Last weeks post got a friend all fired up and he just “had” to have stuffed squid. He’d never had it before and wanted to see how it was made, so we got together Saturday evening last to whip it up.
Ideally I’d use a spicy Italian sausage or a chorizo or even a Goan sausage for the stuffing but my wife doesn’t eat red meat so we got some chicken sausage and had to up the flavour quotient of the stuffing.
Since it was planned, I had carried the frozen squid home from work and it thawed in the fridge overnight. I only used 7 squids as it was a first time for both my wife and my friend. They were perfectly thawed out by Saturday evening and looked incredible!
Frozen Whole Squid
Thawed Whole Squid
I find it easier to have everything ready and in little bowls before the actual cooking starts. So we had onions, garlic, fresh parsley and red peppers diced and chopped up nice and fairly fine. The sausages were chopped and blitzed. All the condiments were at hand – olive oil, freshly ground black pepper, salt, egg, smoked paprika or dried red chilli roughly ground.
Heated the oil in a pan over medium high heat and popped in the onions, garlic and red peppers with a touch of salt and pepper and let them cook till the onions turned translucent. Took them off heat to cool.
While this was cooking, I removed the tentacles and the little winglets of the squid and gave the squid a quick wash and dry. Half the tentacles were chopped up really fine and kept aside, the rest was discarded.
Cleaned Squid Tubes
Once the onion mixture was cool enough to handle, I got it all together in a bowl, added the ground sausage, the chopped up squid tentacles and parsley, 1 whole egg and added in the paprika and some Italian mixed herbs with a little more salt and pepper and mixed them up nicely.
The stuffing still felt a little bland so I added some garlic powder and a little more Italian mixed herbs. Just a for a little extra kick we threw in a little shredded cheddar cheese and some more red ground chilli.
It was time to stuff the tubes. And it dawned on me that I hadn’t thought about the piping bag. No ziplocks were available either. It was time to get messy !
My friend, Boxy, got busy too and we made fairly short work of the stuffing and sealing the mouth with toothpicks. All in all, it was a tiring albeit strangely satisfying experience and the squids looked gorgeous!
The Stuffed Squid before cooking.
This was covered with cling film and put into the fridge for about an hour. While the squid where “chilling” I cut up some garlic bread for the oven and chopped up a little parsley and lemons for garnish. I was going to dry pan sear the squid so it would get a barbecue like charring so I got a flat pan out on the gas and heated it up on a medium low heat.
Now with squid you can essentially cook 2 ways – high and fast and low and slow. I opted for a low and slow as I wanted both sides evenly cooked and the charring on both sides as well. What we hadn’t counted on was how the cheese was going to react to low heat. It was not pretty. Edible, delicious yes! But not pretty. The cheese started to ooze really fast and started to fry and burn on the pan. We managed to get a lot of it off but there was no way we ever going to win the war.
Squid on the pan approaching 155° F or 70° C
Still, the end result was pretty good. It tasted wonderful. The squid was cooked through and was soft and yummy. The stuffing was cooked through as well and we tested that based on temperature. If the temperature in the center has reached a 155° F or 70° C then the squid ready to be plated.
What is finally looked like with some oven roasted garlic bread