Monday, December 19, 2005

Risotto with Squid Ink

I like the way this risotto looks like on a plate! The ink of the squid makes it look very dark or almost black, depending on how much ink you put inside. The only place where i could find squid ink so far, is Surfas in Culver City.

For 2 people:


2-3 cups stock (the "Better Than Bouillon" base is great)
a few sage leaves (optional)
2-3 tablespoons olive oil
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 cup arborio rice (from Trader Joe's)
1 cup cheap white wine for cooking
1/2 pound fresh squid (tubes and/or tentacles), cut into 1 cm stripes
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tablespoon butter (preferrably unsalted)
freshly ground salt and pepper
1 little package of squid ink (from Surfas)


Start by making the stock. 2-3 cups water and about 1 teaspoon of the "Better Than Bouillon" stock. I used the Lobster Base which is available at Bristol Farms grocery stores. But you can also use the Chicken Base, which is the only one, Trader Joe's carries (up until now at least). Put a few sage leaves into the water if you like. This gives it a little nice extra fragrance. Once the bouillon is dissolved, keep the stock simmering over low heat.

Put the olive oil into a large saucepan, add 1/2 onion (keep the other half for the squid) and sauté for about 5 minutes until they're softened and golden. Add the rice and stir until all the grains are coated with the olive oil. Pour 1/2 cup of the white wine over the rice and stir until it's completely dissolved. Now start adding stock, ladle by ladle. You don't want too much liquid in the rice. You only add more stock, when most of it is dissolved or "swallowed" by the rice. The rice is like a sponge! This process takes about 20 minutes. Keep tasting the rice to see if it's cooked. You still want it to be slightly firm in the center.

During those 20 minutes, you also start preparing the squid:
in a small saucepan, heat some olive oil, add the other half of the onion, add the garlic and sauté for about 1 minute. Add the squid stripes, mix everything well quickly. Pour 1/2 cup of the white wine over the squid, reduce the heat to very low and cover the pan with a lid. Let it simmer while you cook the rice in the other pan. Make sure it simmers with closed lid for at least 10 minutes.

When the rice is ready, add the squid from the saucepan, the butter and salt and pepper. Remove the pan from the heat and mix in the squid ink. Stir to evenly blacken all the grains and serve! Put a little piece of parsley on top for decoration if you like.

I served a Fetzer Cabernet Sauvignon with this dish. I think this is a great wine for many dishes and it's very much worth the price! ($ 5.99 from Trader Joe's).


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