Rice with Seafood – Arroz con Mariscos

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Delicate rice loaded with delicious seafood for an impressive party dish.

Difficulty: Easy - for beginners
Serves: 8-10 servings

Preparation time:
Cooking time:

Ingredients

shrimp and lobster tail shells (see instructions)
2 quarts water
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups white onions, diced
1 1/2 cups red bell pepper, diced
1 1/2 cups green bell pepper, diced
1/4 cup olive oil
6 cloves garlic, crushed and finely chopped
6 cups shrimp broth (see step 1 below)
3 cups parboiled rice
1 cup Roma tomatoes, chopped
1 teaspoon Bijol powder
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
6 strips bacon, diced
1 pound large shrimp, peeled, deveined,and butterflied (reserve shells)
1 pound bay scallops
2 (4- to 6-ounce) lobster tails
1/2 pound fish fillets (any ocean fish will do)
salt, pepper, and ground cumin for seasoning seafood
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup flour
2/3 cup frozen green peas

Method

Make a broth by placing the shells from the shrimp and lobster in a 3-quart saucepan and filling it with about 2 quarts of lightly salted water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for about 15 minutes.
Sauté the onions and red and green peppers in olive oil in a large sauté pan until the onion is translucent. Add the garlic and cook an additional minute, stirring frequently.

Remove the simmering broth from the heat and strain out all of the shells. Take 6 cups of the seafood broth and pour into a large 8-quart covered pot.

Add the cooked onion mixture, rice, tomatoes, Bijol powder, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer until rice is fully cooked and most of the liquid has been absorbed, about 30 to 45 minutes.

While the rice cooks, sauté the bacon in a large frying pan. Reduce heat to medium-low and let the fat render out of the bacon, about 10 minutes. Once the fat releases, remove the bacon and increase the temperature to high. Reserve bacon.

Sauté the shrimp, scallops and lobster tails in small batches in this hot bacon fat, starting with the peeled shrimp. You may add a little olive oil to the pan as necessary. Season each batch of seafood lightly with salt, pepper, and a little cumin. Sauté the seafood quickly, flipping once after a minute or so, until the shrimp turn pink, and the scallops and lobster turn opaque, about 3 to 5 minutes. Do not overcook

Remove each batch of seafood from pan and set aside somewhere where it will keep warm, but not continue cooking.

Sprinkle a little lemon juice on the fish fillets and lightly season them with salt, pepper and a little cumin. Dredge the fillets in the flour and fry them in the pan until just cooked through.

Fluff the rice up with a fork. Carefully fold the peas, bacon, and the cooked seafood into the cooked rice. Cover and cook over low heat for about 3 minutes – just long enough to make sure everything is hot. Serve immediately.

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