Black Squid Ink Paella
Makes 8-10 servings
- 8 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 pound medium shrimp, shelled
- 1/2 pound monkfish, grouper or other firm-fleshed fish, skin removed and cut into ½ inch cubes
- 2 pounds small cleaned squid (including tentacles), cut in ½-inch rings and tentacles halved lengthwise
- Kosher or sea salt and pepper
- 8 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons parsley, minced
- Six 4-gram packets squid ink
- 6 cups clam juice or fish broth
- 1/4 teaspoon crumbled thread saffron
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 medium onion, finely diced
- 2 medium red bell peppers, finely chopped
- 2 medium tomatoes, finely chopped
- 2 teaspoons sweet paprika, preferably Spanish smoked
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
- White wine to deglaze the pan
- 3 cups imported Spanish or Arborio short-grain rice
- 4 frozen artichoke hearts in quarters
- 1 large pimento
- Lemon wedges
- Alioli (see recipe below)
Step 1: Sprinkle the shrimp, monkfish, and squid all over with salt and let sit 10 minutes at room temperature.
Step 2: Mash to paste in a mortar or miniprocessor half of the minced garlic, the parsley, and 1/8 teaspoon salt. Stir in the squid ink and reserve. You can buy squid ink at your local gourmet grocery store or if you are really motivated, buy a whole squid, clean it, and remove the sac yourself. The squid ink sac, located in the innards, looks like a black vein, and can be easily removed with your fingernail. To get to the ink, puncture the ink sac and squeeze it out. Tiny amounts of squid ink are also located behind the eyes. I recently took a cooking class in which we cleaned the whole squid and removed the sac. My advice - pay the premium price for the squid ink. Doing it yourself is not a fun chore. Below are pictures of the ink sacs that we removed as well as a picture of the ink that's located behind the squid's eye.
Step 3: Combine clam juice or fish broth with the saffron and lemon juice. Keep hot over the lowest heat.
Step 4: Preheat the oven to 450°F. If using a gas over, preheat oven to 400°F.
Step 5: Heat 2 to 4 tablespoons olive oil in a paella pan (measuring 17 to 18 inches at its widest point), over 2 burners if necessary. Sauté the shrimp, monkfish, and squid over high heat for 1-2 minutes. They should not be fully cooked. Remove to a warm platter.
Step 6: Add the remaining 2 to 4 tablespoons of olive oil, the onion and red peppers and sauté over medium high heat until onion is lightly browned and starting to caramelize. Deglaze with white wine if necessary.
Step 7: Stir in the tomatoes and remaining minced garlic, sauté 1-2 minutes, then stir in the paprika.
Step 8: Add the rice and coat well with the pan mixture. Pour in the broth and bring to a boil.
Step 9: Add the mortar mixture and the artichokes and taste for salt. Continue to boil, stirring and rotating the pan occasionally, until the rice is no longer soupy but sufficient liquid remains to continue cooking the rice, about 10 minutes
Step 10: Arrange reserved shrimp, monkfish, squid and any juices from the platter attractively over the rice and transfer to the oven. Cook 15 to 20 minutes in an electric oven (or 10-12 minutes in a gas oven) until rice is almost al dente.
Step 11: Remove to a warm spot, cover with foil and let sit until the rice is cooked to taste. Arrange lemon wedges around the edge of the pan before serving.
Step 12: Pass alioli separately.
To make the alioli
- 4 medium to large garlic cloves, mashed to a paste in a mortar or garlic press
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 small egg
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 cup extra virgin Spanish olive oil
- 1 tablespoon hot water
Place garlic, salt egg, and lemon juice in a food processor and process until well mixed. With the motor running, drizzle in the oil stopping once or twice to scrape down the sides with a rubber spatula. When all the oil is emulsified, gradually add the hot water. This will keep in the refrigerator for 24 hours.