Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Chipirones con Cebolla Caramelizada (Baby Squid with Caramelized Onions)

This dish, baby squid with caramelized onions, is another dish that comes from Jose Andres' cookbook, Made in Spain.  Like the Vieiras con Albariño, this dish is fairly straightforward.  In addition, I have made stuffed calamari in the past, so I have some experience trying to make this dish.  Those prior experiences were helpful for remembering two important things about making stuffed squid dishes as Chipirones con Cebolla Caramelizada.  First, patience is a virtue and it is needed when trying to stuff a mixture into the small bodies of squid.  Second, never put too much stuffing in the squid bodies.  Many stuffings will expand under the heat of the oven; and, if packed too tightly, the stuffing can cause the squid bodies to break open.  

Keeping those two things in mind, a stuffed squid dish is not only delicious, but is also a sustainable dish.  According to Seafood Watch, most squid sold in the United States comes from countries such as China, South Korea, India, Thailand and Taiwan.  The squid are caught using jigs or trawls, which minimize bycatch.  However, the extent of the squid populations is unknown, so it is not possible to give a definite endorsement as truly sustainable.  Most conservation websites and seafood monitoring sites, like Seafood Watch, give the thumbs up to squid.

This dish, like the Veirias con Albariño, is a very delicious dish.  I am definitely looking forward to making more dishes from José Andrés cookbook in the future.

From Made in Spain at page 163
Serves 4

1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil (Spanish is preferred, but Italian or Greek will work well too)
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 medium Spanish onion, sliced finely
1 medium green bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
1 bay leaf
1/4 cup plus two tablespoons of white wine (like Albariño wine)
8 whole small squid bodies, cleaned with tentacles separated
Sea salt to taste
1 teaspoons of flat leaf parsley, chopped finely

1.  Saute the onions and garlic.  Heat 1/4 cup of olive oil in a saute pan over low heat.  Add 3/4 of the garlic and saute until golden, about one minute.  Add the onion, pepper and bay leaf, increase the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring often, for about twenty minutes.  Add the wine and continue to cook until alcohol evaporates, which should be about five minutes.  

2. Saute the tentacles and stuff the calamari.  Chop four of the squid tentacles and add them to the onion.  Cook for a couple more minutes.  Set mixture aside to cool.  When the mixture is cool, stuff each of the squid bodies with the mixture.  If there is any extra mixture, set it aside and keep it warm.

3.  Cook the calamari. Season the stuffed tubes and remaining tentacles with salt.  Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a pan over medium high heat.  Add the stuffed tubes and tentacles, cooking until they are brown.  This should take about two minutes per side.  Stir in the remaining garlic and parsley.  Remove from heat.

4.  Plate the dish.  Divide any remaining onion mixture amongst the four plates.  Top each plate with the tubes and tentacles, drizzling any sauce from the saute pan.


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