Polenta and chilli crusted squid


A trip to Spain and reading Rick Stein's book English Seafood Cookery, have left me inspired to cook more fish.

So on my return I took a trip to the local market to see what the oceans had to offer. 

It always amazes me that at the fish stall, you find cooks of all different nationalities, all buying different things. A Chinese lady was buying fish heads to make stock, while an Indian lady bought up her quota of king prawn. I chose some fresh looking squid and some sea bass fillets (which I pan fried and were delicious thank you very much).

However today's post is where we talk cephalopod.

Being gluten free nowadays, I have to be careful in the UK that no one fries my calamari in breadcrumbs or wheat flour. Anyone who's travelled knows that the best recipes are with tempura batter or with cornmeal, or polenta as it's known here.

So I looked at Jamie Oliver, Rick Stein and at the Italian Silver Spoon book http://uk.phaidon.com/the-silver-spoon/ (a monster of Italian cookery with 3000 recipes only recently translated into English).

In the end I made up my own little recipe. I can honestly say that the end result was delicious dear readers. Please, go ahead and try it.



Equipment:
Ether a griddle pan or a very heavy bottomed frying pan
Plate or dish for dipping squid into the poenta crust

Oven:
Medium - hot hob

Ingredients:
1 medium sized squid, cleaned and degutted (ask your fishmonger)
1/2 dried red chilli or good pinch chilli flakes
100g dried polenta
Lovage (found it in Waitrose)
Good bunch flat leaf parsley
1/2 lemon
Salt and pepper
Olive, sunflower or groundnut oil x 4 tbsp

Method:
Prepare your squid by chopping the body section into rings about 1.5cm wide. Chop the tentacles and keep separately on the board.
Chop your chilli if using a whole one. Chop your herbs on a separate board.
Mix your dry ingredients - the polenta, chilli, salt and pepper in the dish or plate.
Put your pan on the medium - hot hob with the oil.
Dip the squid in the polenta dish and cover all over with the mix.
When the oil is hot to sizzling, fry the rings then add the smaller tentacles. It should only take one or two minutes and as soon as the flesh turns opaque and your polenta is golden brown they're done.
Take off the heat and serve up immediately with the chopped herbs, more pepper and a good squeeze of the lemon juice.

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