Friday, November 12, 2010

Calamares en Su Tinta (Squid in Ink Sauce)

This dish I believe originated somewhere in Northern Spain the Basque name for it is "Txipiroiak bere tintan", squid is stewed in a rich savory black sauce until very tender and often served over white rice with some fried potatoes or salad.

My version of the sauce has the holy trinity of Cuban cooking/ what we call "sofrito" which is also shared with Spanish Cuisine it's onion, garlic, bell pepper sometimes with the addition of tomato all cooked down in olive oil and some dry white wine.

Cuban cuisine also shares this dish, however to most Cubans squid in ink sauce is usually bought canned already prepared, eaten straight with rice, but very often the canned squid in ink is used to make a mixed rice dish in which you cook and steam rice together with a sofrito to kick it up, some spices and add teh cans of squid in ink sauce, resulting in a black to dark grey mixed rice dish.

This is the first time I make the dish from scratch, I usually just buy it canned, and I have had many failed attempts but have now been successful after watching many videos on extracting the squid ink, however many people usually have packets or jars of squid ink that are sold at some specialty stores, they just add a couple tablespoonfuls to the sauce and it's done, however be warned when doing from scratch it isn't hard but is very time consuming.

-1 1/2 lbs of whole fresh small squid
-1/2 onion minced
-1/2 green bell pepper minced
-2 cloves garlic finely minced
-1/2 cup tomato sauce or 1 fresh grated tomato
-1/4 cup dry white wine
-water (enough to barely cover the squid)
-salt to taste
-ground black pepper to taste (optional)
(1) To extract the ink there is a ink sac inside the body when you yank out the internal part of the body by pulling it down from it's head, it's a silver sac, remove it with your hand gently, and place it in a bowl intact, then to extract more ink this sounds gross but carefully stab the baby squid in the eye and drain the black ink from it's eye. Repeat the process, set aside in a small bowl, add a little salt, a good drizzle of olive oil, and mash with a fork, spoon or mortar to a thick black sauce. Set aside
(2) Now finish cleaning your squid, remove the see-through bone from it, the outer skin, cut into rings and wash several times, discard the heads and save the tentacles wash well too. Then pat- dry and set aside.

(3) Heat extra- virgin olive oil on medium high heat, add you squid, stir it will release a lot of liquid crank the heat up to high and stir occasionally until all the water evaporates.
(4) Meanwhile chop your onion, bell pepper, and garlic, and have your tomato ready. When all the water evaporates lower heat to medium high and add onion, bell pepper, and garlic cook down for about 5-7 minutes stirring occasionally, add tomato and cook down 5 minutes.
(5) Add the squid ink stir well, when it comes to a bubble add dry white wine, bring to a boil, add enough water to barely cover, taste it and add salt and pepper to taste bring to a boil then lower heat and simmer on low heat covered for about 45 minutes to 1 hour until very tender.
Serve over rice
*This doesn't make a very large portion once you have cleaned all the squid and everything you end up with about 4 small to medium portions I recommend you make 3 lbs. next time I make this I will use 3 lbs./ double the recipe

Helpful tips:
I learned to extract the ink watchin this video

and also the technique for using it in cooking from "El Cocinero Andaluz"

and for those unclear about cleaning squid you may benefit from watching this video with "Maangchi" :)


Gloria said...

I have never tasted squid before but this looks pretty good. Sounds like a great recipe, thx for sharing.

I.M. said...

Wow Nathan, you outdid yourself. Although I've cleaned fresh squid before (usually to fry it), I've never extracted the ink...yikes! I take the easy route and buy the canned squid to make arroz con calamares. Thanks for the instructions though, if I ever come across fresh squid again I'll be sure to stab it in the eye! LOL

Nathan said...

I love it, it may not be for everyone, but one of the tastiest ways to have it, is battered and deep-fried, or seasoned, lightly coated in flour and deep-fried. Serve with garlic mayonnaise or ketchup or marinara mmmm.... for deep-frying I prever to buy them already prepared they come frozen cut and cleaned, just defrost, wash, pat-dry and ready for frying :)

LOL yes we need to stab those suckers, haha I'm going to make a variation of this using real larger squid cut into 1 inch squares, maybe very similar with with just lots of onions and garlic only for the sofrito and fresh ripe grated tomato, reduced real well, and kiss it with some "Pimenton de la Vera" mmmm oh and maybe I'll order some jarred squid ink to make it more black thick and rich.

Mamey said...

Yum! But you do need 'paciencia' to that ink! I've also had cuttlefish with its ink a la plancha in Santiago de Compostela...Galicia has some of the best fresh seafood in the world. I still make 'arroz con calamares' like my Mom did in Havana, though, with canned squid!

macedonianrecipes said...

Nathan said...

I'm not making it from scratch in a LOOOONG time, unless it's with a giant squid/ large cuttlefish or something ha ha. N maybe I'll just buy the jars with squid ink lolz. instead of harvesting it. It's very tastey though I was so pissed my mom didn't eat it nor my grandmother because they saw me cleaning/ gutting ,and removing the ink... I'm like really??? You eat the canned one's... LOL. I swear ha ha