Calamari are a delicacy in Croatia, and this is one of the most popular dishes. For this recipe it’s very important to buy calamari, and not squid or arrow squid, so you need to learn how to tell them apart, otherwise you will have a very tough and chewy meal. Calamari are tender, sweet and tangy in flavor – and they are more expensive. I find this dish very easy to make, but you have to be careful not to overcook the calamari. Cook the potatoes as per the recipe, or separately, as a side dish, and serve with a good white wine and a green salad.
2 lb Calamari
2 lb white potatoes
3.5 oz Swiss Chard
3.5 oz Extra virgin olive oil
3.5 oz White Wine
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
2 TSPChopped garlic
2 TBLS Chopped Parsley for garnish
Clean the calamari by taking out all the intestines, the head and the tentacles. Do not remove the skin as it’s full of flavor, and will give the potatoes a nice red color.
For the filling, cut the tentacles into 5 mm pieces. Wash and chop the silverbeet into roughly the same-sized pieces.
Put half the olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat, and sauté the garlic for a few seconds, making sure it doesn’t change color. Add the calamari tentacles. and Swiss chard, season well with salt and pepper and cook for a minute or two. Sprinkle the breadcrumbs on and then take the pan off the heat. Let the mixture cool to room temperature.
Preheat the oven to 220°C.
Stuff the calamari with the filling and close them with a toothpick or wooden skewer.
Add the sliced potatoes to a baking dish, season well and coat them with almost all the remaining olive oil. Lay the calamari on top of the potatoes. Drizzle with white wine, and a little olive oil, season and cover with aluminium foil. Bake for 10 minutes, take the foil off, remove the calamari and continue to cook the potatoes for another 25–30 minutes until cooked.
Before serving, return the calamari to the baking dish with the potatoes and cook for another 10 minutes until golden brown. Sprinkle with parsley, if using, and serve hot with the lemon wedges on the side.
Adapted from Ino Kovačić book
"Dalmatia, Recipes from Croatia's Mediterranean Coast"
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