Red Lobster is an American casual dining restaurant chain that is owned and operated by Darden Restaurants, Inc., headquartered in Orlando, Florida. The company also has operations in Canada, the United Arab Emirates, and Japan. As of May 29, 2011, there are 698 Red Lobster locations worldwide.
Red Lobster was founded in 1968 by entrepreneurs Bill Darden and Charley Woodsby. Originally billed as a "Harbor for Seafood Lovers", the first restaurant in Lakeland, Florida, was followed by several others throughout the southeast. In 1970, General Mills acquired Red Lobster as a five-unit company. With new backing, the chain expanded rapidly in the 1980s.
South Beach Seafood Paella
Red Lobster South Beach Seafood Paella
6 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup minced onions
1 small sweet red bell pepper, seeded, cut into 1/2" pieces
1 small sweet green bell pepper, seeded, cut into 1/2" pieces
1 cup canned chopped tomatoes, drained
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme
1 lb. sea scallops
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 oz. andouille sausage, cut into 1/2" thick pieces
1/2 cup dry white wine
3 cups long-grain rice
1 teaspoon saffron threads
3 cups chicken stock, hot
3 cups clam juice, hot
12 large or jumbo shrimp, cleaned and peeled, leaving tails intact
1 lb. fresh fish (grouper, scrod, haddock, halibut or swordfish), skinless, cut into 1" chunks
16 fresh mussels
1/2 lb. sugar snap peas
1 medium red pepper, cut into long 1/2" wide strips
Chopped fresh parsley to garnish
The Sofrito: In a heavy 12" skillet, heat 3 tbsp. olive oil until hot. Add the onions and pepper, and cook, stirring for 5 minutes until they’re soft and transparent. Add tomatoes, garlic and thyme. Cook, stirring for 5 more minutes, until most of the liquid in the pan evaporates and the mixture is thick. Put the sofrito aside for later.
Seafood and Sausage: Season the fish, shrimp and scallops with salt and pepper. In a skillet, heat 3 tbsp. of olive oil over moderately high heat until hot. Add the fish, shrimp and scallops, as well as the mussels, and sauté for 3-5 minutes. Add the sausage and cook until light brown. Transfer to a plate and deglaze pan with 1/2 cup of dry white wine.
Paella: About 30 minutes before you plan to serve the paella, preheat an oven to 400 degrees F.
In a 14" paella pan or shallow casserole dish at least 14" in diameter, combine the sofrito, rice and saffron.
Pour in 3 cups of chicken stock and 2 cups of clam juice (save 1 cup for the end). Stirring constantly, bring to a boil over high heat. Remove the pan from the heat immediately and season with salt and pepper. Arrange the seafood on the top of the rice. Set the pan on the lowest shelf in the oven and bake uncovered for 20 minutes. Do not stir the paella once it goes in the oven. Sprinkle the sugar snap peas and the red pepper strips over the whole paella, and bake for 5-10 minutes more, or until all of the liquid has been absorbed by the rice and the grains are tender, but not too soft. If the rice needs to be softer, add the remaining cup of clam juice. Remove from stove and let stand for five minutes before serving. Garnish with parsley.
Paella, which originated in Spain, can be made with chicken, pork, sausage or seafood.
Make sure you use the freshest seafood for this recipe. You can tell if the shrimp and scallops are fresh by making sure that they have a nice aroma that is not overpowering. Mussels and clams are fresh if their shells are closed. Once you cook them, they will open up.
This paella dish reheats well. If you make it the night before, put it in the oven at 350-400 degrees F for approximately 30-40 minutes covered (to keep the dish moist, add either more chicken stock or clam juice before putting it in the oven).