My F&W
quick save (...)
Mussel-and-Squid Pilaf with Sweet Spices and Dill
© Martin Morrell

Mussel-and-Squid Pilaf with Sweet Spices and Dill

  • ACTIVE: 30 MIN
  • TOTAL TIME: 2 HRS 15 MIN
  • SERVINGS: 6

This is one of Defne Koryürek's favorite dishes from chef-owner Semsa Denizsel at Kantin restaurant. The rice is glossy and sticky, and full of tender calamari and mussels. The addition of spices like allspice and cinnamon, plus some currants, gives the dish a slightly sweet edge.

  1. 1 1/2 cups arborio rice (3/4 pound), rinsed
  2. Kosher salt
  3. 2 garlic cloves, halved
  4. 2 pounds mussels, scrubbed
  5. 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  6. 1 medium onion, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  7. Large pinch of saffron threads
  8. 1 tablespoon dried currants
  9. One 1 1/2-inch cinnamon stick
  10. 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  11. 3/4 pound cleaned squid, bodies sliced crosswise into 1/4-inch rings, large tentacles halved
  12. 4 scallions, white and green parts, finely chopped
  13. 2 tablespoons chopped dill
  1. In a large bowl, cover the rinsed arborio rice with 2 inches of hot water. Add 2 tablespoons of kosher salt and stir thoroughly to dissolve. Let the rice soak for 40 minutes, then drain.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, bring 1 cup of water to a boil with the garlic halves. Add the mussels, cover and cook over high heat, shaking the pan vigorously a few times, until the mussels open, about 4 minutes. Discard any mussel shells that do not open. Transfer the mussels to a medium bowl. Pour the mussel cooking liquid into a heatproof measuring cup and measure out 2 cups; add water if necessary. Remove the mussels from their shells and transfer to a bowl.
  3. In a large, deep skillet, heat the olive oil. Add the diced onion and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 8 minutes. Crumble in the saffron threads and stir in the dried currants, cinnamon stick and allspice. Add the squid and cook, stirring, until it begins to curl, about 1 minute. Add the soaked and drained rice and cook over moderately high heat, stirring, until the rice starts to stick together, about 3 minutes. Stir in the mussels, the reserved 2 cups of liquid and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Cover and cook over moderate heat for 12 minutes. Stir in the chopped scallions.
  4. Cover the mussel-and-squid pilaf with a clean kitchen towel, then cover with the lid and cook over low heat for 10 minutes without peeking. Remove the pilaf from the heat and keep it in a warm place, covered, for 45 minutes. Stir in the dill, discard the cinnamon stick and serve.
Make Ahead The pilaf can be kept at room temperature for up to 2 hours.

Suggested Pairing

Though this rich, risotto-like pilaf is chock-a-block with tender mussels and squid, it's much more of a red-wine dish than a white because it's substantial and sweet enough to pair with wine that has a little tannic astringency. Try a medium-bodied red from southern France.

You Might Also Like

Ratings

Average Rating

(0)

Comments

Add A Comment

    Add a Comment

    See our terms
    You must be logged in to comment. or
    advertisement
    The Dish
    Receive delicious recipes and smart wine advice 4x per week in this e-newsletter.
    The Wine List Weekly pairing plus best bottles to buy.
    F&W Daily One sensational dish served fresh every day.
    advertisement
    Congratulations to Nicholas Elmi, winner of Top Chef: New Orleans, the 11th season of Bravo's Emmy-Award winning, hit reality series.

    Already looking forward to next year (June 19-21, 2015)? Relive your favorite moments from the culinary world's most sensational weekend in the Rocky Mountains.