I love the weekends (okay who doesn’t?!), but it’s not just the idea of having a few days off.  Saturday’s give me the opportunity to take a leisurely stroll through my favorite grocery stores (yes I do more than one).  The kids are grown up and gone away, I’m out of my wife’s hair for a few hours, and really at the end of the day, everyone at home that evening, will eat well – where’s the risk! I’m in grocery stores (Loblaw’s, Longo’s, Whole Foods) several times in a week, but it’s not the same dashing into one for a Chef’ing assignment as it is to really walk the aisles and see the produce, the meats the fish etc. As I was strolling through the fish section, the young man was putting out some squid.  We hadn’t had squid in a long time, especially stuffed squid, so tonight I thought I would make stuffed squid.  I usually stuff my squid with a shrimp filling but happened to eye some oyster meat in the frozen section and thought I would do a variation.  I picked up a few fresh shrimp (the frozen would also work) and some of my favorite Triangoli stuffed pasta to serve with it.  I already had peppers – sweet and hot chili, onions and tomatoes for the balance of the stuffing.

We used to make stuffed squid (a lot) for family parties, my sister-in-law – who can make anything she touches tasty, was great at this. We used to go to Kensington Market or St. Lawrence to buy the squid (among other things), bring it home that day and get right to prepping the squid for a party later that evening.  The filling didn’t take long to cook and cool and while it was cooling we would prep the squid. It is pan fried, but a little olive oil in a non-stick pan goes a long way. If you have a grill pan, even better, the squid rests on the grills so less oil touches the squid and you get lovely grill marks on the surface of the squid. Trick is not to overcook the squid or you lose the texture and end up with rubber in your mouth. No amount of flavorful filling can change this. Try this recipe, it’s worth the little extra time. This serves two with extra filling left over. As always – enjoy!

4 squid, cleaned and washed in/out, and dried
10 31/40 count shrimp – fresh or frozen
1 pkg oysters, fresh or frozen meat
1 large onion, diced
1 medium tomato, seeded and roughly chopped
1 red pepper, diced
3 – 5 hot chilies – Thai or 2 habanero
One package PC Triangoli Pasta – cook as per directions
Olive Oil and Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Dice the shrimp, dice the oysters
Heat some oil in a medium pan, add the shrimp, sauté until cooked – taste, season with salt and pepper and taste again – remove to another dish
Without wiping the pan, add some more oil, when hot add the oysters and sauté until cooked, taste, season with salt and pepper and taste again – remove and let cool
Over medium heat, add some olive oil to a frying pan, sauté the onions until soft, add the red peppers, tomato and hot chilies, stir
Salt and pepper the mix, taste season and taste again – divide in half
Mix the cooked shrimp with one half of the onion mixture, to the other half, add the oyster mixture – taste, season and taste again – both mixtures – remember, if your filling isn’t flavorful, your end product will not be flavorful
Wash and dry the squid – season lightly with salt and pepper
Stuff two squid with the shrimp mixture, two with the oyster mixture – seal the ends with toothpicks
Heat a little oil in a grill pan, when hot, add the squid to the grill pan, it will almost immediately puff up signalling the part touching the grill pan is cooked, rotate until all sides of the squid have grill marks – please don’t overcook the shrimp, you might as well chew on a pencil eraser remove the squid to a plate, drizzle some extra virgin olive oil on top and serve with a salad or pasta side
Serve immediately!

Stuffed Squid1