Spanish Shellfish Stew with Lobster
Zarzuela, or Spanish shellfish stew, shares similarities with France’s bouillabaisse, but fragranced with paprika and enriched with picada, a mixture of ground almonds and bread crumbs, the dish has a character all its own.
Why This Recipe Works
To get an intensely flavored zarzuela recipe, bright with wine and tomatoes, and briny with perfectly cooked shellfish, we chose shrimp, clams, mussels, scallops, and lobsters, adding them in stages so each type was cooked until just done. We shelled the shrimp for the stew, but we realized that in doing so, we were losing out on the flavor contained in the shells. Our solution was to make a shrimp shell infusion with the white wine before adding the tomatoes to the broth—this simple step greatly improved the flavor of the zarzuela.
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