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The cold weather was getting to me and I was craving some comfort food.


So I went to the market, gathered what I needed and set about making dinner. I was going to reign supreme over the taste buds with some of my award-winning chilli. Then the blender came apart and the tomatoes that I planned to put in the chilli ended up alllll over the countertop.

Plan B: let Alejandro cook!

Black Squid Ink Paella 

serves 8-10

3 tablespoons olive oil
2 Andouille chicken sausages, sliced into bite-sized disks (optional, but a pretty delicious addition.)
salt and pepper
1 large onion, diced
1 lb. cleaned squid, bodies cut into thin rings and tentacles coarsely chopped
A pinch of crumbled saffron
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 tomato puree
4 garlic cloves, smashed to a paste with a little salt
1 package squid ink, about 1 tablespoon
3 cups Bomba or Arborio rice
6 cups light chicken stock or water

Preheat the oven to 350F. Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a 12-inch earthenware cazuela or paella pan over a medium flame. Add the slices of sausage and cook until nicely browned on each side. Remove and set aside.

If the pan seems dry, add one more tablespoon of olive oil before adding the onion to the pan. Cook for about 5 minutes, to brown a bit. Add the squid, season with salt and pepper, and cook for about 2 minutes more. Add the saffron, cayenne, tomato, garlic, squid ink, and rice, stirring well to coat the rice. Finally, add a large pinch of salt and the broth. Let the broth come to a full simmer. Taste the broth and adjust the seasoning. Simmer for 5 minutes.

Put the pan in the oven. Bake, uncovered, for 10 minutes. Put back in the oven for another 10 minutes. Remove and cover the pan with newspaper. Let the paella rest for at least 15 minutes before serving. It tastes best just slightly warm.

* slightly adapted from Bon Appetempt

Craziness right?!? Trust me, watching the black squid ink spread across the dish gave it an eerie effect. I can tell paella that I have ever tasted!

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