Black Paella with Squid and Shrimp

Here lies a paella recipe I've been wanting to make for about three years. And now that I've done it, that's two, count 'em two times I've used my paella pan! While we're counting, it was also my second time using squid ink, which was not so easy to find here in this giant city of Los Angeles. I called around, and Monsieur Marcel was the only place stocking it. And in a moment of modern-day gallantry, Matt offered to go to The Grove on a Friday night and pick it up for me. For those of you who don't live in Los Angeles, just imagine trying to park at the mall on the day after Thanksgiving and you'll get an idea of the mess that is The Grove on a weekend. 

But back to the paella. My mom's been in town all week, and after much flipping through my various cookbooks, this is the recipe that won our hearts and minds.
Whenever we have visitorsbut particularly familial visitorsI realize what a horrible control freak I've become. Suddenly, I have to use all of my will power to keep my mouth shut so that I'm not constantly telling my visitors how to live their lives whilst living them inside our house, e.g., "Is that chocolate on the couch? OK, that's it. No more eating upstairs!" Or, "Diet Coke before 8:00 am? Huh." Or the perennial, "It sure would be easier if you drove, don't ya think, Mom?" You get the idea.
But then, on the last night of my mom's visit, while we made this paella together, a dish I'd never made before, and thus, a dish I didn't necessarily know how to make properly, I realized I suddenly needed to know how my mom would go about doing things. "Should we add Andouille sausage? The recipe doesn't call for it, but I think it might be nice." And, "Do you think the pan is too hot?" Or, "How the heck are we going to get this filled-to-the-brim paella pan into the oven without spilling it everywhere?" (The latter of which, Mom had a great answer for: we reserved adding the last cup of broth to the pan until after we'd gotten it on the oven rack.) Point being, I'd like to publicly apologize to those who I've felt comfortable enough around to let you know exactly what you're doing wrong and why. Three specific names come to mind: Matt, Mom, and my brother, Bill. I'm sorry! I love you! I'll work on it!
As you can see, the end result was something quite magnificent, albeit slightly overcooked. (I left it in the oven for a few too many minutes as we caught up with old friends and drank shandies on the deck.) Oh, this is also a really great dinner-party dish. We served it to seven adults, two kids, and two dogs, and we still have leftovers. (Though the kids may have eaten spaghetti and butter and the dogs may have eaten dog food.)
And finally, happy Mother's Day to all you Moms! It's not an easy job with daughters like me out there ready to pull your chocolate-eating-upstairs privileges! xoxo

Black Paella with Squid and Shrimp slightly adapted from A Platter of Figs
serves 8-10

3 tablespoons olive oil
2 Andouille chicken sausages, sliced into bite-sized disks (optional, but a pretty delicious addition.)
1 lb. shrimp
salt and pepper
1 large onion, diced
1 lb. cleaned squid, bodies cut into thin rings and tentacles coarsely chopped
A pinch of crumbled saffron
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 tomato puree
4 garlic cloves, smashed to a paste with a little salt
1 package squid ink, about 1 tablespoon
3 cups Bomba or Arborio rice
6 cups light chicken stock or water

Preheat the oven to 350F. Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a 12-inch earthenware cazuela or paella pan over a medium flame. Add the slices of sausage and cook until nicely browned on each side. Remove and set aside. Add another tablespoon of olive oil to the pan before adding the shrimp. Season shrimp with salt and pepper and saute briefly, just until they turn pink, about 1 to 2 minutes. Remove shrimp and set aside.

If the pan seems dry, add one more tablespoon of olive oil before adding the onion to the pan. Cook for about 5 minutes, to brown a bit. Add the squid, season with salt and pepper, and cook for about 2 minutes more. Add the saffron, cayenne, tomato, garlic, squid ink, and rice, stirring well to coat the rice. Finally, add a large pinch of salt and the broth. Let the broth come to a full simmer. Taste the broth and adjust the seasoning. Simmer for 5 minutes.

Put the pan in the oven. Bake, uncovered, for 10 minutes. Remove and arrange the shrimp and sausage on top. Put back in the oven for another 10 minutes. Remove and cover the pan with a clean dish towel. Let the paella rest for at least 15 minutes before serving. It tastes best just slightly warm.
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Matthew said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Amelia Morris said...

what happened, Matt? Cat got your comment?!

Sara in America said...

Yes, I'm the first non-familial commenter! (It's because I'm procrastinating) This looks really, really good. I also know what you mean about being that way around family. It's hard to change but at least you write these beautiful posts to make up for it.

Graciella said...

I've eaten this in Spain many times and it's always wonderful. Yours looks amazing, can't believe you think it was 'overcooked' :)

Ms.Nožisková said...

Muy impressed you have a paella pan -- even if you've only used it twice! Also impressed that Matt went to the Grove for a *tablespoon* of squid ink!! What do you think -- does it really make a difference??

Marie Matter said...

I made paella last night! Yours amazingggg!

Andrea said...

Way to save the dayyyy, Matt :-)

Looks delicious!

Amelia Morris said...

Hi Whitney! I mean, with the addition of the Andouille sausage, I probably masked most of the squid ink flavor, BUT I really wanted the color to be black! (Next time, I think I'll use two packets, because as you can see, it's really kind of gray...)

Amelia Morris said...

Awwww, thanks, Sara! And thanks for the being the first non-familial commenter! (STill don't know what's going on with Matt and his comment?!) :) :)

Ashley Bee said...

I've never made paella, but it's on my Kitchen Bucket List for sure. This looks amazing!

Eileen said...

Oh man, that paella looks amazing! I may have to figure out how to make a version for 1, as I am the only person who eats meat in our house. :)

Kara said...

Yum, yum, and yum. Also, I probs will burst into tears if you correct me, soooooo, there's that!

Also, Mavis looks like she had a good time?

Mary Anne said...

Awwwwww, I love this post! I had many, many reactions, such as: a) I know when you FIRST used squid ink! and b) oh so you STACK the two cutting boards in order to avoid soiling and having to handwash the wooden one. I learned that the hard way, didn't I, Ames! :) xoxoxo

Amelia Morris said...

hahahahaha, Sorry, Mare, should've included YOU on my list of people I need to apologize to. As for the cutting board...I don't know. It doesn't make too much sense when I REALLY think about it. I gotta get a better system. :( :(

Matthew said...

whooooooooooops. Looks like it did. Just wanted to say I loved the paella and I think the addition of the andouille sausage was key. ALSO... i want to frame the picture of Mavis putting her paw on Gatsby's shoulder(?) as the two watched Dash and Finn climb the spiral staircase. xoxo

Dan from Platter Talk said...

Congrats on the paella - it looks amazing. Sounds like a typical day in my kitchen as well, would have loved being a fly on the wall while you put this all together!

Jaime @ La vie...J'aime said...

Wow impressive! I ate soo much paella in barcelona last fall. You've motivated me to finally make my own at home and ASAP!

Ileana said...

Beautiful paella! We found squid ink at an Italian market around here, and it's been waiting in our freezer... Anyway, this looks like it was worth the second use of your paella pan! Maybe I should just get one and deal with storing the extra kitchen equipment in my closet. Hm.

Shelley said...

What photography! That food looks literally happy to be eaten!

Anonymous said...

If you buy whole fresh squid, you could actually use the ink from the squid - afterall, that's where they get the "package squid ink" from.

Amelia Morris said...

Have you done this before? Because from the looks of it, as it's shown and explained to us in The River Cottage Cookbook, it makes an insane mess. The author, Hugh Fearnely-Whittingstall actually collects the ink in a bathtub and it's everywhere. Point being, I'd rather face the challenge that is the parking lot at The Grove!

Anonymous said...

The best thing about buying your own fresh squid is that you really can make sure it's not pig anus.

keepfeeling said...

Um, what's up with this Anonymous pig anus comment?!?!?!?!?!

This looks SO good, Amelia! I'm always scared to make paella because it seems so difficult, but this is inspiring me to do so.


Amelia Morris said...

hahhahaa I know. I'm pretty sure ANON is referencing an upsetting recent episode of This American Life though. :) :)

As for the paella, make it!! It's perfect for a crowd. xo