This recipe is somewhat involved and is a bit of a project. It would be a little ridiculous to try to do for a big crowd but it’s one of those recipes that’s fun to try once and then vow never to do again. It involves mushrooms, my favorite, and squid, something I’ve grown to love over the years.
At the restaurant I’ve cleaned a lot of squid over the past year, although I must say it is not nearly as fun as opening oysters. Whole, uncleaned squid, truthfully, are pretty disgusting. I know that’s not a very nice thing to say about a living creature…but it’s true. They contain this slimy black and whitish substance that holds their brains and guts and stuff and when you pull everything out to separate the body from the tentacles, that goo just gets everywhere. It’s not pretty.
Once cleaned though, you’d never know how nasty they were to begin with. Squid can be pretty versatile, and are fun to grill, sauté, fry, and of course, stuff. These stuffed squid can be served whole, or you can slice them for a more dramatic presentation. Good luck!
4 squid bodies, cleaned
½ lb shiitake mushrooms, diced
½ lb cremini mushrooms, diced
3 shallots, minced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 small bunch of thyme, chopped
1 small bunch of chives, minced
Several cherry tomatoes, halved
Salt and pepper
What to do:
- Mince mushrooms, shallots and garlic. Heat a large pan on high and coat with oil. Add shiitake mushrooms and cook until softened, then add half the onions and half the garlic. Deglaze with white wine and lower the heat. Let everything cook together until soft, 2-3 more minutes. Remove and do the same with the cremini mushrooms.
- In a mixing bowl, combine cooked cremini and shiitake mushrooms and mix in the chopped thyme and chives. Finish seasoning if you need to add more salt or pepper.
- If you bought the squid already cleaned, rinse with cold water and pat dry. Stuff each body with a few teaspoons of the mushroom mixture, leaving about a quarter of an inch of room at the top. Use a toothpick to pin the top of the squid closed.
- Halve the cherry tomatoes and lightly flour the cut side with Wondra flour. Prepare two pans to sear off both the squid and tomatoes at the same time.
- When the pans are hot, start by searing off the squid bodies, allowing them to brown evenly on all sides until squid is cooked, about 3-4 minutes total. Also sear off the tentacles until they are cooked through and the ends are crispy. You can tell the squid is cooked when the flesh becomes opaque – don’t cook them for too long though, or they will become tough. On high heat, 3-4 minutes should do the trick.
- When squid is nearly done, quickly fry off the cherry tomatoes in a small amount of hot oil. The pan you use should be small, hot and lightly coated with oil. Cook the tomatoes on the cut side only and remove from pan using a flat spatula.
- Let squid bodies cool for a minute before slicing into rounds. Use a very sharp knife for this. If they don’t hold their shape, you can let them cool completely in the fridge, slice and then re-heat momentarily in a small amount of oil and butter.
- Plate up with tomatoes and a small salad and serve warm!
© 2012 Jonathan and Jessica Meter