Recipe courtesy of Brick & Fire

Stuffed and Grilled Calamari Appetizer

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 3 hr 15 min (includes chilling time)
  • Active: 1 hr 40 min
  • Yield: 24 stuffed calamari (4 to 8 servings)
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Ingredients

Filling:

1 leek, white and light green parts only, chopped into small pieces and washed well

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons chopped shallot 

1 teaspoon chopped garlic 

1 cup white wine 

1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley 

1 tablespoon rice vinegar 

1 teaspoon dried tarragon 

1/2 teaspoon salt 

Pinch red chile flakes 

Juice of 1/2 small lemon

2 tablespoons butter 

1 pound raw prawns, chopped to the approximate size of garbanzo beans 

3/4 cup breadcrumbs 

Calamari:

1 pound frozen small whole calamari with tentacles, thawed and cleaned

Roasted Yellow Bell Pepper Sauce, recipe follows

Fried Capers, recipe follows

Roasted Yellow Bell Pepper Sauce:

1 yellow bell pepper

1 teaspoon chopped garlic

1/4 cup heavy cream, heated 

1 tablespoon butter 

1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley 

1 teaspoon chopped shallot

1 teaspoon rice vinegar 

1/2 teaspoon salt 

Juice of 1/2 lemon

Fried Capers:

1/2 cup capers

1 1/2 cups canola or vegetable oil

Directions

Special equipment:
a deep-frying thermometer
  1. For the filling: Saute leeks in olive oil in a large saute pan over medium-low heat until softened, 7 to 10 minutes. Add shallot and garlic and saute 3 minutes. Add wine, parsley, vinegar, tarragon, salt, chile flakes and lemon juice and turn heat to high. Cook until reduced 85 percent, 3 to 5 minutes
  2. Turn heat to medium and add butter. Let melt, then add prawns. Cook, stirring, until just done, about 3 minutes.
  3. Stir in breadcrumbs to absorb any remaining liquids and remove from heat.
  4. Transfer to a bowl and chill completely before stuffing calamari.
  5. For the calamari: Insert a funnel into the open end of a calamari.
  6. Fill the funnel about halfway with the filling and push it into the calamari, filling it only three-quarters of the way full, to allow for shrinkage as it cooks. Use a toothpick to skewer the tentacles to the opening of the calamari. Repeat with remaining filling and calamari.
  7. Preheat a grill or saute pan over medium-high heat. Cook the calamari, 2 minutes per side.
  8. Arrange grilled calamari on a serving dish and serve with warm Roasted Yellow Bell Sauce and sprinkled with Fried Capers.

Roasted Yellow Bell Pepper Sauce:

Yield: about 1 1/2 cups
  1. Roast pepper on open flame of stovetop burner, turning as outside blackens, until roasted on all sides. Place in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let cool for 5 minutes. Remove outer burnt skin of pepper, cut into quarters and remove stem and seeds.
  2. Place pepper in a small food processor.
  3. Steep garlic in hot cream for 2 minutes, then add to processor. Add butter, parsley, shallot, vinegar, salt and lemon juice and process to make a smooth puree.

Fried Capers:

Yield: 1/2 cup fried capers
  1. Rinse capers with water, then squeeze with hands to express any juices. Drain very well.
  2. Heat oil to 350 degrees F in a small saucepan over medium heat. Carefully add capers to hot oil and fry until darkened in color and capers have become crispy, approximately 7 minutes. Drain on paper towels.