Saturday, July 9, 2016

Potaje de Garbanzos y Calamares

I'm currently enrolled in a class with 18 Reasons to become a health promoter certified to run Cooking Matter classes as a chef instructor. This week we were in a store tour where we teach/learn about how markets are laid out and how to make the most of purchases in terms of value and nutrition. Once we've been through a tour of a store and have gained some knowledge of how to make the most of our money when shopping, we take on a $10 challenge i.e. select ingredients to create a meal for 4 people to incorporate with whatever we happen to have in our home pantry.
I decided to make a Spanish stew of squid, chickpeas, and potatoes as local squid tends to be rather inexpensive, has lots of protein without much saturated fat, and chickpeas contain lots of fiber and flavor. I also included a side dish of sautéed spinach with raisins and pine nuts.

NOTE: When cooking squid, you either want to cook it quickly - a couple of minutes on a hot grill or in a hot pan - or cook it for a good length of time - stewing it for 45-60 minutes. Anything in between will result in a very rubbery substance.

I got this recipe from a wonderful cookbook with which I've been consulting since our recent trip to Spain, Penelope Casas' La Cocina de Mamá. The printed recipe uses cuttlefish but I substituted squid which is much easier to find in these parts.

In the fish display

The $10 purchase

Chickpeas, garlic, parsley, onion, and tomato stewing

The raw uncleaned squid

Squid post-cleaning

1 pound dried chickpeas
1 pound uncleaned squid
1 whole unpeeled head garlic
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Bunch of fresh parsley branches
1 1/2 teaspoons sweet pimentón
1 medium tomato, finely chopped
1 small whole onion, peeled
1-inch piece guajillo pepper
2 bay leaves
3/4 pound new, Yukon, or fingerling potatoes cut into 1-inch chunks
Kosher salt

Soak the chickpeas overnight.
Clean the squid, separating the body and tentacles. Cut the body crosswise into 1 inch widths.
In a large saucepan or pot the chickpeas, 5 cups cold water, the garlic, oil, parsley, 1 teaspoon of the pimentón, the tomato, onion, guajillo, and bay leaves. Bring to a boil, cover, and simmer for 1 1/2 hours.
Add the squid and potatoes, season with salt, and continue cooking for another 30 minutes, or until the chickpeas, potatoes, and squid are tender. Squeeze the garlic flesh into the stew and discard the skin. Stir in the remaining 1/2 teaspoon pimentón. Cover and let site for 15 minutes before serving, reheating if necessary.

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