Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Stuffed Calamari - 04/3008

Have you ever walked by something in the grocery store and had an irresistible urge to use a particular food in some way. Every time I see squid in the seafood section, I have wanted to make some stuffed calamari, so here is my attempt:

Crab Stuffing

For the stuffing, I combined one container of crab claw meat and one container of crab backfin meat (for large and small pieces). I neglected to pick over the crab for shell fragments, but I would definitely recommend it anytime you use crab. To this, I added some plain breadcrumbs (store-bought because who has the time to crisp up and crumble bread?), a little mayo, Dijon mustard, salt, pepper, paprika, oregano, and thyme. I expected my random jumble of spices to need some work, but the mixture tasted pretty good on the first try. A Good rule of thumb for crab and salmon accompaniments is to use Dijon mustard.

Stuffed Calamari

The calamari tubes were pre-trimmed of their fins, so all I had to do was wash them and delicately fill them with a moderate amount of stuffing. They looked rather bland at first, so I just threw on some paprika to give them a little color. I ended up baking them for about 10-15 minutes until the calamari were white and no longer gray. The crab was already cooked, so the key was to cook the calamari slow enough to let the stuffing heat up.

Seafood Salad Sandwich

Stuffing the calamari tubes was more labor intensive than I thought. So I decided to Robin Miller this meal while I was cooking (yes, I used a name as a verb). I cut up the calamari into rings, which is the usual method for preparing it. Then I put some salt and garlic powder on them and sauteed them just until they were done. I mixed these back into the stuffing to make some general seafood salad. I suppose I could have made this into seafood cakes (crab cakes + calamari), but I was tired and full of food at that point. Lunch today, though, consisted of the salad with a slice of provolone and a little more Dijon mustard. I'm beginning to appreciate how to work and re-work recipes. If one thing fails, then just transform it into something else. Or even if it does work, it could make something else that's easier.

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