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Baked Lobster Tail with Saffron Rice Recipe

Seasoned Butter
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
2 small garlic cloves, crushed
1/4 cup brandy
1 teaspoon chopped fresh parsley
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Saffron Rice
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup white wine
1 cup parcooked long-grain rice, such as Uncle Ben's Converted Rice
1 2/3 cups chicken or vegetable stock (if using canned stock, choose low-sodium)
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
1 pinch fresh saffron (6 stamens) placed in 2 tablespoons of white wine
Lemon wedges, for garnish

4 lobster tails, 8 ounces each
Coarse sea salt and freshly ground white pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon olive oil

Yield: 4 servings


Seasoned Butter
Place all the ingredients for the seasoned butter in a blender and whip until the butter doubles in volume; set aside.

Saffron Rice
Sauté the onion in saucepan until transparent, add the white wine, and reduced by two thirds. Add the rice. Add the chicken or vegetable stock, salt, and pepper, and bring to a boil. Cover and cook over low heat for about 18 minutes, until the rice has a "bite" and the liquid has been absorbed. Remove from heat. Add the saffron-white wine mixture, and stir in thoroughly. Stir in remaining Seasoned Butter from the cooked lobster.

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Using a pair of kitchen shears cut a lengthwise slit in the lobster shells. Pull the lobster-tail meat up and out of each shell, keeping the tails connected at the back. Season with salt and pepper, and brush meat with olive oil.
Place the lobster tails meat side down in a preheated sauté pan. Sear the outsides of the tail meat briefly, then place on a baking sheet.
Spread the tail meat with the Seasoned Butter, then place in a preheated oven for approximately 15 minutes, or until the meat thermometer registers 150°F.

To serve:
Place the rice in the center of the plate. Top with lobster. Garnish with lemon.

Cook's note:
since this recipe uses only the tail, look for spiny rock lobsters, which have most of the meat in the heavy tail. If you buy live lobsters, place in the refrigerator (but not directly on ice) until ready to cook.


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