21 February, 2007

Encornets à la languedocienne

A tasty, spicy stew which can be made with squid or cuttlefish — a kind of poor man’s version of zarzuela


For 4:
About 8 medium cuttlefish or squid
1 tbsp olive oil
2 onions
1 clove garlic
2 tomatoes
1 large glass white wine
thyme, bayleaf
pinch saffron
2 large pinches piment d’espelette or cayenne
salt and pepper
Aioli:
3 cloves garlic
1 egg yolk
salt and pepper
200 ml olive oil
lemon juice

Clean the squid very thoroughly, discarding the head, the inner cartilage, and the outer transparent membrane (or get the fishmonger to do it for you). Slice the body part of the squid into strips and cut up the tentacles if they are large.

Fry the squid in oil. When they beging to brown, add the finely chopped onions and garlic. Allow to colour.

Add the peeled, seeded, and chopped tomatoes, the wine, and the seasoning (including the herbs and spices). Simmer gently for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile make the aioli in a mortar: pound the garlic with the salt, add the egg yolk, and mix well. Then add the oil in a thin stream, whisking constantly, as for mayonnaise. When the sauce is good and thick, add lemon juice and pepper to taste.

To serve, thicken the stew by stirring in 3 tbsp of aioli off the heat, and serve the rest on the side. You might want to make some croutons of sliced baguette to add crunch.

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