Seriously, what did people do before Google? When I bought several squid from Chinatown, I wasn’t exactly sure if they were squid or cuttlefish. They looked bigger than the squid I’m used to and if you’ve been to any of the stores in Chinatown, you know it’s hard to get a straight answer from any of the clerks. The squid were already cleaned off the plastic-y spine inside and that was my only way to tell one from the other: the cuttlefish “skeleton” is wider than that of a squid’s.
So I Googled and found several indistinguishable photos of squid and cuttlefish-looking things but then finally discovered this short paragraph from EnchantedLearning.com: The body of the cuttlefish (the cuttle) is flattened and has fins that extend along the entire length of the mantle. There you go; mine didn’t and that settled the dilemma of naming this recipe.
They were also butterflied open which required some butcher’s twine to close them up again after being stuffed. If you can get your squid cleaned but intact, you can easily stuff them through the head opening where the tentacles used to be.
5 squid, cleaned, kept whole if possible, tentacles separated and finely chopped
1 small carrot, finely chopped
5 pieces of string beans, chopped
1/2 cup of bread crumbs
1 medium can of crushed tomatoes
2 stalks of parsley, finely chopped
2 stalks of scallions, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 red chile, crushed
oil, salt, pepper
1. Preheat an oven to 375º.
2. Heat some oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Saué garlic until brown and then the scallions until translucent. Add the chopped squid tentacles, the carrots and beans and cook for about 5 minutes by frequently tossing. Season with salt and chile. Add the bread crumbs and the parsley and mix to toast. You should now have a somewhat sticky mixture for your stuffing. Remove from heat and set aside.
3. On a large chopping block, lay the butterflied squid open. Spoon some of the tentacle mixture and spread all along the cavity. Grab one end of the squid and roll over the other. Wrap and tie to close with butcher’s twine. Gently move stuffed squid to a baking dish. Pour crushed tomato sauce over them.
4. Bake in the oven for about 15 minutes. To serve, carefully slice each squid into 3. The twine should easily come off so you can discard.