SEAFOOD WITH BLACK RICE (from Spain, for four to six)

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1 pound whole squid

1 pound live mussels, scrubbed and debearded

1-1/4 cups olive oil

2 yellow onions, chopped

2 green bell peppers, seeded and finely chopped

3 or 4 cloves garlic, minced

1 cup peeled, seeded and chopped tomato, fresh or canned

5 cups water or fish stock, or as needed

2 cups short grain Spanish rice such as Bomba or Calasparra

1 to 2 tablespoons squid or cuttlefish ink

16 jumbo shrimp or a mixture of crayfish and shrimp, in the shell

fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

to accompany (recipe follows)



1.To clean each squid, pull the head and clinging innards free from the body. Discard the innards, reserving the ink sac. Cut the fins, body and arms from the head and squeeze out the hard beak from the mouth at the base of the tentacles. Pull out and discard the transparent quill-like cartilage from the body pouch. Rinse out the body and rub off the mottled violet skin covering it, then rinse the tentacles. Leave the tentacles whole. Cut the bodies into rings ½ inch wide. Set aside.

2. Place the mussels in a deep frying pan, discarding any that do not close to the touch. Add ½ cup water, cover and place over high heat. Cook, shaking the pan occasionally, until the mussels open, about 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the mussels to a bowl, discarding any that failed to open. Pour the cooking liquid though a fine mesh sieve lined with cheesecloth placed over the bowl of mussels. Set aside.

3. In a 12 inch paella pan or a large, deep frying pan, heat half of the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions, bell peppers and garlic and saute until tender, about 10 minutes. Add the tomato and saute until it releases its liquid, a few minutes longer. Add about 1 cup of the water or fish stock and simmer for 20 minutes to blend the flavors. Add the rice, the remaining 4 cups water or stock or as needed to cover and 1 tablespoon squid ink. Simmer over medium heat until the rice has absorbed about half of the liquid, about 10 minutes.

4. Meanwhile, in a frying pan, heat the remaining olive oil over high heat. Add the shrimp and saute until they turn pink and begin to curl, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and season with salt and pepper. Add the shrimp, cooked mussels and their juices and the squid to the rice. If the rice is not as dark as you would like, add the remaining squid ink. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until the rice is cooked through, 10 to 15 minutes longer. Transfer to a platter and serve at once, dolloped with the allioli.




ALLIOLI (about 2 cups)

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4 cloves garlic
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
coarse sea salt
2 cups extra virgin olive oil



1.In a mortar and pestle, combine the garlic cloves, lemon juice and ½ teaspoon salt and pound to a smooth paste. Add the olive oil, first in single drops, mixing between each drop, then in small drips, then in a thin stream. Do not hurry the process, or the mixture will curdle. Use the pestle to crush and stir, working always in the same direction. You should end up with a greenish, jellylike emulsion.


NOTE: Extra virgin olive oil produces an intensely flavored, dark colored allioli. If you prefer a lighter taste, use a mixture of olive oil with sunflower or peanut oil, or choose a lower grade olive oil.


from Paul Richardson, Rustic Spanish (Williams Sonoma)


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