A Tasty Bonus
Combining rice with squid is an excellent idea. Just think about Arroz Negro, the black rice from Valencia. We combine rice (Acquerello, of course!) with fresh (or frozen) squid. Cleaning squid can be a bit intimidating, but it’s not difficult at all. The result is much better than the already cleaned frozen tubes you can buy plus you get the tentacles as a tasty bonus. Becky Selengut’s video is very helpful. This is how we do it:
- Start by removing the head from the body. When you do this gently, you will also remove most of the internal organs of the squid. You may want to secure the ink for later use.
- Just below the eyes, cut off the tentacles using a knife or scissors. Remove the beak (located at the base of the tentacles). Discard internal organs and beak. Transfer the tentacles to a bowl.
- With your fingers remove the cartilage (this is the part that looks like it is made of plastic).
- Now you have a choice: you could leave the skin on; it does add extra colour to the stew. But you could also remove the skin of the tube and fins. Best is to start in the middle and then gently pull the skin towards the top and bottom.
- Remove the fins and transfer to the bowl.
- Turn the tube inside out by pushing the top into the tube. This allows you to remove all internal organs and the membrane.
- Turn the tube outside in by pushing the top into the tube. Transfer to the bowl.
- Wash the tube, fins and tentacles with cold water.
Best is to combine this seafood risotto with a light, aromatic white wine. One that is fresh and dry. We enjoyed our risotto with a glass of Bianco di Custoza 2018, made by Monte del Frà in Italy. It is a well-balanced, dry white wine, with a fruity nose. Its colour is straw yellow, with pale green highlights. It is made from a variety of grapes: Garganega, Trebbiano Toscano, Trebbianello and Cortese. An excellent combination with the seafood risotto.
What You Need
- For the Squid Stew
- 500 grams of Squid (to be cleaned)
- Olive Oil
- 2 Garlic Gloves
- 200 grams of Tomatoes (peeled, seeded and cut in chunks)
- 1 Red Chilli
- Red Wine
- Two Fresh Bay Leaves
- For the Risotto
- 100 gram of Risotto Rice (Acquerello)
- Fish Stock
- Parmesan cheese
- Black Pepper
- Crispy Japanese Seaweed
What You Do
A day before serving the risotto, prepare the stew: use a heavy, iron skillet. Cut the shallot in small bits and glaze gently in olive oil. Once the shallot is glazed add the garlic and the deseeded, chopped red chilli. After a few minutes add the squid (chopped tube and fins, tentacles ). Fry for a few minutes, add the tomatoes, a glass of red wine and the bay leaf. Allow to simmer for 4 hours. If necessary add a splash of water. Stir every 15 minutes. Remove the bay leaf, cool and store in the refrigerator.
The next day start by peeling and chopping the shallot. Add butter and olive oil to a pan and glaze the shallot. In another pan bring the light fish stock to a boil. After 5 minutes add the rice to the pan with the shallot and coat for 2 minutes. Add the squid stew and mix. Start adding the stock, spoon by spoon and stir the rice frequently. When using Acquerello rice it takes 18 minutes. Check the rice. When okay, transfer the pan to the kitchen counter top and leave to rest for 2 minutes. Add chunks of butter, stir, add a bit more butter and grated Parmesan cheese. Stir, a bit of black pepper, add more butter or Parmesan cheese if so required. Serve immediately with some crispy Japanese seaweed.