This dish is traditionally made with rice, cuttlefish (sepia) and the ink of the cuttlefish. I used squid instead of the cuttlefish.
In Spain when you go to the fish store and you ask for cuttlefish, the fishmonger will ask you if you want the ink. If you are planning on making black rice or black noodles, you will keep it, otherwise you don’t want it.
In the U.S I can’t find cuttlefish, and a lot of you will not even know what it is. But believe me, it is very common in other countries, including Spain. If I am lucky enough to find it, It’s frozen, so there is no ink. I bought cuttlefish ink in a jar (online). It’s perfect and it works really good.
A lot of you might be grilling this weekend, but… if you want a good alternative to the traditional, here is an easy dish to make. Something different, simple, fun and tasty!
- Paella Pan
- 1 Large Sweet Onion Grated (or Chopped)
- 1 Red Bell Pepper (medium) Grated (or chopped)
- 2 Large (ripe) Tomatoes, grated or 5-6 small whole tomatoes from a can
- 2 Tbsp Cuttlefish or Squid Ink
- 1 Ibs Squid tubes and tentacles
- 10 Shrimp Optional
- 2 Cups Bomba Rice
- 1 Quart Seafood broth/stock. Homemade or the best quality you can find at the supermarket
- Salt, pepper and olive oil
- 1 Cup Aioli Optional
- In a small pan on low heat, cook the grated onion and pepper with some olive oil (about 4 tablespoons) until it looks extremely brown. This is one of the most important steps of the entire recipe. Stir it once in a while and let it cook. Cook it for 15 to 20 minutes.
- While you are waiting for the onion mixutre to get brown, slice the squid tubes (cuttlefish if you can find it!) into thin strips. Set it aside
At this point you will start usuing the paella pan:
- Drizzle some olive oil (about 4 TBSP) and cook the shrimp. Once cook, set the shrimp aside.
- When the onion mixture is ready, transer the mixture to the paella pan and add the grated tomatoes ("tomato sauce"). Season with a pich of salt and stir for about 3 minutes.
- Add the squid, season and stir. The squid should take about 10 minutes to cook. Turn the heat off.
- With the heat off, add the rice. Stir and get everything incorporated together. Now, we want all the flavors to combine.
- At this point you can it sit up to 5-6 hours.
- Heat the fish broth withthe cuttlefish ink. Stir constantly until the ink is mixed well with the liquid. You can also add a pich if saffron (optional).
- Turn the heat on medium. Reserve 1/2 cup of the stock and set aside. (This will only be used if you need it for the rice.) Pour the remainder into the paella pan. Consistency of the rice is important. You don’t want to use too much stock, as you will overcook the rice. Too little stock and you will have crunchy rice. Add the shrimp.
- Shake the pan every 5-7 minutes. Don’t stir. The black rice will be ready when the rice is cooked and there is no juice left in the pan. It takes about 20 to 25 minutes.
- It’s ready to serve. Traditionally you serve the rice with some aioli.
- Bon profit!