I have finally got out of my comfort zone to make my favourite paella variety: Black Rice Paella. To me, paella is the king of all Spanish dishes and the way it is cooked can determine whether the dish is worthy of a 5 star restaurant or a simple paella made at your local chiringuito.
I have been making paella for over 15 years from all my years of living in Spain. If you walk into my kitchen you will notice I own every sized paella pan under the sun, from a single helping paella dish to a 25 person paella dish. I was always known for my paella parties as for me it is one of the simplest large crowd pleaser recipes.
Usually I prepare the ingredients in advance and then when my guests arrive I cook it on my patio on the special paella gas cooker in front of everyone. So I never miss out on enjoying my own parties by being stuck in the kitchen!
Black rice paella has always been one of my favourite dishes to order in my local Spanish restaurant. The cuttle fish ink brings out the flavour of the shellfish and complements the ingredients. You can taste the Mediterranean in this recipe and you know what you are getting is fresh seafood and fresh Spanish produce.
I start by making the paella the same way as a seafood paella using saffron and smoked paprika and a small amount of chorizo to add a smoky flavour to the dish. The appearance of the dish then starts to change when I add the squid ink. You can find squid or cuttle fish ink in a good fishmongers. They store it in the freezer so you can use it straight away at home. If you can’t find squid ink but are still determined to cook a black rice paella then use black rice instead. It still works deliciously well with the recipe and looks authentic.
I add cherry tomatoes instead of chopped tomatoes as it adds a nice sweetness to the black rice paella. It also complements the saltiness of the seafood. I use gambones which are super sized king prawns, clams, mussels and squid. Meaty fish like monkfish can be added too.
Serve hot in bowls with a slice of lemon and some crusty wholemeal bread on the side. It is also delicious with a serving of alioli on the side. Buen Provecho!
If you like this then you will love my recipe for Thai Crab Noodles.
- 1 kg raw king prawns
- 350g fresh mussels
- 350g fresh clams
- 250g squid rings
- 40ml olive oil
- 1 large spanish onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, chopped
- 150g raw chorizo
- 1 red pepper
- 1 yellow pepper
- Generous pinch of saffron threads
- 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 100g fresh chopped tomatoes
- 100g red and yellow cherry tomatoes
- 400ml vegetable stock or homemade fish stock
- 200ml dry white wine
- 2 tablespoons of squid ink
- 200g paella rice
- pinch of salt and pepper, optional
- handful of fresh parsley, chopped
- lemon wedges and crusty bread, to serve
Begin by preparing the shellfish. Leave one unpeeled prawn per person and remove the shells from the remaining prawns. Devine the prawns by using a pin or tweezers and remove the black strip from the back of the prawn. Wash and scrub the mussels, wash the clams and discard any opened or broken shells. Wash the squid making sure there are no plastic-like membranes attached.
Add the olive oil to the paella pan and heat gently. Fry the squid for approximately 2 minutes until it gains colour. Set aside on a plate.
Add the onion and sautée gently for 3 minutes. Add the garlic and sautée for a further 2 minutes.
Slice the peppers and add to the pan for 2 minutes stirring continuously.Add the freshly chopped tomatoes and continue cooking for 3 minutes, stirring continuously.
Prepare the chorizo by removing the skin and chopping into small bite-sized pieces. Add these to the pan and gently sautée for 5 minutes until it imparts oil and flavour.
Add the smoked paprika to the pan and stir for 1 minute to coat the vegetables and the chorizo.
Next add the rice to the pan and stir well. Add the saffron strands, the turmeric and a little extra sprinkling of paprika and mix until the rice is coated with the spices.
Dissolve the squid ink in the stock. Add the stock and wine to the rice and stir once. Simmer for 10 mins before adding the seafood and extra stock. At this stage add the cherry tomatoes randomly to the pan.
Continue cooking until the shells have opened and the prawns have cooked. The rice should just be cooked with a nice bite. Sprinkle with chopped parsley.
Serve with lemon slices, aioli and crusty bread. Buen Provecho!