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Black Risotto Recipe

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 Black Risotto

(Crni rizoto)

"This is a highly prized and unusual dish. If you are looking for a recipe to impress seafood-loving guests, this is definitely one to try. There is a certain restaurant in Toronto, Canada whose celebrity clientele raves about the black risotto served there. The restaurateur is a Croatian from Dalmatia who introduced the Canadian food-loving public to this delectable dish!

Serves 4

2 1/2 pounds cuttlefish
1/4 cup olive oil
1 large onion, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
1 small tomato, peeled and diced
water or fish broth
1 1/2 cups arborio rice
1 tablespoon olive oil (for rice)
lemon slices for garnish
parsley for garnish

Wash the cuttlefish under running water. Pat dry. Remove the dark outer skin and
cartilage from the cuttlefish. Next, very carefully, take out the ink sac and reserve for later use. Cut the cuttlefish into small pieces.

Heat a large, deep skillet with the olive oil over medium heat. Sauté the onion and
garlic. When soft, add the cuttlefish and parsley. Salt and add the pepper and tomatoes. Stir to mix and then add some water or fish stock to the skillet and sauté until the cuttlefish becomes partially tender. At the same time, bring water or fish broth, that you will be using to cook the rice to a simmering boil in a separate saucepan.

Rinse the rice, and then add it to the skillet along with the 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Stir to coat the rice in oil and skillet juices and sauté for about 1 to 2 minutes. Then add the simmering water or fish broth 1/2-cup at a time, stir until the rice absorbs the liquid and wipes the sides of the pot as you stir. When the rice dries out, add another 1/2 cup of the simmering liquid (reduce the additions of liquid to 1/4 cup after 20 minutes) and continue to stir-cook. Remember to stir well and always loosen the rice from the bottom of the pot so that it doesn't stick. Never drown the rice in the liquid, since risotto is not boiled rice. It will take the risotto about 25 to 30 minutes to cook if you are using arborio rice. The rice when done will be tender but al dente, or firm to the bite.

Close to the end of the cooking time and before removing the rice from heat, add the contents of the ink sac to the risotto. Stir to mix well. Remove from heat and place on serving platter. Garnish by surrounding with sliced lemons and sprinkling additional parsley if so desired.

Black risotto may be served on its own with salad and crusty bread or it may accompany grilled fish or squid including calamari. Actually, it is sinfully delicious with any seafood!

· Some fishmongers will clean the cuttlefish for you, just remember to ask them to reserve the ink sac!

· Reduce the 1/4 cup of olive oil somewhat by using a nonstick skillet."

NOTE: Cuttlefish ink may be hard to find in your local supermarket but you can order cuttlefish ink online at Amazon.

From The Best of Croatian Cooking by Liliana Pavicic and Gordana Pinker-Mosher.
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Dalmatian Cuisine

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