Grilled Calamari Stuffed with Sqid Ink Rice
- Serves 4 - 6
Calamari alla Griglia con Riso Nero ... My Sicilian grandmother, then my mother have been making stuffed squid as long as I can remember. It's always stuffed with breadcrumbs and cooked in tomato sauce. I've since seen it cooked in other ways, including on the grill. Grilled calamari is as old as the hills, whether as is or stuffed. I got introduced to rice stuffed calamari from an old Ming Tsai recipe which had an Asian twist. This recipe sort of takes that idea, adds a Spanish twist by preparing squid ink stained rice in a shortened paella technique. After it's cooked, allow it to set for few minutes and slice it into 1" pieces and serve with sweet Asian style dipping sauce. It makes a great tasting and eye-catching appetizer —Pete
2 ¼ cups
fish stock (can substitute low sodium chicken broth)
squid (or sepia) ink
Whole squid, cleaned, bodies and tentacles separated
small yellow onion
finely chopped red bell pepper
finely minced garlic
Fresh Mexican Chorizo (in plastic tubes)
short grain rice (e.g. Arborio, bomba)
Thai basil (or sweet basil)
salt and black pepper to taste
- *Squid ink can be omitted if not desired or available. Substitute a splash or two of fish sauce and 1 tbsp soy sauce. It’s still good, but it’s just not the same
- **If substituting cured chorizo or other type of dried sausage for the fresh chorizo, cut into small pieces and cook until rendered and starting to get crispy.
- Coarsely chop tentacles.
- Set aside 1/4 cup stock in a small bowl. Add packet of squid ink to this broth. Heat remaining stock in a medium saucepan over medium heat.
- Heat 2 tbsp oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add to the oil the chopped onion, red bell pepper, chili peppers (if using) and cook for 3 minutes. Stir while heating. Add garlic, chopped tentacles, and chorizo sausage (removed from the plastic tube) and stir to break up sausage completely. Continue to heat until sausage and squid is cooked and liquid released by squid is evaporated, about 4-5 minutes. Stir rice into pan, season with salt, then slowly add heated stock. Increase heat to medium-high and cook, without stirring, until rice begins to swell, about 10 minutes.
- Pour reserved stock with squid ink into pan. Stir once, then reduce heat to low and cook until all liquid evaporates, about 10 minutes, until rice is just cooked through, but still has a slight bite to the center. If rice is not cooked and liquid is evaporated, add some additional heated stock or water. Finish by adding basil. Remove from heat. Season to taste and allow to cool sufficiently to be able to handle for stuffing the squid.
- Stuff the squid tubes with the rice mixture. Use a small spoon to stuff the bodies or fill a plastic food storage bag and cut the bottom corner tip off, large enough to squeeze the stuffing mix out of. Fill bodies to within ½ inch of top. Secure opening with toothpicks.
- Oil the grill and season the tubes with salt and paprika. Place stuffed squid tubes onto grill roll them around so that all sides cook evenly, about 5 minutes total. Be careful not to overcook the squid as it will get tough. Let rest 1 minute then slice into 1 inch thick pieces.
- Serve with a sweet chili/garlic dipping sauce (or make your ownby melting red pepper jelly in a small saucepan over medium/low heat. When liquid, add 1 tsp each chili garlic sauce and rice wine vinegar. The amount of chili garlic sauce is totally up to you to achieve desired taste. Add some water to achieve desired consistency. Mix in the cucumber, carrots, and cilantro and start dippin’.
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