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The Wall Street Journal - July 12, 2016
The Wall Street Journal

Recipe: Paella Fried Rice With Romesco and Garlic Aioli

Adapted from Jason Neroni of Rose Café in Venice, Calif.
Sarah Digregorio

This clever spin on fried rice is made with squid ink, a seasoning that makes rice creamy, delicately briny-savory and jet black. You can get squid ink at many fish markets, or order it online at La Tienda. The recipe replicates the best part of paella—the bits that get crunchy and caramelized on the bottom of the pan.

Total Time: 1 hour Serves: 4

For the rice:
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more for serving
1/4 white onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
Kosher salt
1 cup Arborio or bomba rice
1/2 cup white wine
2 cups chicken stock
1 bay leaf
2 tablespoons squid ink
3 scallions, thinly sliced
Red pepper flakes
Freshly ground black pepper

For the romesco:
1/2 cup roasted, unsalted almonds
1/2 cup roughly chopped roasted red peppers
1 anchovy fillet
1/2 ounce unsweetened chocolate, such as Baker’s, finely grated
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons Sherry vinegar
1 small clove garlic
2 teaspoons Sriracha or other chile sauce
Freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

For the garlic aioli:
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 garlic cloves, pressed or minced
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1. Make rice: Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add onions and garlic to pan and lightly season with salt. Sauté until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add rice to pan, stirring to coat with oil, onions and garlic. Add wine and bring to a simmer, stirring frequently. Cook until wine has evaporated, about 5 minutes. Add 1 cup stock and bay leaf, and continue to gently simmer, stirring frequently, until rice has absorbed stock, 5-8 minutes. Add remaining stock and squid ink. Cook until rice is tender and has absorbed all of liquid, 10-12 minutes.

2. Scrape rice out onto a rimmed baking sheet, spreading in a thin, even layer to cool. Once fully cooled, proceed with recipe, or cover rice with plastic wrap and refrigerate up to 2 days.

3. Make romesco: In a food processor, pulse all ingredients except oil until roughly puréed. With motor running, drizzle in olive oil until creamy.

4. Make aioli: Stir together all ingredients until combined.

5. Fry rice: Heat 1/3 cup oil in a large skillet over high heat. Once very hot, spread cooled rice out in pan, pressing down so rice covers pan almost like a pancake. Reduce heat to medium-high. Cook undisturbed until rice crackles, dries out and forms a crust on the bottom, about 5 minutes. Once rice has formed a crisp crust on the bottom, break rice apart with a spatula. Continue to cook, stirring, until you have clumpy, crisp fried rice, about 5 minutes.

6. To serve, dollop romesco and aioli into bowls, then place crispy rice on top. Top with scallions and season with red pepper, salt and pepper. Finish with a drizzle of olive oil.

—Adapted from Jason Neroni of Rose Café in Venice, Calif.

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