Recipe: stuffed squid worth the effort
Stuffed squid is a terrific graphic looking dish when plated. It may take a little time to prepare, but it's well worth all the effort in getting there.
• 1 kg baby to medium squid
• 250 g quinoa
• 1 ½ cups water
• 3 tablespoons olive oil
• 1 onion, finely chopped
• 1 carrot, finely chopped
• 1 celery stalk, finely chopped
• 1 small fennel bulb, finely chopped
• 1 small red chilli, halved, seeded and sliced (optional)
• 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
• 1 chorizo sausage, finely chopped
• 50 g pistachio nut, lightly toasted and chopped
• 50 g currants, soaked in warm water for 10 minutes
• 2 flat-leaf parsley stalks, chopped
• 2 mint sprigs, leaves picked and chopped
• zest and juice of 1 lemon
• sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
• extra-virgin olive oil, to drizzle
1. Preheat the oven to 200°C. Line a baking tray with baking paper.
2. To clean the squid, take the head and tentacles in one hand and pull them out of the body. Cut the head from the tentacles and discard. Pull out the strip of transparent cartilage and the pale cream soft matter from inside the body, rinse the body and tentacles thoroughly. Pat everything dry with paper towel. Set aside the tubes and chop the tentacles.
3. Soak the quinoa in a bowl of cold water for 15 minutes. Drain and stir with a fork. Transfer the quinoa to a saucepan, add the water and bring to the boil. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Take off the heat, cover with the lid and rest for 5 minutes. Using a fork, gently stir and fluff up the quinoa, then spread onto a large dish to cool. Set aside.
4. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium–low heat and cook the onion, carrot, celery, fennel and chilli, if using, until the onion is soft and translucent. Add the garlic and chorizo and cook gently, stirring occasionally, until the chorizo is a light golden brown, about 10 minutes. Set aside to cool.
5. Combine the cooled quinoa, chorizo mixture, pistachio nuts, currants, parsley, mint and zest and juice of lemon in a large bowl. Add the chopped tentacles. Season with the salt and pepper and stir to mix well. Spoon the stuffing into the squid tubes and close with a toothpick. Using a sharp knife, make shallow diagonal cuts along the tops of the tubes.
6. Place the squid, cut side up, on the prepared tray. Drizzle with the extravirgin olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast for 30 minutes, or until pale golden.
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Big effort, big results: this stuffed squid looks fantastic on the plate.