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Monday, June 25, 2012


Calamari at the Mercado Central Santiago, Chile
Photo by: Lord-Williams
(And, Baleares, Cat, Val, & Mur), chipirón (And & Ast), lura (Gal), magano or jibión  (Cantb), txipirón (Basq), L. Loligo vulgaris, Eng. calamari, squid. It is a cephalopod with ten arms, two of which are slender and much longer than the others. It has the power of ejecting a black ink-like fluid from a bag or sac, located in the inners, that darkens the water and conceals it when in danger. Small squid are used as bait and for food. The famous Spanish dish “calamari in its ink,” which is actually of Roman origin. It is prepared with in a sauce made from the black liquid from the ink sac. During the Middle Ages, this was a well-known Christian dish. Squid can be fried also with onion, garlic and parsley or fried and mixed with pine kernels, onions and raisins and then reheated in the oven in an ink sauce. Nola fries them with raisins, almonds and pine kernels. He serves them in a nut and raisin sauce. Further, squid may be stuffed with breadcrumbs, grated cheese, parsley, chopped onion, parsley, salt, pepper and nutmeg with wine. Once filled the squid is fried and served with a pine kernel sauce. Sent Soví calls for slowly fried calamari and lobster served in a thick herb and spice sauce with onion but without cheese. Fried breaded squid is cut horizontally in the shape of rings. It is a favorite in Spain and South American countries today. Squid are found in the Mediterranean and are easy to find in ports. As squid have no fins or tails they are forbidden for Muslims and Jews. See sepia. [Anón/Grewe. 1982: CLXXXXVI:202-203:CCI:204-205:CCXVII:214 etc; Apicius/Flower. 1958:II:I:2:61: ftn 1:IX:III:1:2:209; Gázquez. Cocina. 2002:237; Multilingual. 1969:268-269; and Nola.1989:lxvi-2]

for 8 persons


1 ½ lbs squid or octopus
1 c almonds peeled and toasted
1 tbsp parsley
1 tbsp mint
2 tsp marjoram
1 tsp dried thyme
6 tbsp virgin olive oil
1 medium onion chopped and fried
½ c raisins soaked in water for a few hours
2 garlic cloves scalded
boiled monkfish or other strong tasting fish
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Stuffed Squid
Photo from:

½ tsp ground nutmeg
½ tsp ground cloves
1 tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp saffron mashed and diluted in almond milk
½ c vinegar or verjuice
½ c breadcrumbs


Ask the fishmonger for large squid. Remove the ink sac whole and set aside. Wash it and boil it in water until tender, about 45 minutes. Reserve 4 c broth and put the almonds in it to soak.

PREHEAT OVEN TO 350º F / 175ºC

When cooked cut off the legs. Cut the legs in pieces with parsley, mint, marjoram and thyme. Sauté the onions in 4 tbsp olive oil. Add scaled and mashed garlic and raisins. When the onion is translucent add the legs and herbs. Add another fish to this stuffing if needed. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Close the openings with toothpicks.

Baked Squid
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Put the broth and almonds in a food processer and grind them. Strain this through a cheese cloth into a saucepan. Heat it and combine it with the spices and vinegar or verjuice.  Add the rest of the olive oil and breadcrumbs little by little to thicken this sauce. Pour it over the stuffed octopus or squid. Cook this in the oven for about 30 minutes.  

Slice stuffed squid and put it in soup bowls. Pour the almond milk over it and serve.

[1] Measurements are flexible do to the varying sizes of squid.

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