Thursday, February 23, 2012

Arroz caldoso con sepia y coliflor

This is an entirely unusual recipe in that it sounds positively weird on paper but is absolutely delicious in practice.

Arroz caldoso is the ultimate comfort food. Rice, protein and seasonings in a soupy broth that is absolutely perfect when the weather gets cold.

Best of all, it reheats wonderfully (attn: office dwellers) and the taste improves with time.

It's Valencian in origin, and originally features cuttlefish (sepia) but lacking that, the CC used squid.

You will notice below that the technique is entirely unusual. Instead of the onions and garlic being sautéed first, the squid is. There is logic here. Squid needs to be either cooked very little, or a long time otherwise you get a rubbery unappetizing texture. This recipe uses the latter method.


2 cups Valencian short-grain rice (substitute by Arborio)
6 cups fish broth
1/2 lb tomatoes (passed through a food mill)
1 lb cauliflower florets
1 lb cuttlefish (or squid) cut into 1/2 inch slices

4 large garlic cloves, minced
1 large onion, coarsely grated

4 tbsp olive oil

1/2 tsp saffron
1 tsp sweet paprika (preferably Spanish smoked)
4 tbsp fresh parsley (chopped fine)
sea salt


Combine the broth and saffron in a pot and keep warm over a very low flame.

Preheat the oven to 400°F.

In an oven-proof casserole, heat the olive oil, and sauté the squid. Sprinkle with the sea salt while this is happening. Stir in the cauliflower, garlic and grated onion and sauté for 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes, parsley and cook for 3 minutes. Turn the heat to low and let cook for 10 minutes.

Stir in the paprika, rice, and sauté until the rice is well coated with the mixture. Pour in the broth and boil for 5-8 minutes until the rice is slightly done. Transfer to the oven and cook for 10 minutes, uncovered until the rice is still al dente.

The mixture should be still soupy at this point.

Remove from the oven and let sit for 5 minutes. Serve.

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