Wednesday, October 24, 2012
I was planning a Spanish themed dinner for my birthday and wanted to serve squid ink paella. I never had luck making paella. The soccorat (crunchy bits at the bottom of the pan) always eludes me. Since I find making risotto easier and something I can make in advance I searched for a recipe online and found this. I hit the jackpot with this simple recipe with outstanding results.
Although risotto and paella are both rice dishes that use short grain rice the main difference is how it's cooked. Making paella you pour in the broth or water on the rice and don't touch it until it's cooked. When you make risotto you pour in hot broth in intervals and keep stirring until the rice is tender and creamy.
I bought the bottle of squid ink, Tinta Calamar brand at Terry's Podium. The recipe called for plum tomatoes and I used canned whole tomatoes instead. For the white wine I used Chilean Sauvignon Blanc.
When cooking squid you either cook it really fast or really long to achieve really tender squid. Anything in between you will get tough and rubbery squid.
Sauté the onions, garlic and celery until tender. Add canned tomatoes, squid, white wine and the herbs. I only used thyme since I couldn't find the other herbs fresh.
Add the squid ink and simmer for 90 minutes. Yes 1 1/2 hours and I promise you super tender and delectable squid.
This is what it looks like after 90 minutes and the white wine has reduced and slightly thickened concentrated sauce that's full of flavor.
The squid cooked in squid ink can also be used as a pasta sauce or simply eaten with white rice. Set the squid aside and cook the risotto.
The most important thing when making risotto is to have the stock simmering the whole time.
Cook the rice in olive oil until lightly toasted. I omitted the butter and parmesan from the original recipe since I believed the dish didn't need it.
Add a ladle of hot broth to the rice and stir until most of the stock has been absorbed. Add another ladleful of stock.
Add the cooked squid to the rice and mix well.
Since I made this risotto one day before my dinner party I kept 3 cups of stock and stopped cooking at this point. Cool the risotto mixed with the cooked squid and store in the refrigerator. A few minutes before I was going to serve this I heated the risotto and continued adding the remaining 3 cups of hot stock one ladle at a time.
So easy to make and it was delicious! It didn't need lemon or aioli like squid ink paella does. It was good just as it is. I have to say the leftovers tasted even better the next day.
I loved it and I think my friends did too. Hey friends, did you like it?
Squid Ink Risotto
serves 12-14 hungry people
adapted from Chubby Hubby's recipe
Squid cooked in Squid Ink
1 kg cleaned squid
1 large celery rib, finely chopped
1 large onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 can whole tomatoes
1 bottle (750 ml) dry white wine
200 g finely chopped fresh herbs (basil, parsely, oregano and thyme)
salt and pepper
2 T squid ink
1 onion, finely diced
750 g arborio rice
2 liters (8 cups) chicken stock
1 batch of the squid cooked in squid ink
20 ml dry white wine
salt and pepper
For the squid:
Cut the cleaned squid into small pieces. Set aside. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the celery, onion, and garlic, and cook until soft and golden but not browned. Add the tomatoes and cook for about 3 minutes. Turn the heat to high and add the squid. Stir the squid, cooking it evenly for a few minutes. Add the wine and herbs and bring the liquid to the boil. Set heat to low and add the squid ink. Season with salt & pepper to taste. Simmer for about 90 minutes until the squid is tender.
For the risotto:
Heat the olive oil in a large pan or dutch oven. Sauté the onion and cook until soft but not browned. Add the rice, stirring it for a minute or two until lightly toasted. Add the dry white wine, stirring continuously. Turn the heat to low and add one ladleful of the stock. Stir constantly. When the liquid has been absorbed, add another ladleful of stock, then add the squid that you made earlier. Cook until most of the liquid has been absorbed. Then add another ladleful of stock. Continue adding stock whenever the liquid has been absorbed. When the rice is soft but al dente and all the liquid has been absorbed it's done. Serve hot.