So it’s been about ten months since I last ate squid, and for some unknown reason I never buy squid in England. I only ever seem to eat squid tapas on my escapes home to Barcelona.
You can find a large variety of squid in most of the bars around Spain, such as battered squid rings with garlic and lemon mayonnaise, battered and fried tiny squid, sautéed squid in red wine or squid in black ink sauce... the list is never-ending.
Today I’m pleased to share with you a squid dish recipe which I have a special attachment too. These stuffed squids with beef mince bring me back a thousand thoughts to my mind, like when you listen to your favourite song after long time or find a letter from some old beloved.
This recipe used to be the one I loved and desired the most when I was little girl. I used to ask my mum for stuffed squids almost every Sunday and she always replied the in the same way: Lau, if you eat squids every week, you will end up loathing it. I never understood that, really.
When I knew we were going to have squids for lunch, I loved setting the large table in the living room with the most beautiful tablecloth my mum had, I would put all the finest pieces of cutlery out, even knowing we weren’t going to use all of them, and folded the napkins in flower shapes and put them inside the glassware.
Funnily enough, the stuffed squids from my mum’s cookbook are cooked gently in tomato, onion and garlic sauce. I really hated tomatoes, I use to push them around my plate with my folk when I was young, but even so, I still loved my mum’s recipe.
However, now older and wiser, for my own version of stuffed squids with beef mince, I made two types of sauce, inspired by two different Spanish squid recipes.
To give a hint of spiciness to the meat, I mixed the beef mince with a smooth and intensely flavoured romesco sauce. Originated from Catalonia, salsa romesco is served as an accompanying dip for calçots, a spring onion typical in spring season. This sauce is great with seafood, but it is a tasty sauce to accompany meat and vegetables as well.
Now the second sauce comes into action. Once the squids had been filled with the beef and romesco mixture, I cooked them on the grill pan, pouring over a light parsley, lemon and olive oil sauce until the squids were cooked through.
Two squid Spanish traditional styles in one recipe! I couldn’t ask for more, and I’m sure my mum would have loved them and agreed, they were nearly as good as hers.
Stuffed squids with beef mince and romesco sauce
Two squid Spanish traditional style in one recipe. Grilled stuffed squids with beef minced and romesco sauce, and dressed with parsley, lemon and garlic sauce.
For the romesco sauce
2 ñoras, Spanish dry pepper (or substitute 1/2 tablespoon paprika)
1/2 garlic bulb
15 g roasted and shelled hazelnuts
15 g roasted and shelled almonds
1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
1-2 teaspoon of white wine vinegar
3 tablespoons of oil olive
Black peeper and salt to taste
INGREDIENTS FOR STUFFED SQUIDS:
4 medium-sized squid, cleaned or 8 baby squid, cleaned
4 tablespoons olive oil
250 gr. ground beef
1/2 onion, finely chopped
1 teaspoon ground garlic
Salt and pepper to taste
2 cups of romesco sauce
INGREDIENTS FOR PARSLEY, LEMON AND GARLIC SAUCE:
1 garlic globe, very finely chopped
1/2 cup parsley, finely chopped
Juice and zest of 1 lemon
2/3 cup virgin extra olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
HOW TO MAKE ROMESCO SAUCE
Heat the oven to 190 degrees C
1. If you use ñoras, put them in a small bowl with hot water for 20 minutes. (ver what katie ate). If using sweet paprika omit this step.
2. Cut off the bottom of the tomatoes and cut slightly the skin into a cross shape. This will allow the skin peels off very easily. Repeat the same operation with the garlic. Place the tomatoes and garlic in a baking tray, pour over a tablespoon of olive oil and bake for 30 minutes.
3. Using a teaspoon, remove the pulp off from the ñorasand place in to a mortar. Then, add in the shelled and roasted almonds and hazelnuts and crush until ground. Set aside.
4. Once the tomatoes and garlic are cooked and cold enough to manage, peel off the skin. Discard what it burnt.
5. In a medium bowl, add in the tomatoes, nuts mixture, 1 to 2 teaspoons? of white wine vinegar, three tablespoons of oil olive, salt and pepper. Blend all until smooth. Add more salt, black pepper or vinegar if desired. If you like spicier, you can add a bit of sweet paprika.
INSTRUCTIONS FOR STUFFED SQUIDS:
To start, make the parsley, lemon and olive oil sauce.
1. In a small bowl, combine the parsley and garlic. Add the olive oil slowly while whisking to combine. Season to taste. Set aside.
2. Clean the squid by removing tentacles and all insides. Keep tentacles. Detach fin and all loose skin from the tube. Turn the tube inside out to clean in running water and turn back again.
3. Chop finely the tentacles and set aside.
4. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large saucepan and gently fry the onion until translucent. Then add the garlic, the chopped squid tentacles and season with pepper and salt. Cook for 5 minutes then add the ground beef and stir. Cook for a further 5 minutes stirring occasionally, then add the romesco sauce and stir to combine well. Transfer the meat to a clean plate and let it cool slightly.
5. Spoon the mixture into the squid tubes and close with a cocktail stick across the opening. Don’t fill too much to avoid bursting.
6. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a grill pan. Once it’s very hot, place the squids on the grill pan, pour 1 tablespoon of the parsley, lemon and oil olive sauce over each squid. Turn the squids every 30 seconds, adding more sauce over them. Grill for 2-3 minutes or until the squids firm up.
7. Take the squids off from the grill pan and serve with the remaining romesco sauce and parsley, lemon sauce if so.
By Laura | Lau Sunday cooks