This was a dish I concocted during my years in Spain to try and incorporate the fascinating tins of octopus in its own ink I would constantly see at the supermarket. It has a very unusual flavor, and the color makes it perfect to serve on Halloween, which actually did one year! The octopus in its own ink may be difficult to find, but if it’s available then go for it. You will be pleasantly surprised.
1 cup of rice
250 grams of cured pork, finely diced
1 teaspoon of red chili pepper
1 bunch of peeled garlic, chopped if desired
1/4 cup of vegetable broth
2 cups of water
1 tin of octopus in it’s own ink (can be increased to 2 tins, but no more)
Mix the rice, cured pork, chili, garlic, the octopus ink only and the vegetable broth with water in a medium sized pot or deep frying pan. Bring to a boil on high heat. Do not stir! Reduce the heat to low and cover once the concoction begins to boil. Simmer for about 20 minutes or until all the water has been absorbed. For a thicker risotto you can add another 1/4 cup of broth or water to the rice mixture when the water is almost fully absorbed and cook it on a low flame until all the liquid has been absorbed. Remove from flame and leave covered for 5 minutes, then fluff with a fork. Cover. Before serving, mix the octopus pieces with the rice and serve.
Yield: serves 2-3 people.
Note: To make rice you must always have at least 2 cups of water for every 1 cup of rice. For larger or smaller portions keep this in mind. The broth should not be considered towards the necessary amount of water, and adding an extra 1/2 or cup of water in the initial cooking stage makes the rice thicker and more tasty, in my opinion.