I love a challenge – and a feast; those two elements together charged with sharing something so lovely with friends is a complete gift. It’s actually been awhile since we made these Stuffed Squid but I wanted to get a recipe down as I’ve been wanting to try them again- Squid or Calamari, doesn’t matter as long as you have some full bodies (at least 4-5″ long, no rips or tears) – marinated overnight in juice to soften and filled with soft bread and sausage. Simple but requires a little bit of forethought. The salad is Basque inspired (from Chef Gerald Hirigoyen), seasonal, quick to get together and an amazing accompaniment (the acid to the fat, the creamy to the meaty, the fresh to the grill, the bright to the muted, etc). And best if you get a myriad of colors of both tomato and watermelon (there are some amazing local orange and yellow watermelons in New England)
When we make this I think of an wonderful Brazilian family we haven’t kept in good touch with from our Boston days – I feel like they would like this, the simple but sexy grill of it with the zing of the salad – Cachaca all around, hanging out, music – dancing – more music, great conversation – WOW! We miss those folks. What absolutely lovely people we’ve had in our lives…
Stuffed Grilled Squid
- 6-8 Squid Bodies (4-5″, no rips or tears) + an extra 1/4 lbs mixed tentacles/bodies
- 1-2 cups Orange Juice
- Half a boule of Country Bread (something hearty with teeth) chopped to about 2 cups bread crumbs/bits/chunks (mini ripped chunks are best)
- 1/2 lb loose Sausage (spiced for your preference or plain and add spice later – fennel, smoked paprika, cumin, etc or even minced apple, garlic, fresh herbs)
- 1 cup Whole Milk or Buttermilk
- Olive Oil
- Sea Salt & Black Pepper
Marinate Squid overnight in Orange Juice. The next day, when readyish to eat – preheat Grill. Then drain and rinse Squid, and rub inside and out with Olive Oil, S&P (be careful not to rip or tear the long bodies); set aside your good whole long bodies.
In another bowl, marinate Bread chunks in Milk, S&P for at least 15 minutes. Meanwhile, chop remaining Squid into small bits and mix with loose Sausage (season Sausage at this point with desired additions). After Bread has soaked, drain gently (squeezing a bit, you want soft bread not soggy bits) and mix with Sausage/Squid – season with S&P if you haven’t.
Stuff whole Squid bodies gently with Sausage Mixture (they should be ‘sausage thick’), “sewing” closed with toothpick at the open end, rub with Olive Oil again on the outside, set aside until all bodies are stuffed. Grill until Sausage feels just firm to the touch (you don’t want to grill Squid too long but long enough to get the sausage to cook inside), turning once or twice (should only be a few minutes – maybe 6 minutes at the most). Set on a platter until ready to serve.
- 3-4 small-medium Heirloom Tomatoes, cored and cut into 3/4″ chunks
- 1 medium Cucumber, peeled, cut into 3/4″ chunks
- 1 cup 3/4″ cubed Watermelon flesh
- 1 Avocado (Hass), halved/pitted/peeled, cut into 3/4″ cubes
- 1 Tbsp mixed Fresh Herbs, in any combination (Basil, Tarragon, Mint, Chives, Cilantro, Marjoram, Lemon Balm, for example)
- 1/4 tsp ground Coriander Seed (fresh coarse ground is best)
- 3 Tbsp Olive Oil (fruity is best)
- 3 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
- Sea Salt & Black Pepper
In a bowl, combine Tomatoes, Cuke, Watermelon, Avocado, and Herbs. Add ground Coriander Seed, toss gently.
In a small bowl, whisk together Olive Oil, Balsamic Vinegar, and S&P to taste. Pour over Tomato mixture and toss gently to coat evenly. Taste and adjust seasoning before serving.
This meal is great with a fun Riesling, or go in another direction – Mojitos, or find some Cachaca and drink to old friends!