Monday, August 31, 2009

Risotto Nero con Calamari

This is another classic yet decadent and sophisticated recipe that combines the cuisine of northern, southern and coastal Italian cooking. Risotto Nero con Calamari or "Black Risotto with Squid." It takes a very basic risotto recipe then adds a twist by using the squids own ink to color and flavor the dish. What you are left with is a dish that might look rather one dimensional, yet tastes purely from the seas of Italy.

TT = to taste

Serves 8

1. 5-6 shallots, fine dice
2. 2T Goat Butter, plus 4T later (sub cow's or buffalo's milk butter)
3. 3c. Arborio Rice
4. 2c. White Wine
5. 4T Squid Ink
6. about 7c. squid or light chicken stock
7. 1# cleaned Squid, cut up
8. TT fleur de sel
9. TT fresh ground black pepper
10. 1/4c. extra virgin olive oil
11. 1 lemon, juiced
12. 1/4c. flat leaf parsley, chopped plus extra for garnish
13. 1/4c. lemon balm, chopped plus extra for garnish

1. Add 2T of butter over med heat
2. Add shallots and cook until softened stirring occasionally with wooden spoon(3-5minutes)
3. Add the rice and begin toasting in pan for 1-2 minutes
4. Raise heat to med-high
5. Add the wine and the squid ink and cook until almost absorbed in to rice
6. Add hot stock a few ladles at a time to rice stirring rather often until almost absorbed in to rice before the next ladles of stock are added
7. Once rice is al dente and most of the stock has been added and absorbed stir in most of the cut up calamari saving some for garnish followed by the final 4T of cold butter cubes until emulsified. The squid will cook through from the heat of the rice.
8. The consistency of the risotto should be when you push the spoon through the risotto, the rice should slowly come back in filling the gap. If it comes to quick, the risotto is too loose. If it sticks and doesn't ooze back in, the risotto is too thick and will need either more stock or butter.
9. Season with salt and pepper as well as the fresh herbs
Transfer to individual bowls and garnish with some of the left over cut up cooked squid tubes along with some of the fresh herbs and a drizzle of good extra virgin olive oil
10. Serve Immediately

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