CATALAN SEAFOOD RICE - ARROZ CALDOSO FROM RESTAURANT CAP DE CREUS

 

Serves 4

For the stock

  • 500 g/1 lb mixed small rockfish

  • 1 glass of white wine

  • 1 carrot

  • 1 stalk of celery

  • 3 peppercorns

  • 1 clove (whole spice)

  • 2 bay leaves

For the sofrito

  • 2 long green capsicums

  • 1 red capsicum

  • 1 large brown onion

  • ½ clove of garlic (skin off but not chopped)

  • 1 tsp salt

  • ½ tsp ground black pepper

  • Olive oil for frying

  • 1 cuttlefish (cleaned by the fish monger and cut into bite-sized chunks)

  • 2 medium-sized calamari with tentacles

  • 1 tsp tomato paste concentrate

  • 1 small square of dark chocolate (70% cacao)

Other ingredients

  • 8 king prawns

  • 4-6 langoustines

  • 250 g/9 oz short-grain rice (calaspara or paella rice)

To make the stock

Put all the ingredients into a large pot of water and bring to the boil. Cook on a moderate simmer for 30-40 minutes. Remove the solids and discard then strain the liquid through a sieve and set aside.

To make the sofrito

Dice the capsicums and onion finely. Sauté the vegetables for around 10 minutes over a moderate heat along with a large dash of oil and 1 tsp of salt until quite soft. Add the garlic and season with the pepper and cook for a further 5 minutes.

Add the chopped cuttlefish and calamari, tomato paste concentrate and half a ladle of stock and simmer for 25 minutes. Add the cuttlefish spleen and the chocolate, stir to dissolve and cook for a further 5 minutes.

To make the rice

Use a deep, heavy-based frying pan or rice pan (see photo) with a minimum depth of 15 cm/6 inches.

Add the sofrito, unpeeled prawns and langoustines to the pan along with a large dash of olive oil. Cook over a moderate heat for 5 minutes. Add the rice and cook whilst stirring for 2 more minutes.

Add enough stock to cover around 5 cm/2 inches above the top of the rice. Bring the liquid to the boil then reduce the heat to a rolling simmer and cook for 15-18 minutes without stirring.

The grains should be al dente and there should still be liquid in the pan when the rice is ready. If more stock is needed or more cooking time required, adjust as necessary.