Thursday, April 11, 2013

Stuffed Calamari

Hello and happy almost weekend!

Wednesday's dinner was something I decided to make using what little brain my kids have left me with. :-)
I used to make it with rice, but since rice is a no-no with us here, I decided to do it a little differently. I'm talking about everyone's favorite cephalopod, squid, or most commonly (and less gross sounding) calamari.

I wanted to do something different than our usual calamari and brocolli so I got 15 calamari tubes from the seafood counter at Shoprite and decided to stuff them.

Here's what I used:
15 calamari tubes (I could have bought the tentacles to use in the stuffing, but I didn't. No explanation really, I just didn't :-))
1 lb of bay scallops
1 tomato
1 package of frozen mustard greens
Red peppers

I've never cooked with mustard greens before this. I had bought two packages a few months ago and I forgot them in the freezer. I didn't want to use spinach again, so I figured I'd give these a shot and I am really glad I did.

Wash your scallops in a colander and set them aside to drain. In a skillet, warm up some olive oil and saute your garlic and scallions. Add the scallops and let them cook for about 10 minutes. Chop up your tomato and add it to the skillet. Put the mustard greens in the microwave according to the directions and when they are done, add them to your skillet as well. Add your spices next. (Salt, pepper, garlic powder and cayenne pepper were what I used.)  Let that all cook for 5 minutes or so and turn off the heat.

Wash off your calamari tubes and using a small spoon (preferably with a pointy end) start stuffing them with your scallop/greens mixture. Be careful, and I can't stress this enough, not to overstuff them. When they start cooking in the oven, the calamari will get smaller and if they are overstuffed, they'll split open and it'll defeat the purpose of, well, stuffed calamari.

You should feel like they aren't stuffed enough when you put them in the oven, in other words.

Put them in a baking pan and set your oven to warm up to 370 degrees. Cut some red peppers into strips and place them on top of each stuffed calamari tube. Drizzle some olive oil on top, too.

This next step is optional, but I really love the flavor I get from it. Grab a bottle of white wine (if you have it, folks. No need to run out and buy) and pour 1/2 cup into a measuring cup. Add 1/3 cup of lemon juice and mix together. Pour it on top of your calamari before putting it in the oven.

(If you don't have any wine, put some water and lemon juice in the pan so that the calamari doesn't stick to the bottom and you get left with some sauce.)

Let that cook for an hour or until the water given off evaporates and you are left with a sauce in the pan around the calamari.

Pair it up with some grilled asparagus:

(I didn't have lime juice, so I used lemon juice. I also didn't have pecans, or soy sauce, and I didn't add any sweetener, but nevertheless, it came out AMAZING. Seriously, try this recipe :-))

There you have it, Stuffed Calamari and Grilled Asparagus :-) Happy eating!

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