Cooking & Recipes » Seafood Dinner
Yesterday at the supermarket, I managed to get my hands on some whole squid for a really good price, as well as a whole baby salmon and fresh prawns. This called for seafood dinner.
Now I have to admit, I am a pretty good cook, but I had never prepared a whole squid before. But how hard could it be really? I had decided to try a recipe from a close friend - John De Giuseppe who is a wonderful italian cook. So I made his stuffed squid, and with it I was making garlic butter prawns, baby lemon dill salmon steaks and a green salad with romano cheese and a balsamic vinaigrette.
The first step was to remove the legs and head, then remove the insides from the body. 'Just pull the head out and scoop the rest away' was my advice from a friend 'and make sure you remove the cartilage that runs down the inside' Well that sounded easy enough, and I'm game to try anything once. So I started pulling on the head/legs. Ewwww! Finger in squid eyeball was so gross. But not anywhere as gross as once I'd got the head off. My friend didn't mention the gooy snotty yellow pus like stuff that was inside there!! It was enough to put me off preparing my own squid ever again. It was almost enough to put me off my dinner too. That was NASTY. And I had 2 of them to do.
I carried on and got them both done while mum was making the stuffing for them. 'Mum look at this - it's so gross' She promptly turned her back to me and refused to look. Normally I would have picked up whatever it was and shown it to her anyway, but this squid guts was so bad that I wasn't touching it more that I needed to. I thought you would enjoy this photo - it's the 'leftovers' from the squid. Yummy.
The first step of stuffing the squid was to sew together the small end so your stuffing didn't fall out. As my mum is quite excellent at sewing (see her website here and you'll understand) I got her to do this part while I took photos. Once the bottom was sewn together, we proceeded to stuff the squid.
The stuffing was a simple one - for the 2 squid casings I had I used 6 slices of toast, 1 medium onion (diced), 1 teaspoon of dill, half a teaspoon of black pepper, salt to taste, 2 tablesppons of melted butter and a teaspoon of paprika. Mix it all together. It should be pasty, if too dry, add some olive oil until you get the right consistancy.
The final step was the sew together the other end.
Once you've finished sewing the squid, rub the finished cases with olive oil and bake in the oven at 150 degrees for 30 minutes. It was at this part of the recipe that my friend also told me that you can eat the head and legs of the squid - just rub them in olive oil and bake at the same time. I couldn't handle the eyes, so I cut the head off and just did the legs.
Now that the squid was in the oven, I could prepare the salmon. Because it was a baby salmon, I simply cut it into baby steaks, removed the fins, seasoned with lemon and dill, salt and pepper and fried in a pan for 4-5 minutes on each side in a little olive oil. Make sure you rest the salmon when it's cooked, and I think it's better to eat just warmed instead of piping hot, so we left it to cool while the squid was cooking.
Next up the the prawns. I had bought whole prawns (so heads, eyes and all), which we de-headed, pealed and removed the 'poo string'. I put them aside until everthing else was ready as they only take a minute to cook.
Finally I made the salad. With all this seafood, it's best to keep the salad simple but tasty. This is a Gordon Ramsey recipe - in the bottom of your salad bowl, whisk together 1 tablespoon of vinegar (I used balsamic) and 2 tablespoons of olive oil (extra virgin is best) with salt and pepper to taste. Cross your salad servers in the bowl, and put your lettuce on top. This prevents the lettuce from wilting in the dressing while you're getting everything else ready. Top the lettuce with shaved romano cheese. If you don't have romano you can use parmesan which has a milder taste. Your salad is done. Just before eating, remove your salad servers and toss the lettuce through the dressing until well coated and serve immediately.
By now our squid was done, so I removed it from the oven and rested for a minute before slicing. Slice it the same way as you would for squid rings. The legs were chopped into pieces ready to be mixed with the salad.
Finally, cook the prawns. These were being done in a butter garlic sauce - for 20 prawns, melt 4 tablespoons of butter. Once melted, add 4 teaspoons crushed garlic, and fry until the garlic starts to turn brown. Add the prawns and cook until they turn pink - they only take about a minute. Serve immediately - these are best hot.
It sure was a lot of work, and the squid prep was gross, but oh so worth the effort in the end. Enjoy with a cold crisp white wine! Nom nom nom nom nom.