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Cuttlefish ink rice and squids

Ciao, welcome back to my blog for another round of good homemade food!

Today's recipe is in my opinion very eye-pleasing if served on a contrasting white plate, it would be perfect to surprise friends and family or for a romantic dinner date that really smells of Summer holidays!

As you might know already, I love fish and squids are one of the easiest seafood to cook as they take literally a minute but they can also be tricky to handle for beginners.

Ingredients for two

A cup of basmati rice per person

2 squids

2 cuttlefish ink sachets of 4g each

A shallot

Vegetable stock or homemade stock

Half glass of Pinot Grigio

Chilli flakes

Extra virgin olive oil

Disclaimer (the bottle of olive oil is not the brand I am using and that I recommend as I always cook with the olive oil that my family produce in Italy but I couldn't be arsed to take off the label from the empty store bought bottle that a friend gave me to store it so my apologies for that)

About cleaning the squids: I usually buy fresh fish from my local fishmonger but I have to admit that rarely they managed to clean it well. So, make sure to do it properly once at home. Remove all the external purple skin, cut them in a half, wash well inside and take off all the residue of intestines they might be left and make sure the beak is not there anymore. This is important to make sure that the dish will turn right.

I will link a youtube tutorial for everyone that is not super practical of fish: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wX4oy2USDYA

Once cleaned, cut the squids into slices and set in the fridge while making the rice.

Start taking the skin off a shallot and chop into small cubes.

Drizzle a pot with some extra virgin olive oil and some chilli flakes and set over high heat to let the aroma release for a minute. After that, add the rice and let it cook a bit like so until it become golden. In Italy we call this method "tostare" which literally means to toast in the pan like you would do with a slice of bread.

Then add the half glass of Pinot Grigio and stir with a wooden spoon letting the alcohol to steam away. The wine flavour is a nice touch of dryness that will enrich the rice and will add an extra twist to it.

one second before I added the wine to the rice

Re-heat you homemade vegetable stock or, in alternative, bring 0.8L of water to boil and when it is ready pour it in the pot along with some store bought vegetable stock and let it melt. The liquid should be enough to cover the rice but make sure it doesn't get too watery. Let the rice simmer with the broth for 8-10 minutes covered with a lid. Time is crucial as basmati rice will be ready very quickly so I recommend setting a timer to avoid it to overcook and loose its lovely texture.

After that, turn the heat off and add the cuttlefish ink.

Stir well again with a spoon in order to let the rice to absorb it evenly. If necessary you can add an tablespoon of hot water to help.

Time to prepare the squid:

In another pan, drizzle some olive oil and sprinkle with some chopped parsley and chilli flakes and set over high heat.

Once the pan is hot, throw the squid slices inside and let them cook only for a minute, then keep aside a few pieces to garnish.

Add the rest in the pot with the rice and stir to mix all the flavours together.

I recently learned how to make rice prettier on a plate:

Take a spoon of rice from the pot and put it in a tiny dip bowl or a tea cup and press it well on the top to make it compact. Allow it cool down for 5 minutes and then place a plate on the bowl and then turn both of them upside down at the same time.

Pull gently the bowl away and the rice should stay more or less firm like a small brick. Take the squids bits you set aside before with chopsticks to arrange them nicely on the plate.

An extra drizzle of oil, a sprinkle of parsley and some more chilli flakes and voila!

The result should be more or less like the pics below:

A dish that will make your guests super happy!

If you decide to try it at home, send me your pics and I would be happy to share your pics with my followers.

Thank you for reading my recipe today, I really hope you liked it.

If so, please share it on your social media accounts to help me grow.

Have a great weekend all!