Sunday, September 18, 2011

Calamari Stew with Potatoes and Tomatoes

This was my first chance to use the Lodge 5qt Dutch oven that I purchased last month. We'd gone to Sur La Table to get a small oven as I'd only had a large one and needed something between that and my 14" iron skillet and this dish proved it. We'd looked at Le Creusets but they were like $250. I'm still not sure why they cost so much other than that they look pretty nice, like something that belongs in a Chappaqua kitchen so that the housewife can match the color with her walls. Catching a reflection of myself in the store quickly reminded me that I'm nothing like that so a $50 Lodge pot like this would work just fine, thank you. And as this recipe proved, it is an amazing tool!

The new pot!

Squid with flavoring

Tomatoes and potatoes

2 tablespoons olive oil
3 cloves garlic crushed
1 dried hot pepper crushed or ripped into small pieces
1 pound fresh squid cleaned *
3/4 cup white wine
1 1/2 pounds Yukon Gold or fingerling potatoes chopped into 2 inch pieces
1 pound fresh tomatoes (if not in season, use Muir Glen canned whole)
Juice of 1/2 lemon
2 tablespoons fresh parsley chopped

* I like to clean fresh squid myself. If you've never done it, I'll have a video blog on cleaning them posted in the near future and will update this post to reference it once I do.

Cut the squid bodies into 1/2 inch rings.
Add the oil to a large pot or skillet over medium-low heat; when hot, add the garlic and the hot pepper cooking until the garlic is soft and translucent, about 2-3 minutes. Add the squid and allow it about 10 minutes to release its liquid. Add the wine and allow to cook over the low heat for a few minutes. You can also add a pinch of salt here.

If you are using fresh tomatoes in season, peel the skins by parboiling them for about a minute, cooling them in ice water, then rubbing the skins off.

Add the potatoes and tomatoes to the pot, stirring to combine. Bring to a low simmer and allow to cook for about 45 minutes. (Note here that squid is best either cooked quickly over high heat or slowly over low heat, like for this kind of stew. Cook somewhere in between and you're asking to eat white rubber!)

At the end of cooking, remove from heat and add the lemon juice and parsley. Taste for salt, add if needed.We served with a boiled corn on the cob, brown rice, bread and a salad of fresh tomatoes from the yard with a bit of basil, red wine vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper. And a glass of that white wine.

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