17th October 2009
This is the other recipe in the Marie Claire cookbook Drinks & Nibbles which first caught my eye for its recipe for fried green olives but I've had their stuffed squid in my mind for quite some time now. The picture looked great, but ever so slightly anaemic, and seemed to be crying out for delicious sauces. So when I found some ink and saffron sauce ideas I figured I'd found the perfect foil.
The beautiful colours in the squid and two sauces seemed a perfect opportunity for us to try out Rachel's fancy new camera, which arrived mysteriously in her life today as if to make up for all the other horrors of the past few weeks.

I also found some handy instructions for extracting the squid ink sacs.

Lemon Risotto-Stuffed Squid With Ink And Saffron Sauce
main side sauce fish
Serves 2½

3 medium squids
juice ½ lemon
leftover fish stock or white wine

1 portion lemon risotto from ½ cup rice, plus the leftover prawn parts.

4 shitake mushrooms, roughly chopped
3 cloves garlic, sliced
6 shallots, sliced
few thyme sprigs
glass white wine
single cream
squid ink
fish stock

Pak Choy
2 heads pak choy
2 cloves garlic
8 Shitake mushrooms, sliced
soy sauce to dress
Prepare The Squiddies
 from the cleaned, more wholesome squid and prawn parts...
Pull the squid innards and cuttle bones from their body, squeeze out and reserve the ink, discard the squid guts.
The black vein-like ink sac is located in the intestines, and there is also squid ink behind the eyes.
Peel the skin and wings from the body tubes.
Peel the prawns to be used in the risotto.
Wash and dry the squid tubes. and set aside.

Make The Fish Stock:
Thoroughly wash the leftover squid bits (skin, head, tentacles, fins) to remove any trace of squid ink, and place in the stock pan. Add the prawn bits. Add a chopped onion, garlic, carrots, peppercorns, fennels seeds, juniper berries thyme, tarragon, bit of sage, few basil leaves, glass of white wine and I suppose any other handy bits of old vegetables you might have hanging around. Bring to a simmer, skim. Simmer gently for 30 minutes.
Strain the stock through muslin or paper towel. Keep warm.
Second time making the risotto I used a mussel stock. At the same time I brewed up the leftover prawn head and shells (I wasn't using squid) in a little water for 5 minutes, skimmed, and added this to the mussel juice.
The resulting risotto was just gorgeous.

Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F/Gas 4).

Make The Risotto

Cook The Squid
Season the inside of the squid bodies, Stuff the squid bodies loosely, lest they burst with risotto, close the ends with a cocktail stick to stop the risotto escaping and place in a baking dish. Surround with ½ cup of baking liquid consisting of the other lemon half and the rest of fish stock.
Season. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove, allow to cool slightly, then slice in rounds 2 cm thick. dip your sharp knife in hot water first

Make The Sauces:
Heat a tablespoon or two of butter until foaming, then gently fry the chopped shitaki mushrooms until they start to shrivel. Add sliced garlic and shallots and a few thyme leaves. Fry gently until they just start to colour, add a glass of white wine or two and reduce. Add the remaining stock, bring to a gentle simmer. Skim. Strain through a sieve. Reduce until on the point of thickening.
To one half add the squid ink, return to simmer. Reduce further if necessary then gradually add a small amount of cream (don't thin the colour too much - a dark grey colour will be OK). Keep warm or reheat gently.
I ended up with a little concentrated ink from juicing the squids, and a lot more rinsed-off ink since one of the squids burst. So I added the rinse to my sauce first and reduced it, before finishing off with the thick ink.
Probably I would have had enough thick ink - it goes quite a long way!
I now have a better version of the squid ink sauce.
To the other half, add a (generous) pinch of saffron. Simmer, reducing slightly if necessary. Add cream until you have enough sauce and it's not too thin. Keep warm or reheat gently.

Cook the Pak Choy:
Enthusiastically heat a large frying pan. Add a coating of olive oil. Add sliced garlic, and sear until just beginning to colour, then add sliced shitaki mushrooms. Fry vigorously until the mushrooms are beginning to reduce, then throw in the pak choy, shake on the heat until they begin to wilt, then cover and turn off the heat. You can throw in any leftover lemon juice or peel at this stage. Serve with a drizzle of soy sauce (if you can be bothered).

To Serve:
The sauces should be thick enough to coat, but runny enough to pour into a plate. Cover the base of a small plate with the two sauces so they cover a half each and divide down the middle.
Pile a small heap of the Pak Choy at one end of this joining line, top with a few of the mushrooms.
Lay a line of the squid rounds down the sauce join, so they lie on each other at an attractive angle.
Present to guests.
Oh My God this was fantastic!
I used a slightly-less-than-dry chardonnay, which worked quite nicely I thought.
Not surprisingly, after cooking for 4 hours I was more interested in eating the product than taking fancy photos of it, so we didn't get around to doing the whole divided-plate thing, but you get the idea. We really need to work on our artistic presentational skills.

Squid Cleaning Squid Display Squid On Ink Sauce Squid On Saffron Sauce Messy Squid On Mixed Sauces Squid Up Close And Personal

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