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Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Stuffed Calamari with Roasted Jalapeno Sauce

I've never bought whole squid before. I've bought the little frozen rings and made breaded calamari or pasta with them, but this was my first experiment with whole squid. It was a great success!

We loved this recipe, which I got from Emeril Lagasse. As usual, I made a few small changes (e.g., he used poblano peppers, real mayo and shallots... I couldn't find poblanos, wanted something lower fat than mayo, and was too lazy to go buy shallots).

The only issue we had was that the squid cooks so fast that the stuffing inside really only got warm and not hot. I'd be afraid to cook them any longer for fear of making the squid tough. For me this didn't take away from the taste at all, I still loved it, and will make it again. Next time, I might not let the filling cool down as much before I stuff the squid. Also, I might warm the sauce a bit (or at least make sure it is room temperature, and not chilled). The sauce was great, we loved it! There was enough leftover that we had it the next night on fish tacos, and we used some as a spicy sandwich spread.

Needless to say, Mario and I had this meal on an evening when we weren't eating with the kids. About once a week, we try to feed the kids and put them to bed early and then have a nice late dinner on our own. It's usually a nice quiet, CALM meal. Marco, my 5 year old always says, "Mommy and Daddy are having an o-mantic dinner tonight". He keeps asking when he can have an "o-mantic dinner" with me. I wonder if that means I have to put Mario to bed early? He might be OK with that.

Stuffed Calamari

4 large whole calamari
2 cloves minced garlic
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1/2 cup goat cheese, crumbled
1 roasted red pepper, diced small
1/2 cup soft fresh bread crumbs
Salt and pepper
2 tsp olive oil

Roasted Jalapeno Sauce

2 jalapeno peppers, roasted, peeled, seeded, and diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup mayonnaise (I used light miracle whip)
Juice of one lemon
Salt and pepper

1. Preheat the grill.

2. For the sauce, combine the roasted jalapenos and
garlic in a food processor and puree until smooth. Add the mayonnaise,
lemon juice and season with salt and pepper. Set aside.

3. In a saute pan cook the onions and garlic until soft. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside to cool slightly.

4. In a medium bowl, combine goats cheese, roasted red pepper, and bread
crumbs. Mix in the onion and garlic.

5. Stuff each calamari tube with the filling until nice and plump (secure the larger end with a metal skewer or toothpick). Brush each stuffed tube with a little oil to prevent from sticking on the grill.

6. Grill each tube for 1-2 minutes on each side, leaving pretty grill marks on
each side.

7. Cut each tube into five nice pieces on the bias. Spoon a nice amount of the sauce over the top.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Chanterelle and Zucchini Frittata

I have started making lots of frittata's for dinner. This summer I signed up for a local organic farm weekly CSA delivery, and frittata's are a great way to use up vegetables that I otherwise would have no idea what to do with. In fact, there have been times that I didn't even know what the vegetables were. Those nights we have "mystery frittata". Also, the kids will eat just about ANY frittata. So I can hide all sorts of obscenely healthy stuff in there!

I generally follow the same basic frittata recipe and add in my chosen veggies/cheese/meat for the night.

Chanterelle and Zucchini Frittata

1 cup fresh golden chanterelles, chopped
1 small zucchini, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tbsp butter
8 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup skim milk
1/4 tsp each salt and pepper
dash hot sauce
1oz finely grated grano padano cheese

1. Saute onion, garlic, zucchini and chanterelles in butter until soft in a 8" non-stick skillet (make sure the handle of your skillet is oven proof).

2. Beat eggs with milk, salt, pepper and hot sauce. Pour over veggies in skillet.

3. Cook over med-low heat until bottom and edges of frittata are set (about 7 minutes). Sprinkle with cheese and place skillet until broiler until eggs are set in the middle and the cheese is golden brown.

4. Slice into 4 slices (a lot of frittata recipes say that they serve 6, but if you're eating this as a main dish, I'd say 4 is a more realistic serving size).