I knew I wanted to make a stuffed squid dish, but I wasn't sure what I wanted to stuff them with. I went to our local asian/seafood/specialty market, where I knew they carried whole squid. I bought a pound, and the only problem was that the squid were pretty small. I had thought I would stuff them with a rice/shrimp mixture, but I decided they were too small for that. So I decided to stuff them with minced shrimp instead.
This preparation is rather long, but if they squid were larger they would be easier to stuff and wouldn't take as long. I was having a friend come over for a late lunch on Saturday, and I woke up early, which gave me the opportunity of piddling around in the kitchen taking my time and making most everything in advance.
I started out by making a sofregit sauce. Sofregit is a foundational sauce in Mediterranean Catalan cuisine. It's a fragrant tomato-based sauce made with tomatoes, onions, olive oil, garlic and onions, it can include other vegetables like mushrooms and peppers. These are cooked at low heat for a long period of time, so the vegetables become very flavorful.
As this sauce was cooking, I peeled my shrimp, minced it, and seasoned it with salt and aleppo pepper.
Then I cleaned my squid. I had done this before, so I knew how. Once you've done it once, you realize how easy it is. Okay, some people might find it a little unappealing, but it doesn't bother me. When the squid was cleaned, I stuffed them like little sausages with the shrimp mixture. Close the open end with a toothpick woven through, and back in the refrigerator to wait until their time to cook. Oh, I also kept the tentacle part to cook in the sauce alongside the stuffed bodies.
I next made an aioli sauce, which is basically a garlic mayonnaise. If you make this recipe, be sure to include this element. The bright sharp flavor of this really made a difference in the taste of the dish.
The stuffed squid turned out delicious. The shrimp inside was firm with the texture of a seafood sausage. I served simply with crostini alongside. (Take a loaf of good crusty bread, slice, lay on cookie sheet, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper and broil on low until crispy.)
Shrimp-Stuffed Squid in Sofregit Sauce with Aioli
Serves 2 as a main dish, 4 as an appetizer
1 pound whole squid, cleaned.
1 pound shrimp, peeled and minced
salt and pepper
Sofregit (see below)
Aioli (see below)
1. Make the safregit and set aside. Can be made in advance and refrigerated until ready to use.
2. Make the aioli and refrgerate until ready to use. Can be made a day in advance.
3. Season the raw, minced shrimp with salt and a sprinkling of aleppo pepper.
4. Stuff the squid bodies with the minced shrimp and close the end by weaving a toothpick through each. Make sure to cut the eyes and the hard white piece off the tentacle part of the squid and set aside.
5. Heat the sofreigit in a large skillit. Place the stuffed squid among the sauce and add the tentacles also to the sauce. Keep the heat on low, cover, and cook until the squid are firm and you think the shrimp are cooked through. I forgot to watch exactly how long this took, but I would guess about 20 minutes. You don't want to overcook or they'll get tough but you need the shrimp to cook through. You could cut one open when you think they might be done.
6. Divide the sauce and squid among 2-4 plates and drizzle the aioli sauce over. Serve with crunchy bread.
2 tablespoons olive oil
5 large ripe tomatoes, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped (I used a yellow one)
5 garlic cloves, chopped
1 cup mushrooms, chopped (I used cremini, you can use portabello, buttons or any kind)
1 bay leaf
Large pinch of cumin
Large pinch of oregano
Salt to taste
Place all ingredients in large skillet and cook slowly, stirring occasionally, until all of the vegetables are soft. (I probably cooked mine for an hour to 1 1/2 hours). Can be made ahead and refrigerated until ready to use.
Aioli (The recipe for aioli came from Epicurious.com)
2 garlic cloves
1 large egg yolk
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
Mince and mash garlic to a paste with a pinch of salt using a large heavy knife. Whisk together yolk, lemon juice, and mustard in a bowl. Combine oils and add, a few drops at a time, to yolk mixture, whisking constantly, until all oil is incorporated and mixture is emulsified. (If mixture separates, stop adding oil and continue whisking until mixture comes together, then resume adding oil.)
Whisk in garlic paste and season with salt and pepper. If aïoli is too thick, whisk in 1 or 2 drops of water. Chill, covered, until ready to use.