Tempting Feta Stuffed Squid!
I love squid in all its forms . . . fried, grilled, slow-cooked in a stew or stuffed and oven roasted with various fillings. My absolute favorite tough, without a doubt, is the recipe that I'm sharing with you today; Feta stuffed Squid with roasted Red Peppers and fresh Herbs.
This recipe is really easy to make, once the squid is cleaned, and always a big hit. As a main course I like to stuff big squid that serves 1 - 2 persons but if you are having a dinner party or even a buffet party you might want to consider using smaller squid or calamari. Just adapt the recipe to your needs and use any fresh herbs you like.
The only tedious part of cooking squid is the cleaning before the cooking! So, if you have a really good fish monger, by all means ask him to do the job for you . . . but if in doubt, do it yourself!
When cooking stuffed squid, I always clean the squid myself to ensure that the main body is not damaged or cut as if it is, parts of the filling my ooze out and burn in the pan while cooking!
Here is the recipe:
Feta Stuffed Squid with Roasted Red Peppers & Herbs
2 large squid (about 250 g each after cleaning)
250 g Feta cheese, crumbled
2 large (200 g) roasted red pepper*, diced
2 - 3 tblsp extra virgin olive oil
2 – 3 tblsp fresh leaf parsley (or other of choice)
Black pepper, to taste
Normally, I clean the squid in my kitchen sink. Start by pulling the tentacles away from the body of each squid and reserve them. Check the center of the tentacles for the hard beak, and discard. Now, feel inside the squid’s body for the transparent quill (it resembles a piece of plastic) and pull it out. Discard and rinse the body sack inside/out with plenty of cold water.
Now pull the purplish skin from the squid’s ears and body. You may also pull the wing-like flaps (ears) from the body but I normally leave them on for this recipe. See photo below - perfectly cleaned squid ready for stuffing!
Once the cleaning is done, place in a shallow baking dish and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate until ready to stuff and cook.
Make the stuffing:
Place crumbled feta in a large bowl. Add olive oil and finely chopped parsley and mix well. Next add the diced red peppers and mix lightly with a fork. Don’t over-mix! Season with pepper and if you think the mixture is a little bit too stiff, add a little more olive oil and mix.
Stuff squid tubes (bodies)
Using a spoon with a long handle, fill each squid to about two-thirds full and press it down to avoid any empty spaces. Secure each squid tube with a cocktail stick. Lay squid in shallow baking dish and brush with olive oil.
In one of my cooking classes in the past, some of my students felt it was easier to stuff the squid, if it was placed in a narrow glass. Whatever works for you is fine but here are a few photos I took to give you an idea of what I'm talking about . . . . . .
To cook, place in hot oven (200 C) for about 30 minutes. If needed, place under grill for about 2 minutes on each side to get a nicer color. Once cooked, serve immediately with a green salad and crusty village type bread . . . or allow cooling to room temperature and then slice.
If sliced just after coming out of oven, the filling will ooze out onto plate which I love . . . especially if I have a piece of hearty crusty bread to scoop it up with . . . and savor!
Instead of Feta cheese, you can use low calorie goat cheese but the taste and texture of stuffing won’t be the same.
Here in Greece I normally use top quality grilled or roasted red peppers from a jar as it saves me a lot of time and they are always truly delicious. Just make sure to remove them carefully from the jar and drain or pat dry.
For those of you who are not in a hurry or aren’t able to find good quality ready roasted peppers in jars you can, of course, deseed and roast or grill fresh peppers for this recipe. Just make sure to bring them to room temperature before mixing with Feta cheese for stuffing.
For those of you who don’t like peppers, peeled and chopped tomatoes are also great; especially tasty plum tomatoes.
Fresh thyme or a mixture of thyme and parsley is another great herb choice for this recipe.
When roasting the squid in the oven, you may add a little water to pan while cooking. This will help keep the squid moist. Most importantly though, be careful not to overcook the squid.
©KaritasM – November 2018