Saturday, December 01, 2007

Chilli Squid Stew

It recently occurred to me that although I love to eat Squid, I very rarely do anything other than toss those rings in flour mixed with pepper and Paprika, and then throw them in some hot, hot oil – Greek Style, if you will. And although, on a hot summer’s day with a cold Peroni to wash them down, this does the trick, I bullied myself into doing something different with my tentacle friends. This is what I came up with – basic, yes, but very tasty. The stew simply accentuates the sweetness of the squid; this would be excellent as part o a Tapas selection.

To make two Tapas-Size portions –
6 Small or 1 Large Squid
Tomatoes –about 4 large vine-ripened ones, or about 15 'Cherry' ones
2 fresh chillies
1 large red pepper – (I used preserved ones for extra sweetness)
Good Olive Oil
2 large cloves of garlic
Salt, Pepper, and 1 tsp of Sugar
A Garlic Bread, Flatbread or Tomato bread to accompany.

1. Make a basic Tomato Sauce – Chop all of your tomatoes and add to warm olive oil. Add you peppers also. Season, including the sugar, and stir in a little tomato puree if needed. Leave to simmer for about five minutes, and then add your chopped garlic and chilli. Simmer gently for anywhere from ten minutes to an hour (I’m sure you know what you like).
2. Prepare and wash your squid. Keep the tentacles, and cut the tubes (bodies) into strips. You should get about five per Squid.
3. Once you are happy with the Sauce, and your breads are warmed nicely, throw in your chopped squid. They should need no more than seven or eight minutes – once cooked, they will be white and curled round.
4. Serve with your breads for scooping!

As you can see, this is about as simple as you can get. I washed this down with the last of the summers Rose wine, and added extra Tabasco once on the table for extra bite; or you could add as much fresh chilli as you need. The key to this is knowing what kind of basic tomato sauce you like, and perfecting it. I have left out onions, as I didn’t want too much going on here, but feel free to adapt this sauce any way you want. It’s not rocket science – it’s just good cooking.

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