Arros Negre aka. Black Paella

Here's something I've never made before in my kitchen or anywhere else.  Arros negre.  
It's a paella like rice dish made with squid ink and it's a popular dish from Valencia and Catalan in Spain.  

 I was so excited when my client gave me a box of this squid ink broth to give it a try.  Some people are probably afraid of eating food covered with pure black ink.  I'm not one of those people.  I love spaghetti al nero di sepia - squid ink pasta for instance.  It's so goooood.. and it's fun-ny to eat; and something that makes your mouth and teeth blackish.   It would be a great ice breaker if you are at  dinner parties with strangers or even on a first date.   And guess what-- squid ink is good for our health according to a few sites including this one.  It gets better.  It's delicious. 

But I would be slightly intimidated if I had to make this with actual squid ink.  I'd be afraid of splashing it all over my kitchen.  I actually did splash the broth in a box all over the stove and myself.  It is indeed 100 percent black.

I highly recommend wearing an apron and go slowly when you pour the broth into the pan when you make this dish.

* In case you want to give it a go but have no idea where to go to get a whole squid with ink sack,  I'd ask seafood people at nearby grocery stores - the ones that actually sell whole fish and shellfish, or simply go online to buy it in a jar or box.  

Recipe:  3-5 servings

squid ink broth (1liter) 
(or 4 cups of chicken/seafood broth and 2 table spoons of squid ink)
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
5 calamari
10 mussels
3 prawns

10 mini tomatoes

1 small yellow onion, peeled and finely chopped

3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced

a bunch of parsley
2 teaspoons sweet paprika
a pinch of saffron2 cups Spanish paella rice
salt and pepper

Mince garlic cloves, chop onions, chop parsley and set them aside.  

In a medium pan, bring the broth to boil.  

Pour 1 table spoon extra virgin olive oil in a paella pan or frying pan.  Heat the pan with medium high heat.  Sauté calamari for 3 minutes.  Take out the calamari and set them aside.  Add chopped onions and minced garlic with 2 table spoons of extra virgin olive oil in the pan.  Add rice into the pan.  Pour hot broth carefully into the pan and stir it gently.  Place calamari, prawns and mussels on the top.  Add salt and pepper to adjust the flavor.  Let it cook for about 15-20 minutes at medium heat until the rice absorbs all the liquid.  Turn the heat off and cover the top with foil and let it rest for 10 minutes.  

Serve with slices of lemon and chopped parsley.


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