Cook Book Challenge: Week 28

I'm a week late in posting this challenge. I've just started a new round of field work for my research project that has me up at 5am and home way after the sun has set. Ahh, the joys of working with a nocturnal species. But if you're as much of a fan of squid as I am, you'll agree that this one is definitely worth the wait.

This week's book is Tobie Puttock's "Daily Italian". Tobie is a local Melbourne boy who cheffed his way across Europe, working 18-hour days in Italian-speaking kitchens. He worked with many a high profile chef before bringing all this knowledge back to Melbourne. In 2006 he opened his restaurant, Fifteen — a Jamie Oliver founded chain many of you will know of, that gives opportunities to disadvantaged youths. The restaurant fell victim to arson a few years ago, but recently reopened as The Kitchen Cat.

Tobie is a fantastic foodie, and his book was full of recipes I wanted to try, and will do so soon. But I couldn't go past the squid recipe. Not only do I love it, I've never cooked squid myself before, and so it was perfect for the cook book challenge.

This dish is supposed to be an entrée, but between the two of us we found it enough to fill us for the night.

I served them with some ciabatta, sliced and prepared the same way it is for the breadcrumbs in this recipe. 

The squid tubes I used I believe are probably a lot bigger than those Tobie used. I also couldn't get my squid with tentacles on, so I bought an extra tube and used that in lieu of the tentacles. 

This dish was delicious, yet extremely filling. If you can get tubes on the smaller side I'd definitely recommend it. 

Squid stuffed with Ricotta, Breadcrumbs, Chilli and Marjoram

Ingredients

500g squid bodies (tubes) with tentacles
4 tablespoons ricotta
1 tablespoon marjoram, roughly chopped
finely grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 tablespoon freshly grated parmesan cheese
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
extra virgin olive oil for flavour and dressing
olive oil for greasing
2 anchovy fillets, roughly chopped
2 fresh red chillies, finely chopped
1 tablespoon flat leaf parsley, chopped
a small handful of feathery fennel tops or celery leaves

Breadcrumbs
1 small loaf ciabatta bread
1 tablespoon rosemary leaves, finely chopped
1 teaspoon dried chilli (optional)
3 tablespoons olive oil
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 220°C (430°F).
  2. To make the breadcrumbs, break the ciabatta into 5cm (2in) pieces. Place on a baking tray (you may need a second tray). Scatter with rosemary and dried chilli (if using). Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Bake until the bread turns a rich golden colour. Shake the tray from time to time so the bread cooks evenly.
  3. After the bread has cooled, place it in a food processor and pulse it to the consistency of coarse sand. You can also rub it between the palms of your hands. Set aside.
  4. Bring a saucepan of salted water to a boil. Cook the squid tentacles for about 10 minutes; drain, then rinse in cold water. Chop roughly, then set aside.
  5. Reduce the oven temperature to 180°C (360°F). In a mixing bowl bring together the ricotta, breadcrumbs, marjoram, lemon zest, garlic, parmesan, and chopped tentacles. Season for taste and add a good splash of extra virgin olive oil. Use a spoon or piping bag to fill the squid with ricotta stuffing, then secure with toothpicks.
  6. Place a sheet of greaseproof paper on a baking tray, and smear it with some olive oil – it's easiest if you use your hands to do this. Place the stuffed squid tubes on the baking tray and cook in the oven for 8-12 minutes or until the squid turns white. 
  7. In the meantime, get the dressing going. Put the anchovies, chillies and parsley in a bowl large enough to accommodate the squid. Pour in just enough extra virgin olive oil to make a rough paste. Season with salt and pepper and add a squeeze of lemon juice. Transfer the squid from the baking tray to the bowl; use tongs to rotate the squid to coat it with the mixture.
  8. Arrange the tubes on plates and drizzle with the remaining anchovy dressing. Finish with cracked pepper, another drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and a scattering of fennel tops or celery leaves. 

You'll find the printable version of this recipe here.

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