Related Posts Widget for Blogs by LinkWithin

School of tapas: Grilled cuttlefish with roasted garlic alioli

>> Saturday, August 27, 2011

Grilled cuttlefish 2

Grilled cuttlefish... I'm sure many people outside Spain shudder at the thought. And even people from Spain (my kids, for example). But it is a very traditional food in the Mediterranean coast and well cooked and seasoned it can be utterly delicious. In this recipe the grilled cuttlefish chunks are dipped in a tasty alioli made with roasted garlic instead of raw, for a softer taste experience.

Cuttlefish belong to the same family as octopus and squid, and share features of both. In Spain they are easily found already clean at supermarkets, but if you attempt to clean them yourself... well, you can make a real mess in your kitchen. You need to remove tentacles, eyes and beak. Then you have to gut the head and extract the ink sack. After that, you need to get rid of as much outer membrane as possible (yes, cuttlefish have like an outer skin which is better removed). The clean head has a pleasant, firm consistency and a healthy white color. It can be sliced or cubed and cooked in a variety of fashions. On the other hand, tentacles can be cooked in fish stews or used to obtain a broth... have I already discouraged you to cook cuttlefish? Overcome prejudices and you will taste something truly delicious.

On the other hand, in the old days preparing tender cuttlefish used to be trickier than today. The thing can easily acquire a tough consistency, especially if you overcook it. But nowadays the first thing you need to do to tenderize the cuttlefish is to freeze it, if it hasn't been frozen before getting to the shop. Then you need to eliminate as much skin as you can. Lastly, the grill needs to be really hot before placing the cuttlefish chunks on it and they are to be cooked no longer than 1-2 minutes on each side.

Grilled cuttlefish 1

Grilled cuttlefish with alioli
Yields 2 tapa sized portions

  • 1/2 cuttlefish head, clean
  • Virgin olive oil
  • For the alioli
  • 1 whole head garlic
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 medium egg and 1 yolk
  • 1 cup virgin olive oil
  1. First to the alioli: wrap the head of garlic in aluminum foil and roast in the oven preheated to 170ºC (340ºF) half an hour or till tender. Let cool and peel. 
  2. Mash the roasted garlic with the salt in a mortar. Transfer the mash to a food processor or blender, add the egg and yolk and mix thoroughly. 
  3. Measure the oil. Turn on the blender or processor at medium-low speed and start pouring the oil in a tiny steady stream, until you finish all the oil. Transfer the alioli to a container and set aside.
  4. Preheat a heavy skillet. Cut the cuttlefish head in bite-sized pieces and brush them with olive oil. When the skillet is hot, place the cuttlefish pieces to grill. They won't need longer than 1-2 minutes per side, in fact overcooking them yields a tough rubbery cuttlefish. 
  5. When done, serve them immediately with a bowl of alioli on the side. 
And enjoy! This roasted garlic alioli is also wonderful with all kinds of grilled meat and fish. So if you don't dare to try the cuttlefish, try at least this scrumptious dip.

13 comentarios:

Belinda @zomppa August 27, 2011 at 9:00 PM  

Well, you know I feel about this dish! I LOVE cuttlefish, pulpo, calamari, chaperones...getting so hungry at the thought!

Nisrine August 28, 2011 at 12:28 AM  

That's a cool tapa, different from what's offered at most Spanish restaurants.

bellini August 28, 2011 at 1:50 AM  

I would love to have the opportunity to give it a try.

Junglefrog August 28, 2011 at 11:35 AM  

I've had my fair share of really good and really bad prepared squid, octopus and cuttlefish and I have even attempted to make it myself at some point. Finding them fresh here can be a bit of a challenge but your dish looks delicious!!

Sarah August 28, 2011 at 3:42 PM  

Looks delicious.

FOODalogue August 29, 2011 at 1:34 AM  

Que bueno! Me gusta! :)

tasteofbeirut August 29, 2011 at 5:03 PM  

Love it! I was getting hungry just thinking of the garlicky yet smooth sauce to dip these tasty morsels into!

Trix August 31, 2011 at 9:39 PM  

I have never had cuttlefish, but I do love squid and octopus - though only as you say if they're prepared correctly. I would certainly give this a try, and I KNOW I am already in love with the sauce.

we are never full September 2, 2011 at 9:41 PM  

I can't imagine shuddering at the thought of eating cuttlefish. In fact, I would DIE to be able to get my hands on some - I have yet to see it for sale easily here in the states. When we were in Madrid it was easily one of my favorite things to eat a la plancha. you've done this justice with that amazing looking aioli! I love that you roasted the garlic first.

Frank September 5, 2011 at 4:23 PM  

Octopus, squid, cuttlefish… I love them all. And who wouldn't with some unctuous aioli on top? This one was made in heaven.

Cristina, from Buenos Aires to Paris September 10, 2011 at 8:56 AM  

Uhmmm!!! Ya me preparo mentalmente!! El lunes temprano llego a San Sebastian por cuatro dias....tapas tapas tapas on my mind !

Junglefrog September 18, 2011 at 5:03 PM  

I do like cuttlefish or squid and octopus but... I have also had my share of really badly prepared ones so I know what you mean by saying it's critical on how they're prepared. This does look lovely but I'm possibly even more interested in that yummy roasted garlic aioli! I've got to make that!

Marie Tashkoff January 23, 2012 at 9:27 AM  

Looks very delicious! I'd love to try it! :)


About This Blog

Lorem Ipsum

  © Blogger templates Palm by 2008

Back to TOP