New Recipes: Seafood on a Black Rice Bed

This is a simple recipe I adapted from Nigellissima.

As you know, I like using the black rice known as Venere Nero (Venerable Black). It originates from the Po Valley and it is black naturally (as opposed to the squid ink variety). And it has a nutty taste. This recipe is based on that rice.

Prepare the rice ahead of time, because it take about 45 minutes to cook. I prepare it in the pilaf style. Which means, I put some olive oil in a pot, add the desired quantity of rice and stir for about 5 minutes. Then I add water and salt. And let it cook until all the water is absorbed. At the end, close the lid tightly and let it rest for 5-10 minutes. That is the pilaf technique.

Using this technique, water should be twice the quantity of rice, i.e. if you used a cup of rice, add two cups of water. But with black rice, I discovered that you need to add two and a half cup of water or it stays crunchy in the middle.

Nigella uses two-and-one quantity. She brings the whole thing to a boil and she lets it simmer until all the water is gone. I tried her technique, it works, but I like mine better.

As for the seafood topping. in a pan, pour some olive oil, add some crushed garlic (to taste, I used two cloves) and grate half a lemon zest. Take one red chili pepper, cut in half, remove the seeds and chop it up in reasonably small piece. If you want your dish hot, use the whole thing, for milder taste, half of a pepper is sufficient.

Wash your hand thoroughly after you handle the chili, otherwise if you touch any exposed skin, that area will burn for some time (especially around the eyes).

Turn all of this for a couple of minutes. Add scallops, shrimps and if you enjoy them, squids. For this dish, Nigella uses squid primarily. I find the calamari texture too chewy to my liking so I made this dish with scallops and shrimps only.

Cook for 3-4 minutes. Before you remove it from the heat add the juice of a full lemon.

Put the rice in a plate and pour the content of the pan on top of it.

Mine looked like this.

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