Continuing on the rice theme, here is my favourite seafood and rice dish. It is fairly simple to make and does not have many ingredients, but the flavour of the squid ink and seafood mixed with that of the chilli and onion makes for a rich tasting dish. I regularly cook it just for myself.
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion – finely chopped
1 red pepper – chopped into small squares
1 green pepper – chopped into small squares
Half a red chilli – finely chopped
500 grams squid
500 grams mussels
500 grams prawns
250 grams rice
500 ml fish stock
500-750 ml chicken stock
Salt and pepper
Let’s start by preparing the fish.
Remove the innards from the squid and carefully remove the ink sacks into a small bowl. Cut the tentacles from the innards and save discarding the rest.
With the ink sacs, you need to break them open to release the ink and press them with the back of a spoon to make sure that it is all out before discarding the sac. In some places it is possible to buy the ink frozen in little sachets which saves on the fiddle of extracting the ink.
Wash the squid bodies and tentacles and dry them on kitchen paper. Cut the bodies into thin circles. If the tentacles are small leave them whole, but if large cut them smaller.
Clean the mussels and steam them open.
A lot of cooks like to cook the mussels in the rice, but I find that there is often grit in the mussel shells and so prefer to open them separately and then sieve the liquid. Also some mussels are extremely salty, so if you have their liquor apart, you can taste it for saltiness before deciding how much to add to your dish.
If I am making this rice just for myself, I use ready cooked and shelled mussels that I buy frozen and keep in the freezer for these sort of mixed fish dishes that only require 5 or 6 mussels.
The prawns can be left in their shells to be opened at the table, but if you prefer for easier eating, they can be de-headed and peeled now.
Heat the oil in a large shallow pan and add the onions. Fry gently until translucent.
Add the peppers and chilli and keep cooking gently for five to ten minutes.
Add the squid and and continue frying gently for another five minutes.
Add the rice and stir well to coat with all the other ingredients in the pan. Fry for about five minutes.
Mix a little of the fish stock into the ink to dilute it and add it to the pan with the rest of the fish stock. Mix well.
Cover and leave to simmer for about five minutes. If it is starting to look dry add some of the chicken stock.
After another five minutes add the prawns if they are in their shells and the liquor from the mussels. Check the seasoning in the liquor in the pan and add salt and pepper as required. Add more chicken stock if needed.
Continue cooking until the rice is at the al dente stage – cooked but with firmness in the centre.
using unshelled prawns add at this stage and then a couple of minutes later add the mussels and let them warm through.
Let the rice rest for five to ten minutes.
Serve with Alioli and a tomato salad.