Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Stuffed Adriatic Squid

This post is dedicated to my very dear friend Maja, who lives in Brooklyn. Maja is real nomad, she lived all around Europe and America. We met working on some film production and we developed one great friendship.

In fact, Maja was one of the two person to who I firstly "discovered" my blog. From the moment she discovered I have a food blog she is tampering me to write about my "stuffed squids".

Well, this recipe that I use is certainly not mine. It is traditional dalmatian recipe and according to great tradition of Dalmatian Cuisine it very simple, healthy and tasty!

Few days ago my brother visited Zagreb and I decide to prepare Stuffed Squids for lunch. Off course, since my brother is great gourmet and great cook he jointed me in kitchen and we prepared lunch together.

Stuffed Adriatic Squid


9 mid size Adriatic Squids*
3 large potatoes
1 carrot
1 spoon of breadcrumbs
olive oil
1 cup red or white wine
1 onion
bay leafs

Separate the tentacles from the body of the squids. Clean the body cavity and carefully remove the backbone without damaging the body of the squid. Wash the squids and the tentacles. Drain and set aside.

Finely chop the tentacles.

Mix chopped tentacles with chopped garlic, parsley and breadcrumbs. Add salt and pepper according to your personal taste. Add some olive oil to make the mixture moist.

You can get creative with this staffing and you can add different ingredients like Parmesan or ricotta cheese, various herbs and spices, pine nuts or even raisins...

I must admit I prefer the simplest combination: only tentacles, garlic, parsley, salt, pepper and superb Dalmatian Olive Oli.

Stuff the squid sacs with the mixture using...

... a very small spoon...

... or your fingers

Seal opening with skewers or toothpicks. Be aware that the stuffing will "grow" so do not overload the sacs or it will break.

Place the stuffed sacs in a baking-serving dish over the already seasoned vegetables: potato, carrot, onion...

Add few bey leafs. If any of the stuffing has been left, just sprinkle it over the vegetables.

Pour over some good quality red or white wine, according to taste.

Cover the dish and cook for about 1 hour, then uncover it and cook for additional 15 minutes.

Stuffed squids cooked in traditional way, "ispod peke" are especially delicious but oven baked squid are quite tasty too.

* NOTE: Adriatic squid (lat. Loligo vulgaris; hr. Lignja) is belonging to the family Loliginidae, and it is preferred in Dalmatian cuisine. Since I couldn't fined any squids in fish market that day I bought Totani or Flaying Squid (lat. Illex coindeti; hr. Totanj or Lignjuni) which resemble to common squid but it's less appreciated since its meet is more rigid. Nevertheless some people prefer Totani over Squids.