Learn to eat seasonally, with friends, in A Platter of Figs and Other Recipes by David Tanis, including recipes for a Tapas Party, like Octopus Salad with Pickled Onions and Pimentón; Potato and Salt Cod Tortilla; Sea Scallops ala Plancha; Black Paella with Squid and Shrimp; and Membrillo and Sheep's-Milk Cheese.
This is a simple paella with a deep, satisfying flavor. Squid ink (cuttlefish ink) turns the rice black and lends it sweetness. You can purchase packets of squid ink from a good fishmonger or Japanese grocery. I like to make this dish in the fireplace, but here's the stovetop method. A dab of garlic mayonnaise is traditional; you can use the Aïoli on page 102 of the book.
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Heat the olive oil in a 12-inch earthenware cazuela or paella pan over a medium flame. Add the shrimp, season with salt and pepper, and saute briefly, just until the shrimp turn pink, about 1 to 2 minutes. Remove the shrimp and set aside.
Add the onion to the pan and let it sizzle in the oil. Cook for about 5 minutes, to brown a bit. Add the squid, season with salt and pepper, and cook for about 2 minutes more. Add the saffron, cayenne, tomato, garlic, squid ink, and rice, stirring well to coat the rice. Finally, add a large pinch of salt and the broth. Let the broth come to a full simmer. Taste the broth and adjust the seasoning. Simmer for 5 minutes.
Arrange the shrimp on top, then put the cazuela in the oven. Bake, uncovered, for 20 minutes. Remove and cover the pan with a clean dish towel. Let the paella rest for at least 15 minutes before serving. It tastes best just slightly warm.
This page created December 2008
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