Cookbook:Arroz Negro (Valencian Squid Rice)
|Arroz Negro (Valencian Squid Rice)
Arroz negro or arròs negre ("black rice" in Spanish and Catalan respectively) is a Valencian dish of cuttlefish (or squid) and rice which is very similar to seafood paella. In fact, some call it paella negra (black paella in Spanish).
Arroz negro should not be confused with black rice, the collective name for several types of rice that have a naturally dark color. This dish's dark color comes from the ink which also enhances its seafood flavor.
The traditional recipe for this dish calls for squid ink, cuttlefish or squid, rice, garlic, green cubanelle peppers, sweet paprika, olive oil and seafood broth. However, many cooks add other seafood as well, such as crab and shrimp.
In addition to Valencia, this dish is also popular in Cuba and Puerto Rico where it is known on both islands as arroz con calamares (rice with squid in Spanish).
The below recipe is based on the one by Juanry Seguí, a prominent Valencian chef.
- 3 pounds diced squid
- 1 pounds green cubanelle peppers
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 cups Valencian rice
- 3 teaspoons squid ink
- 1 tablespoon sweet paprika
- 1 tablespoon sea salt
- Olive oil
- 15-inch (38-centimeter) paellera
- 2-gallon pot
- Rice skimmer
- Sharp chopping knife
- Large serving spoon
- Potato masher
- A clean, white towel large enough to cover the paellera
- A wide heating source such as:
- A stove large enough to accommodate the size of the paellera (you'll have to straddle two burners at once and rotate the paellera periodically for even cooking.)
- A gas burner designed specifically for paelleras
- A charcoal barbecue
- A low, forged steel to support the paellera
Please read Paella cooking techniques before attempting this recipe.
- Cut one onion and one bell pepper into quarters and place in a large pot with the rest of the broth ingredients.
- Boil for about 30 minutes. Occasionally press the ingredients against the bottom of the pot with a potato masher or ladle to squeeze out their flavors.
- Strain the broth and set aside. Discard the boiled seafood.
- Pour enough oil into a paellera to cover the bottom and heat over a medium flame.
- Add 1 teaspoon of salt to cubanelles and sauté until soft.
- Add squid and sauté for 2 minutes.
- Add garlic and sauté until brown (be careful not to burn).
- Add rice and braise until coated with oil.
- Add paprika and sauté for no more than 15 seconds then quickly add four cups of broth to prevent the paprika from burning.
- Add squid ink and mix well.
- Bring broth to a boil and then simmer for 2 minutes.
- Taste the broth and invite your dinner guests to do so as well. If it tastes bland, add 1 teaspoon of salt at a time until everybody approves.
- Add the rice.
- Begin tasting the rice after it's been simmering for about 20 minute and reduce the heat a bit. Make sure the rice doesn't get too soft. Check the rice again every 10 minutes and reduce the heat slightly after each taste. Your goal is to wind up with rice that has a slightly underdone center. The time it takes to reach this point can vary from 30 minutes to an hour depending on your cooking gear.
- Your paella is done once you've accomplished the following three things: 1) The rice should be slightly firm to the bite. Italians use the same approach when cooking pasta. They call this texture al dente, 2) The paella should be a little moist but not soupy, 3) You should have a bit of toasted rice on the bottom of the paellera. This is considered a delicacy throughout the Spanish-speaking world.
- Remove the paellera from the heat and cover it with a white towel (NOT ALUMINUM FOIL). Allow it to sit for 5 minutes before serving.
Notes, tips, and variations edit
- To save time, start preparing the paella once the broth starts boiling.