Sunday, 23 October 2011

Recipe/Ricetta - Calamari Con Mozzarella e Peperoncino

I love calamari; I love it breaded and deep-fried, and served with a fresh garlic mayonnaise dip. I love it in a seafood risotto, or in a not-too-spicy chilli and tomato sauce, served with pasta. I've never stuffed it though, so a few evenings ago, I had the idea of stuffing it with mozzarella, coating it in breadcrumbs, and then frying it off for a couple of minutes to get a nice crispy coating but without cooking the squid too much.

I was languishing in the bath, watching GodSlater on my laptop (I have a speaker system set up in my bathroom, which I can hook my laptop up to, thus enabling me to watch downloaded TV - it's generally the best way to get me to pay attention, otherwise, I'm doing something else while the TV is on)! Anyway, I digress....I was watching GodSlater cook his prawns in chilli sauce, when I thought, "Oooh, that looks like a fab idea - I'm going to try that with some calamari!"

Which I did. And they were nom.

So thank you Nigel; once again you have inspired my culinary adventures!

Calamari Con Mozzarella e Peperoncino
Nutritional values per serving:
Calories: 467
Carbohydrate: 19g
Sugar: 9g
Protein: 39g
Fat: 26g
Sodium: 405mg
(Please note that these are based on the ingredients I used - your own may be slightly different)

For two people as a main course:
8 raw squid (around 225g)
40g fresh wholemeal breadcrumbs, seasoned with a dash of black pepper
190g light mozzarella
1 large egg, beaten
30ml sweet chilli dipping sauce
1tbsp virgin olive oil
8 large crisp lettuce leaves, thoroughly washed and blotted dry

Pre-heat your oven to around 185c.

1.If your squid has already been prepared, skip to step 5 - if not, grasp the head and pull gently away from the body (you may need to twist it).Don't break the ink sac! All the internal body and tentacles will come out with the head.
2. Cut the tentacles from the head just below the eyes, and remove the beak by squeezing gently. Discard the beak and the head but not the tentacles - these are yummy! If your squid has already been prepared, you may still have tentacles - just set them aside. Also, you can keep the ink for another recipe. Personally, I don't like it at all, so my plants get it!
3. Remove and discard the clear piece of cartilage at the top of the body, ditto if the squid has a spotty outer membrane.
4. Wash the squid tubes thoroughly under cold running water, then set aside to drain.
5. In the meantime, rinse the mozzarella with cold water, and blot. Cut up into eight slices which are slim enough to slide easily into the squid tubes.
6. Blot as much of the moisture as you can from the squid, and then stuff each tube with a piece of mozzarella.
7. Dip each tube into the beaten egg and then coat with breadcrumbs...the least messy way of doing this is to have the crumbs in a bag, put the eggy squid in the bag, hold the bag closed, and then give it a good shake!
8. In a heavy skillet over a medium-high heat, heat the oil, and gently fry each squid tube for a couple of minutes on each side. The aim is to get the breadcrumbs crispy, not charred!
9. Once each tube has been fried off, take an oven dish, spread the chilli sauce over the bottom, and then arrange the squid on top.
10. Bake for around 5-7 minutes, depending on your oven. The mozzarella will ooze its milk a little but don't worry - this is normal!
11. When cooked, remove from the oven and place one squid tube in each of the lettuce leaves. Give the chilli sauce a stir to mix in the mozzarella milk, then divide this between each squid.
12. Fold up the lettuce like a burrito, and serve immediately with some sliced tomato.

Buon appetito!

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