Two 6" lobster tails, split and skewered (optional)
1 lb. shell-on medium shrimp
1 lb. mussels
2 lbs. manila clams (these are smaller and sweeter than Littleneck clams)
1 lb. chorizo or kielbasa, sliced
*Other possible additions: calamari/squid rings, monkfish, scallops, crab, chicken
2 tbsp. flat leaf parsley, chopped
8 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tbsp. fresh thyme leaves
1/8 tsp. kosher salt
2 tsp. sweet paprika
Six 8-oz bottles clam juice
1 cup water
1 tsp. saffron threads
5 tbsp. olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
3 scallions, chopped
One 15-oz. can diced tomatoes
2 cups Paella rice
1/2 cup green peas (frozen ok)
1. Add all the ingredients for the parsley paste (except for the paprika) in a mortar. Grind with a pestle until a paste forms. Stir in the paprika. Set aside.
2. Heat the clam juice and 1 cup of water in a small sauce pan until it just comes to a boil. Turn off heat and stir in the saffron. Set aside.
3. Prep your grill by adding charcoal and heating until the charcoal is white hot (if you have a smaller paella pan and don't want to use a grill, go ahead and heat it over a burner on your stovetop).
4. Place the paella pan over the heat and add 5 tbsp. olive oil. Add the chopped onions, green and red bell peppers, and scallions. Stir and cook until softened. Add the sausage and toss briefly. Add the tomatoes and cook 5 minutes. Stir in the rice and cook about 1 minute.
5. Add the clam juice mixture and bring to a boil. Cook for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
6. Stir in the parsley paste and taste for salt (add a scant 1/2 tsp. more, if needed). After this point, do not stir the rice any more. Raise the pan a bit from the charcoal (or lower the heat on the stovetop) and simmer for 10 minutes, adding more liquid if needed. Do NOT cover.
7. Arrange the shellfish over the rice and sprinkle the top with green peas. Cook another 15-20 minutes until the rice and shellfish are just cooked through.
8. To serve: garnish with parsley leaves, julienned piquillo or roasted red peppers, and lemon wedges on the side.