Squid Cups Stuffed with Crabmeat and Bacon

May  5, 2011
4 Ratings
  • Makes About 2 dozen
Author Notes

Last Christmas, our family decided to do an authentic "Feast of the Seven Fishes" Christmas Eve dinner ( The Feast of the Seven Fishes is a big deal in parts of the Pittsburgh area where I grew up, and people spend weeks preparing for it. My family is not the least bit Italian, which is where this tradition started, but a seven course seafood dinner sure sounded good to us!! Besides, it was a lot of fun planning the recipes and spending the day in the kitchen making different courses with my sisters and my Mom. One of my sisters brought a block of frozen baby squid. They were too small to stuff the tubes, but if you slice them open and pan fry them briefly, they curl up into little cups which you can fill with stuffing and bake. They were a real hit as one of many courses of appetizers. If you use adult squid, you can omit frying them, and just stuff them and bake them. The little squid scoops were fun though. —Burnt Offerings

What You'll Need
  • 1 1/2 pounds Baby squid tubes, cleaned, tentacles reserved for another purpose
  • 1/4 cup flour, seasoned with 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 3 slices bacon or 6 slices pancetta, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons plus 2 tsp olive oil, divided
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 medium carrot, peeled and chopped fine
  • 1/4 large fennel bulb, chopped fine
  • 4 ounces lump crabmeat
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 3 tablespoons Fresh parsley, minced
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup Panko flakes
  • 2 teaspoons fish sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon hot sauce
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 10 grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1/4 cup good Parmeggiano Reggiano cheese, grated
  1. Preheat oven to 350'
  2. Slice through the calamari tubes on one side to create a flat piece. Thoroughly dry each piece and set aside on a plate - do not overlap.
  3. Dredge each piece in the seasoned flour and place on a plate - do not overlap, they'll stick like crazy. Lesson learned. Set the floured squid pieces aside.
  4. Make the stuffing: Sauté the bacon in a scant teaspoon of the olive oil until just starting to crisp at the edges. Remove to a plate lined with paper towels to drain.
  5. Put the onion in the pan and sauté for about five minutes, adding another tsp of olive oil if needed. Add the carrots and chopped fennel and cook another four or five minutes until the vegetables are cooked but still have a little crunch left in them. Remove the mixture to a bowl to cool, and add the drained cooked bacon.
  6. Once the vegetables have cooled, add the crabmeat, garlic, crushed fennel seeds, oregano, parsley, eggs, fish sauce, hot sauce and panko flakes to the bowl and mix with a fork. Season to taste if needed. The fish sauce and hot sauce act at salt and pepper here, so use them to correct the seasoning.
  7. Add 2 TBL olive oil to the pan, and heat until the oil is hot but not smoking. Brown the calamari tubes quickly on both sides and remove to a plate. They will curl up into little scoops, or cups at this point.
  8. Add the wine and tomatoes to the pan, reduce heat to medium, and simmer until the liquid has reduced by half, about five minutes.
  9. Meanwhile, scoop about a TBL of stuffing into each calamari cup, and place them in an oiled baking dish. I found a melon ball scoop or rounded spoon works well.
  10. Drizzle the wine/tomato sauce over the stuffed calamari and bake for about 15 minutes. Turn on the broiler, top each stuffed calamari with a few shreds of the cheese, and broil about 3-4" from the heat for two or three minutes, with the oven door open, until the cheese melts and starts to bubble.
  11. Serve immediately. These are also good drizzled with a little good balsamic vinegar.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • gingerroot
  • mrslarkin
  • wssmom
  • boulangere
  • hardlikearmour

9 Reviews

gingerroot May 11, 2011
Yum! What an amazing dish for a fabulous sounding meal!
mrslarkin May 5, 2011
Genius! I love this!
wssmom May 5, 2011
Calamari? Bacon? Fennel? Crabmeat? These sound incredible!!! WIll not wait until Christmas to make them!
Burnt O. May 5, 2011
Seriously. What DOESN'T go with bacon, crabmeat and fennel - right? It's a nice party appetizer that can be made ahead and then just broil them off with the cheese.
boulangere May 5, 2011
I love the story of your Feast of the Seven Fishes. As my children are now young adults, it's interesting and fun to set aside for a season now and then some of the cast-in-stone food traditions and explore new ones. This especially looks wonderful. Bacon, crab, and sweet baby calamari, oh my!
Burnt O. May 5, 2011
Our biggest family event is Xmas Eve. The only time of the year when all of the kids, in laws, grandkids, etc., get together for a big meal. We always do seafood, and for 20+ years, it's been my pleasure to cook the meal (Mom does Xmas morning with her homemade gravlax). This was a nice variation and allowed everyone to take part.
boulangere May 5, 2011
My daughter is my food child. She is usually with me for Christmas, and I plan to add this to our Christmas Eve dinner. Thank you so much!
hardlikearmour May 5, 2011
What a great "new tradition" for your family! Bacon plus crab - holy yum!
Burnt O. May 5, 2011
Coming up with seven seafood dishes that could be pulled off in one meal was harder than it sounds. I researched this tradition for weeks, and a lot of the very traditional seafood dishes, including the squid, are all fried, which we didn't want to do. So, we came up with a very non-Italian combination of Ceviche (Peruvian), Brandade (French), Baccalao (Portugese), grilled Eel steaks with a mint and Balsamic reduction (Belgian?), these squid cups (Italian?), mushrooms stuffed with crabmeat (American), Bagna Cauda (Italian), and lobster raviolis with a champagne / saffron cream sauce (French). It was a great meal.