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How to Prepare Spanish-Style Black Rice

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Black Rice Paella

Any foreigner that ends up in Spain and decides to go on a culinary adventure around the country might be surprised to find that Spanish cuisine consists not only of paella, tortillas and tapas but also offers visitors a wide variety of refined seafood dishes.

Nothing unusual there, considering that this sunny country is surrounded by water abundant with not only all kinds of fish but also many other marine animals, suitable for both your everyday and official dinners.

One particularly common dish in Spain is rice cooked with seafood and especially the so-called black rice which gets its unusual color thanks to the slow fried rice and the ink of cuttlefish. Here's one of the most common recipes for its preparation:

Spanish-Style Black Rice

Ingredients: 1 cuttlefish, 3 onion heads, 8 garlic cloves, 2 tomatoes, 1 2/3 cups rice, cuttlefish or squid ink, 17.5 oz crucian carp or red mullet, 10 tbsp olive oil, salt and black pepper to taste.

Preparation: Clean the fish from its innards and put it to boil in plenty of water in order to get a fish broth. Once it's ready, strain it and leave it aside. Finely chop the onions, tomatoes ( pealed ahead of time ) and 4 of the garlic cloves.

Black Rice

Wash the cuttlefish, cut it and fry it in part of the olive oil, then take it out and put the onions in its place. The goal is for it to get a golden brown color but you need to keep stirring nonstop so it doesn't burn.

Next, to it add the garlic and tomatoes, leave them to saute on low heat for several minutes. Boil the rice and fish broth and if necessary pour in more water, also be sure to follow the directions on the rice package.

Once it's ready, pour it and the cuttlefish to the sauteed vegetables, add the cuttlefish or squid ink dissolved in the water, then season with salt and black pepper.

Separately, make a sauce from the remaining garlic by mashing it with the salt and olive oil. Serve it with the black rice so that anyone who wants to can pour it on. You can decorate the rice with bunches of parsley or basil.