With lobbys fresh from King Island on the menu, we figured it was time for Miguel to pull one of our favourite salty recipes from his locker of watery wonder — his signature seafood paella. It’s a visual feast as well as a damn tasty one. And it’s perfect for cooking up when friends and family come over, to be regaled with stories of cranking crustaceans from their underwater lairs.
• 600ml chicken stock
• 250g Spanish rice
• 1 King Island lobster, cut in half across
• 1 free-range chorizo sausage, thinly sliced
• 50g fresh/frozen peas
• 1 lemon, cut into wedges, to serve
• 2 large ripe oxheart tomatoes, roughly chopped
• 4 large roasted red Piquillo capiscums, from jar
• 4 cloves garlic, peeled
• ó bunch parsley
• 3 sprigs thyme, leaves only
• ó bunch chives
• 25ml olive oil
• 1 pinch saffron threads
• 2 tablespoon Spanish smoked paprika
To make the sofrito, place all ingredients in a food processor and process until chunky. If you don’t have a food processor, roughly chop the tomatoes and capsicums and finely chop the garlic and parsley. Combine with other sofrito ingredients. Heat a 30cm frypan or paella pan on high heat, add chorizo and cook until golden brown. Add sofrito and cook until tomatoes start to become juicy, 3–4 minutes. Add chicken stock and bring to the boil. Add lobster halves with the flesh side down. Stir in rice and bring to a simmer.
Continue simmering for about 10 minutes. When rice is tender and liquid has almost fully reduced (there should still be some liquid in the frypan), add peas and cook for a further 2 minutes to achieve soccarrada (crusty goodness on the bottom of the pan). Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper and garnish with chives. Squeeze over lemon juice just before serving.
Now, did I tell you about that 20kg lob monster I hauled aboard off the west coast of Tassie back in ’97?