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Cod Fish Confit Over Cuttlefish Risotto, Sautéed Spinach a la Catalana and Foamy Emulsion of Alioli - Confit de Bacalao Sobre Risotto de Sepia, Salteado de Espinacas a la Catalana y Espuma de Alioli

Makes 6 servings.

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For the cuttlefish risotto:

8 tbsp virgin olive oil

8 tbsp onion (finely minced)

1 pound + 5 oz bomba rice

1 bay leaf

1 red hot pepper (make sure it is not a cayenne pepper)

1 sprig thyme

5 cups fumet (concentrated stock, preferably of monkfish)

12 small bags cuttlefish or squid ink

11 oz cuttlefish or squid (cut in strips)

6 tbsp green peas (previously cooked and rinsed)

For the cod:

6 semi-cured loins of cod (1/2 pound each, cleaned)

1 quart + 3 tbsp olive oil

For the alioli foam:

4 tbsp olive oil

16 tbsp sunflower seed oil

3 1/2 oz eggs (whole eggs with white)

2 + 2/3 oz egg yolks (only the yolks)

1 tbsp sherry vinegar

1 tsp mustard

2 garlic cloves (peeled)

a pinch of salt

For the spinach:

6 tbsp olive oil

6 tbsp poached onion (julienned)

6 tbsp pine nuts

6 tbsp Corinto raisins

3 pounds of rinsed spinach

Cuttlefish rice

For the final presentation:

crystallized garlic

pimentón oil

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Sauté the minced onion with 4 tbsp olive oil on a paella pan over low heat, add the rice and cook for two minutes. Add 4 cups of the fumet (set aside the rest for the final elaboration), the bay leaf, red hot pepper, thyme and cuttlefish ink with a pinch of salt. When it starts to boil cover with a lid (or aluminum foil) and place in the oven at 320 degrees F for 10 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and spread the black rice on a tray to stop the cooking. Remove the red hot pepper, the rosemary and the bay leaf. Keep the rice at room temperature until the final preparation.

Cod loins:

Desalt the semi-cured cod loins (if they are not desalted). Remove the scales and sauté, skin-side down, over low heat on a non-stick pan for 3 minutes or until golden. Eight minutes before eating, soak the cod loins with the skin facing up in a bowl with the olive oil at 175 degrees F Note that the time of cooking may vary, depending on how thick the cod is.

Alioli foam:

Chill all the ingredients in the fridge for one hour in order to lower the temperature and stabilize the emulsion. Combine all the ingredients, except for the oils, in a food processor with no preset temperature. Emulsify all the ingredients for a minute. Pour the oils slowly in order to obtain a thick alioli. Salt to taste. Pour the alioli into a siphon. Load the siphon with one gas cartridge and chill in the fridge.

Sautéed spinach, Catalan-style:

Heat the olive oil in a pan. Add the raisins. When they start to swell add the pine nuts, the julienned poached onion and the spinach. Sauté until the spinach wilts and is reduced to half. Salt to taste and serve immediately.

Final preparation:

Place the cod in the oil as per the first recipe. Simultaneously, heat in a narrow steel pan 2 tbsp of the remaining olive oil. Add the cuttlefish and cook for half a minute. Add the cuttlefish ink rice, followed by the rest of the fumet. Stir this risotto constantly so that the rice doesn't stick.

After 4 minutes, add the green peas and check the saltiness. Finally, remove the pan from the heat and add the remaining olive oil. Mix well with the risotto.

To serve:

Serve the rice in six deep bowls. Place the candied cod loins to the side of the cuttlefish rice. Arrange the sautéed spinach on top of the cod and sprinkle with finely chopped pieces of garlic, previously crystallized. To finish, place the alioli foam to the side of the cuttlefish rice and drizzle pimentón oil over the cod and the foam.

Recipe by Luis Bollo, Meigas Restaurant, New Haven, CT
Recipe courtesy of Spain GourmeTour magazine

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