13 February 2013

From the Chef and Il Pescatore ~ Calamari Ripieni

It’s tough to beat the tenderness of fresh, line-caught calamari.  I make it sounds so romantic, but really it entails a late, cold night on the piers of Downtown Seattle.  It’s quite an adventure, especially when you have to get up for work in just a couple of hours , but it’s well worth the effort.  I have shared with you my marinated squid recipe (Casa Fiore #58—March, ’11)  Calamari fritti and squid sautéed in a nice tomato sauce and served over pasta are other great ways to enjoy these abundant cephalopods.  Today, however, I share with you the best recipe I know for squid.  It’s fairly common—check out the recipes on the web— and thoroughly irresistible.  Below is my recipe.  I’ll see you down at the piers! 
  • Start with 1 lb. cleaned calamari.  Finely chop tentacles and set aside.  Sauté the following in 1/4 cup olive oil until translucent:  1/2 cup minced onion, 1/4 cup minced celery, and 2 cloves minced garlic.  Add tentacles and sauté briefly. 
  •  Add the following:  1 cup minced finely chopped arugula, 1/4 cup mince parsely, 2 tbsp. each minced celery greens and fresh thyme and a splash of white wine.  Add 4 filets chopped anchovies, 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes, 1 tsp. lemon zest, and salt and pepper to taste and sauté a bit more.  Let cool slightly. 
  • Add one beaten egg, 2 tsp. grated parmigiano, 1 cup chopped stale bread, and juice of 1/2 lemon.  Add filling to zip lock bag, cut end, and pipe in filling.  Seal top with toothpick.  Salt and drizzle with olive oil.  Grill on high heat for roughly 7-8 min., turning once.
  • Dust with good salt and drizzle with quality olive oil and serve with lemon wedges.  Enjoy with white wine or crisp lager or ale.  I like them best when they are hot.

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