Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Steam Team!

Calamari in Umido con Verdure Miste
Steamed Squid with Mixed Vegetables


Yummy calamari! Must it always be breaded or battered and deep fried? Ok, please!!! By Neptune himself I say thee, "nay!" Whilst it way be ok to deep-fry seafood on occasion, it is by no means my favorite way to enjoy it.

What I much prefer to do is to steam it, let the flavors come into their own and retain their strength and diversity and make for an infinitely more satisfying meal in every way!

And of course... So much healthier!


With such simple and yet flavorful ingredients, it is quite easy to create a dish that tastes intensely flavorful... And so much more interesting than the taste of oil or breadcrumbs!

To prepare my single persons supper, I needed just 2 medium sized calamari, 1 small carrot, 1 stalk of celery, 1 shallot, 1 small red pepper, 5-6 cherry tomatoes, a little fresh ginger, parsley, 1 lemon, olive oil, salt and pepper... That's all!
Except for the optional white wine and sambuca that is...


It's colorful, it's fun, it's healthy and it's delicious! And it may take about an hour in all to prepare... But it's worth it... I promise you that!

This was just a spur of the moment dish, with no huge master plan involved... I just happened to have the ingredients... And the inclination... And it just happened!


I cooked mine in a clay pot/tajine, with a little white wine and sambuca, which ensured a most tender and delicious result... Especially after almost an hour of bubbling away!


Basically, the prep worked that is involved here consists of chopping and chopping and chopping again!

Finely dice all of the vegetables, including about 2" of ginger... You can be sure that this soffritto will add more than enough flavor to the mix!


Begin by frying the soffritto for 4-5 minutes at a relatively high heat- pop on the lid and makes sure to get your mixture nicely sweated down.


After 4-5 minutes, add a small splash of sambuca and a half glass of white wine to deglaze the base of the pan or tajine.


Next, add the calamari, cut into slices and the cherry tomatoes which were cut into quarters.


With the lid down, let the squid steam and the juices be soaked up... Absorbing all of the vegetable flavor and goodness! Give them a good 45 minutes with the lid down, steaming and bubbling away, until the calamari is al-dente and tender with just a little bite, but otherwise juicy and tender... And delicious!


Add the juice of half a lemon and toss through thoroughly before serving, with a nice sprinkle of freshly, finely chopped parsley and a hint of olive oil before serving.


Toss through thoroughly and enjoy with a hunk of bread or a little rice on the side... Perfect, light, delicious food to mark the end of summer!

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