Sunday, 14 June 2015

Exotic Mediterranean Cargo!

Calamari Tagliate "al Ananas" con Riso Rosso, Pomodori Secche, Zenzero, Limone & Capperi
"Pineapple-Cut" Squid with Red Rice, Sun-Dried Tomatoes, Ginger, Lemon & Capers

It was quick, it was simple, it was tasty and it was my supper! Not surprising really, is it? I mean, you will have noticed by now that those few words describe almost every one of my recipes!

And I am absolutely fine with that, as it by and large describes my philosophy when it comes to cooking to a "t", as they say. Wherever that saying came from!

I might make the occasional exception and make a complicated meal every now and again, if I am entertaining for example and want to make something extravagant for friends.... But otherwise, simple food with sophisticated flavors is much more my style. So, check this out...


Chewy, whole grain, red "cargo" rice as they call it, and small, delicate "pineapple squid"... Those are ingredients you may not have at home, but they are inexpensive and readily available at any Asian supermarket.

The squid is a particular favorite of mine... You can get it frozen, as I did, and it is already scored with that crisis-cross pattern of cuts that makes it look a little like a pineapple... Must which more importantly, which helps it cook faster and fry or grill crisper than regular squid... I love that!

So what did I do with my 2 Asian ingredients? I cooked them up Sicilian style of course... What else!?!!


So, what do we have here? 3 little pineapple squid, 1 spring onion, 1 lemon, 1 1/2 cupfuls of red rice, a little fresh ginger, a couple of sun-dried tomatoes, 1 tablespoon of capers and some fresh parsley. Told you it was simple, didn't I!?!


See how rich that looks? Imagine how wonderful it tastes? Good! Then you are halfway to having decided to try this... And I hope you do, because I think you will enjoy it too!


Time to get chopping whilst you boil your rice... On the one hand, the down-side of red rice is that it can take up to 30 minutes to cook... But on the other hand, it gives you plenty of time to do all the other prep-work!

Finely slice the sun-dried tomatoes, the green onion tops and 2-3 strips of lemon zest, finely dice about 1" of ginger and cut the end of the onion in half lengthwise, so that it will cook more quickly.


After the rice has boiled for around 20 minutes, add half of the ginger, sun-dried tomato and lemon zest respectively. Stir them in well and let the rice gently simmer on.

Whilst it bubbles away, quickly pre-cook the squid by blanching them for 2-3 minutes in boiling water, then set them to one side to give off a little steam and to dry out a little.


Next, fry the squid and the onion in a little olive oil, with the remaining half of the finely diced ginger and season with salt and pepper. Once the onions are brown, set them to one side and continue to fry the squid at a high heat until the surface begins to "pop" and turn golden brown.


Now set the squid to one side and pour the rice into the pan. Add a little oil and the green onion tops and stir- fry for a minute or two.


And there you have it, rich and flavorful and so easy!


Serve the squid on a bed of rice, scattered with the capers and a little more lemon zest, some fresh pepper and a sprinkle of finely chopped parsley... Give it one last squeeze of lemon juice... and enjoy!


Another little plateful of Mediterranean summer for you!

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