This stunning Spanish seafood black rice is one of my favorite dishes. For a seafood lover such as myself, it’s just perfect: jam-packed with seafood and strong ocean flavors. It speaks of summer and lazy days to me. As soon as the days started warming up I was back to my old love.
And speaking of summer…
Have I told you about my love-hate relationship with summer? Sure I have. I hate the heat. Summer here can be a pain in the rear, and yet…
I look forward to the arrival of the summer break like every overworked parent. No more getting up early, no more running around chasing lost shoes/homework/books. Yay! And welcome traveling.
So here’s to summer, wherever you are. Let’s enjoy the break and create new memories. It’ll be fun.
- 2 fish heads (about 1 lb [0.48 kg] in total)
- Peels and heads of shrimp listed below
- A pinch of saffron
- 3 bay leaves
- 3 garlic cloves , crushed
- 1 onion , cut into quarters
- A bunch of parsley
- 1 1/4 qt [1.25 lt] of water (more may be needed)
- 1 1/2 teaspoon of salt (or more, to taste)
- 1/2 teaspoon of pepper (or more, to taste)
- 1/4 cup of olive oil
- 1 red bell pepper
- 1 large tomato , diced
- 1/4 cup of peas
- 1/3 cup of black olives
- 1 oz [30 ml] of squid or cuttlefish ink (about 1 tablespoon)
- 3 cups of long grain rice
- 2 lb [1.8 kg] of whole , unpeeled shrimp
- 2 lb [1.8 kg] of mussels and clams
- 1/2 lb [0.24 kg] of squid , clean and cut into rings
- 1 quart of fish broth (instructions below)
Place fish heads, shrimp peels and heads, saffron, bay leaves, garlic, onion and parsley in a large stock pot.
Add 1 quart of water. Simmer over low heat for an hour, adding water as it becomes necessary to maintain the same level.
Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Remove from the heat and sieve to get rid of solids. Reserve broth (you should obtain 1 quart).
Heat oil over medium heat.
Add bell pepper, tomato and peas. Cook and stir for 30 seconds.
Add olives and ink, mix well.
Add broth. When it breaks the boil add rice and mix well.
Simmer until almost all the liquid has evaporated.
Add shrimp, squid, clams and mussels. Mix well.
Lower heat to very low, cover with a tight-fitting lid and simmer for 20 mins.
Uncover and stir, moving rice at the top to the bottom and viceversa.
Cover and again and simmer for another 5 minutes. Rice should be firm but cook through. If it becomes necessary cover and simmer for another 5 minutes.
The original dish calls for arborio rice, but I prefer using long-grain rice instead.