Saturday, June 18, 2011
Paella negra con esparagos
I made a small paella for lunch. I wanted to make a very dark inky rice, some of my previous attempts yielded a rice much more on the grey side, so for this dish I used a much more generous amount of ink. This paella also ends up being meatless, vegetarian friendly if you don't mind seafood products.
The ingredients are few:
Asparagus, these are very high quality canned white asparagus
quality assurance tab
You should taste the liquid the asparagus come canned or jarred in. If it tastes good, not overly salty or metallic tasting then save it and use it as part of your liquid for the rice. This liquid was saved and used. (about 3/4 cup)
I also used a high quality cuttlefish/squid ink. I've used the little envelopes before and they are just ok, this really has a great squid aroma, and also I believe, a higher protein/collagen content. It is thicker and ends up being very unctuous in the finished product.
I used a cup and a half of bomba rice
I used hot pimenton as I figured the heat would go well with the ink and scarcity of ingredients
Chopped onions and garlic round up the ingredients.
Preparation; I heated up a small paella pan
Added olive oil and sauteed the onions and garlic
as soon as the garlic began to brown I added the rice and sauteed it with the onions and garlic
After half a minute or so I added the pimenton, about one teaspoon
I mixed it in and quickly added my liquid (the pimenton can burn and turn bitter rather quickly) which was just the asparagus water and regular water to make up 3 times the rice volume, so in this case 4 and a half cups
I then added two heaping teaspoons of the ink
I mixed to incorporate and tasted for salt.
The ink adds a bit of salt but it still needed a pinch more. I let it boil on the stovetop and the color began to set
It was very fragrant, smelling of the sea with clearly noticeable squid aroma.
When the rice was nearly dry I added the asparagus over top, they are already cooked so just need to warm up a bit.
Served the dish was excellent, a very unctuous mouth feel, almost silky awesome ocean taste with a nice texture and taste contrast from the asparagus.
Clearly the rice turned a deep shiny black which I really liked. The ink would also make a great base for a pasta sauce. May have to buy some squid bodies and stuff them with the leftover rice, they would be nice grilled. Excellent dish overall.