Seafood Fra Diavalo
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Recipe courtesy of Antonia Lofaso

Seafood Fra Diavalo with Charred Garlic Bread

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 2 hr 35 min
  • Active: 1 hr 20 min
  • Yield: 4 to 6 servings



Seafood Broth:


Roasted Fennel:

Garlic Bread:


Special equipment:
a mandoline
  1. For the lobster: Heat a large pot of water over high heat until it comes to a boil. Quickly blanch the lobsters just long enough so the shells turn red and the meat isn't fully cooked but can be removed from the shells, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer the lobsters to an ice bath to stop the meat from cooking. Separate the tails and claws from the bodies, reserving the bodies for the broth. Remove the tail and claw meat from the shells and roughly chop. Set aside until ready to use.
  2. For the seafood broth: In an 8-quart Dutch oven over high heat, add the oil. Let get hot, then add the onion, celery and carrots and allow to saute and brown, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic, parsley, rosemary and basil and stir to combine. Allow to bloom for 1 minute. Add the reserved lobster bodies and shrimp shells and stir to combine. Add the butter, habanero, chile flakes, tomato paste, lobster base, bourbon, white wine, chicken stock and salt and stir combine. Allow this to come to a simmer and cook until mildly thick, 45 minutes to 1 hour.
  3. Strain the broth through a wire mesh strainer into a large bowl or saucepan. Pour the broth into a blender and blend until smooth. Reserve until ready to use or keep warm in a saucepan over low heat.
  4. For the seafood: Heat a 14-inch cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat and add 1/4 cup neutral cooking oil. Sprinkle the scallops with salt and pepper and add to the heated oil to sear, without moving them, about 4 minutes. Flip the scallops, then add the butter and rosemary. Once the butter has melted, add the shrimp and lobster meat to fully cook the shrimp and warm the lobster through, about 4 minutes.
  5. For the roasted fennel: Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
  6. Spread the fennel on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and drizzle with the olive oil. Roast until caramelized, about 12 minutes. Reserve until ready to plate.
  7. For the garlic bread: Preheat a grill on high heat.
  8. Char both sides of the bread aggressively and evenly, about 3 minutes per side. Rub each piece of grilled bread with 2 to 3 swipes of raw garlic and place on a platter. Drizzle each piece with 2 tablespoons finishing oil and season with salt. (Yes, it's a lot of oil, I know. It's good.)
  9. Assemble and arrange all the seafood in the bottom of a large serving bowl or large shallow dish. Spread the roasted fennel all around and put the herbs on top. Nestle some of the garlic bread in the dish and serve the remaining on the side. Pour the broth all around the dish and serve.