano chiles, seeded and cut into ¼ inch dice
  • 10 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • ½ white onion, peeled and cut into ¼-inch dice
  • 1 leek, white part only, washed and cut into ½ inch pieces
  • 4 ounces small bay shrimp, drained
  • 4 ounces small bay scallops, drained
  • 2 cups long-grain brown rice
  • 3 Roma tomatoes, seeded and cut into ¼-inch dice
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 large lobster, split, or 6 small slipper lobster tails, shells split
  • 6 large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 6 large clams or 6 black mussels, well scrubbed
  • 1 red bell pepper, roasted, peeled and cut into julienne
  • ½ teaspoon Spanish paprika
  • ½ cup cooked green peas
  • lemon wedges


  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Soak the saffron in the hot water for 30 minutes.
  3. In a 12-inch ovenproof sauté pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat.  Sauté the chiles, stirring often, until soft, about 2 minutes. Add the garlic, onion, and leek, and cook, stirring for 2 minutes more.
  4. Add the shrimp and scallops and cook, stirring, for 1 minute.
  5. Stir in the rice, then the tomatoes, and cook for 1 minute more.
  6. Reduce the heat to low and add the saffron liquid. Rinse the saffron container with the wine, and add that to the pan. Add the stock and salt, and stir gently but thoroughly to combine.
  7. Bring the paella almost to a boil; shake the pan gently, but do not stir.
  8. Move the paella to the oven and bake, uncovered, for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and set the lobster, shrimp, clams, or mussels, and pepper on top. Sprinkle the seafood with paprika and return to the oven for 15 to 20 minutes more, or until the seafood is just cooked. (Be careful not to overcook.)
  9. Remove from the oven and set on the range top, where the paella will stay warm. Scatter the peas over the paella. Drape the paella with a clean kitchen towel and let it rest for 15 minutes to soften the rice and seafood.
  10. Serve with lemon wedges.

Note: Because this paella uses brown rice, outdoor cooking is not recommended, as the rice will not cook evenly.