Party Leftovers: Calamari, Croatian-Style

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I like my calamari fried. Or battered and fried. Basically prepared in a way to make it less squidy. So when my brother-in-law (BIL) prepared this Croatian-style calamari dish for the first time, I wasn't really excited.

However, my only other seafood option that day was grilled baby octopus. And I know I don't like octopus. I've tried. It just didn't work out between us. So I tried the calamari dish, and it was delicious. I really should have known better, I like almost anything with potatoes.

BIL made this dish again a few weekends ago. This time I was excited. But, we had plans for dinner at my folks. I asked BIL to save me some calamari, and he did. I took it home, and we had it for dinner the next day. I reheated the dish in plenty of olive oil, and served it with a harvest grains mix. It tasted great. And reheating it got rid of the raw garlic taste I didn't especially like in the original recipe. I was a little sad there wasn't much potatoes leftover. But I got over it.
After deciding to blog about his leftover squid, I asked BIL for the recipe, and stole some of his photos (below) from his first-time making the dish. Included are his step-by-step instructions on cleaning, and cooking the calamari.
Croatian-Style Calamari
Courtesy of BIL

First, get a squid. Get squid plural actually, of the kind whose length ranges from 4 to 6 inches, and figure on a pound per person if this is a main course, or half a pound per person if an appetizer.

Next, clean your squid:
1. Pull the head and arms/tentacles from the tube.

2. Being careful not to rupture the eyes or ink sac, pinch off any gunky material (including the brain) attached to the head above the eyes.

3. Squeeze out the squid's beak from the center of the arms and tentacles. This is akin to popping a pimple. The beak is a hard part amid all the softness, so you'll know when it's been expelled. Discard the beaks and put the cleaned head and tentacles, complete with the eyes, into a covered casserole dish that you can use on top of a range.

4. Then, clean the tube (the mantle). Pull the "quill" out of the tube first; this is a translucent, plastic-like structure whose point just sticks out of the tube. Discard the quill.

5. Use your fingernail to gently scrape out the inside of the tube under running water. There should be no gunk in the tube when you're done; discard any of the material you find inside.

6. Gently pull the fins of the top of the tube, and peel the spotty purple-pink epidermis from the white meat of the tube. Put the tubes into your pot with the cleaned head and tentacles.

Cooking the squid:
Toss your cleaned squid parts with some olive oil, so that all the parts are coated with olive oil fairly well. Put the covered lid on your dish and cook the squid on a range set a medium heat. After 20 minutes, stir the mixture. Cover the entire mixture with thinly sliced (i.e., no thicker than 1/4 in.) wafers of a peeled potato. Cook the covered squid for another 20 minutes.

After about 40 minutes, check a tube. The squid is done when the potato pieces start to break up, and the tubes have turned purplish, are fairly firm, and tender enough to cut with a fork edge. If there is any leftover water, cook or drain it off. Next, mix minced garlic, minced parsley, salt, pepper, and olive oil together. Toss the cooked squid and potatoes with this mixture. Serve immediately.

(As I mentioned earlier, I didn't love the raw garlic taste, so I would recommend cooking the garlic and parsley mixture for just a couple of minutes. Also, since I like plenty of potatoes, I think I would add more if I was to make this.)

1 comment:

  1. If you "were" to make this, not "was" to make this. Conditional tense.