Squid ink seafood paella
- One 8-oz. bottle of clam juice
- 2 Tbsp. squid ink
- 1/4 cup cooking oil
- 1/2 tsp. sweet smoked paprika
- Pinch of salt
- 1 lb. of mussels rinsed well
- 1 3/4 cups of Spanish rice or short-grain rice
- 1 Tbsp. cooking oil to sear the scallops
- 12 large scallops patted dry
- 1 large lemon
- 1 small onion peeled
- 1 large ripe tomato
- 8 cloves of garlic peeled
- 1 large red bell pepper
- 1 small bunch of cilantro leaves
- Fresh cilantro leaves
- Tomato seeded and diced
Place the clam juice and squid ink in a small sauce pan. Bring to a gentle boil and then lower the heat to let it cook for another 1 minute. Remove from the heat and set aside.
Place the ingredients for sofrito in a food processor and process until smooth. Preheat a large paella pan or if you don't have one, you can use a cast-iron skillet in its place. Add in the cooking oil. Add in the sofrito and cook for about 5 minutes. Add in the smoked paprika, along with a pinch of salt. Add in the rice and stir to combine. Add in the clam and squid ink broth into the pan. Spread the rice evenly on the surface of the pan. Bring the broth to a boil and then lower the heat to maintain a gentle steady simmer. The rice will gradually absorb the broth and try not to disturb the rice while cooking, which will take about 10 minutes or so. Arrange the mussels pieces on top of the rice and let them cook again for another 5 minutes. If the rice is cooked but the mussels are still not cooked through, cover the pan with aluminum foil and lower the heat and let it continue to cook until the mussels are cooked through. The cooked mussels will open up and you should discard the ones that don't open up.
While the paella is cooking, preheat another non-stick pan with 1 Tbsp. of oil. When the pan is hot enough, gently place the scallops about 1 inch apart, season with a bit of salt and let them sear about 2-3 minutes on each side. Remove from the pan and arrange on top of the cooked paella. At this point, the rice should be cooked through and the rice at the bottom of the pan should have some sort of caramelization or stickiness to the pan. Remove from the heat and cover with the aluminum foil for 5 minutes before serving. Add some fresh cilantro leaves and fresh diced tomatoes for color contrast. Serve with lemon wedges.