Dry Rice with Espardeñes (Metric)

Customary version of recipe

Yields 8 portions

Ingredient Amount
For the broth  
Olive oil, extra virgin 15 ml.
Garlic, minced 15 ml.
Onions, chopped 120 ml.
Leeks, chopped 80 ml.
Celery, chopped 45 ml.
Parsley 1 to 2 sprigs
Tomato, peeled, seeded and diced (about 1 ½ large) 120 ml.
Shrimp, small or small fish, for the broth .6 kg
Water 2 liters
Tomato paste 15 ml.
Salt 10 ml.
For the mortar mix  
Olive oil, extra virgin 60 ml.
Baguette slices, ½ inch thick, cut into ½ inch cubes 2 ea.
Garlic cloves 1 ½ ea.
Parsley leaves, flat leaves, loosely packed 60 ml.
Saffron threads 1 ml.
Ñora peppers, dried 1 ¼ ea.
Country-style bread 2 slices
For the rice  
Olive oil, extra virgin 60 ml.
Sea cucumbers (or calamari or octopus) 1 lb. 8 oz. .68 kg
Nigella seeds 20 ml.
Mortar mix 120 ml.
Carnaroli or Arborio rice 710 ml.

Method

  1. Make the broth. Heat the oil in a medium soup pot or Dutch oven over medium heat and add the garlic. Cook, stirring, until golden, 2 to 3 minutes, and add the onions, leeks, celery, and parsley. Turn the heat to medium-high and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes, or until the garlic begins to brown. Stir in the tomatoes and shrimp or fish, then add the water and tomato paste, stirring until the paste is dissolved. Bring to a boil and skim off any foam that rises to the surface. Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes, skimming off the foam from time to time. Strain through a cheesecloth-lined strainer and season generously with the salt.
  2. Make the mortar mix. Heat the oil in a small skillet. Sauté the bread cubes until lightly browned and crisp, 8 to 10 minutes.
  3. Combine all the ingredients for the mortar mix, including the sautéed bread cubes, in a food processor fitted with the steel blade and pulse to a pastelike consistency. Set aside.
  4. Make the rice. Bring the broth to simmer in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Preheat the oven to 500°F. Heat a large flat paella pan or ovenproof skillet over medium heat and add the oil, sea cucumbers, calamari, or octopus, nigella seeds, and the mortar mix. Cook, stirring, for 3 minutes, then add the rice. Cook stirring constantly, umntil the rice begins to color and crackle, 8 to 10 minutes. Add enough of the broth to to cover the rice by about ½ inch (about 3 cups). Boil for 5 minutes on high heat. Add 2 cups of stock, then place in the oven for another 5 minutes, or until the rice has absorbed all the water. It may begin to stick to the pan in some areas, creating a dark brown, crusty layer of rice, which is very delicious if not burned. Remove from the heat, stir once lightly, and allow to settle for a few minutes before serving. Remove the sea cucumbers, calamari, or octoput. Depending on what you are using, slice the sea cucumbers into ¼-inch half-moons and the calamari heads into rings. If using octoput tentacles, cut them in half, if desired. Arrange these over the rice as a garnish, or stir them into the dish fefore serving. Allow about 2 tablespoons of sliced sea cucumbers, calamari, or octopus per serving.

Additional tips

It is important that the rice is cooked until slightly underdone or cooked in a shallow pan so that the result is an al dente rice.

Recipe credit: Nando Jubany, as presented at the Worlds of Flavor International Conference & Festival. Published with permission of the author. All rights reserved. Presented at Kitchen Workshop I on Saturday, Nov. 4, 2006.

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