Calamari, Stuffed with Chorizo and Rice

Calamari, Stuffed with Chorizo and Rice

If you want to impress someone, then go for stuffed calamari. You can find randomly this recipe in Croation islands and according to the legend, it’s a dish that daughters-in-law cooked for their mother-in-law when they wanted to melt their hearts. So if it happened that you mother-in-law looks a lot like merciless Viola in “Monster-in-law” then cook “Stuffed calamari with chorizo and rice.”🌹

Ingredients
For the squid
4 medium squid
1 tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, finely diced
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 celery stalk, finely diced
50g/2oz uncooked white long-grain rice
½ tbsp finely chopped rosemary leaves
½ tbsp finely chopped thyme leaves
200g/7oz chorizo, finely chopped
¼ tsp fennel seeds
125g/4½oz pork mince
2 tsp smoked paprika
generous pinch hot paprika or cayenne pepper
½ lemon, juice only
salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the sauce
1 tbsp olive oil
2 garlic cloves, finely sliced
500g/1lb 2oz ripe tomatoes, skin and seeds removed, flesh chopped
200ml/7fl oz fish stock
2 bay leaves
½ lemon, pared strips of zest only
7 tbsp dry sherry
1 tsp finely chopped thyme leaves
salt and freshly ground black pepper
small bunch flatleaf parsley, finely chopped leaves only, to garnish
crisp green salad, to serve

Cooking method
Preheat the oven to 125C/250F/Gas ½, or as close to this temperature as possible.
For the squid, prepare the squid by pulling out the tentacles along with the innards and the quill. Trim off and discard the innards and the quill. Pull the wings off the body then rinse the body, tentacles and wings and set aside.
Heat the olive oil in a large pan over a medium heat. Add the onion, garlic and celery and fry gently for 8-10 minutes, or until softened. Set aside to cool.
Finely chop the tentacles and wings from the squid and put them into a mixing bowl with the cooked onion mixture and all of the remaining squid ingredients. Mix the stuffing well – it’s easiest to just use your hands – then stuff it into the cleaned squid bodies. Don’t pack the stuffing in too tightly as the rice will expand quite a lot during cooking – each squid body should be about half full. Secure the open ends of the squid bodies with cocktail sticks. Any remaining stuffing can be added to the sauce.
For the sauce, heat a heavy-based casserole dish (large enough to fit your squid snugly side by side) over a medium heat. Add the olive oil and throw in the sliced garlic. When it’s just starting to turn golden-brown, add the tomatoes, followed by the fish stock, bay leaves, lemon zest, sherry and thyme leaves. Season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Carefully place the stuffed squid into the casserole, pushing them down into the sauce, then bring to a very gentle simmer.
Transfer the dish to the oven and cook for two hours, or until the squid is very tender. Don’t worry if some of the stuffing has forced its way out, just serve it with the sauce.
Serve the squid with a few spoonfuls of sauce over the top. Scatter with the chopped parsley, and serve a crisp green salad alongside.

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