A popular Basque recipe of fresh baby squid with caramelised onions and green peppers called ‘chipirones a lo pelayo’.
The baby squid needed for recipes like this are not as commonly available in the UK as they are in Spain where they are commonplace.
It is probably best to either ask your local fishmonger or buy them online.
Basque Baby Squid with Caramelised Onions and Peppers
- 24 fresh baby squid
- 3 white onions peeled and finely sliced
- 1 green pepper core removed and finely sliced
- 2 cloves garlic finely chopped
- 50 ml brandy
- 100 ml txakoli wine or similar see notes
- 1 tbsp parsley finely chopped
- 2 tbsp white breadcrumbs toasted in a pan or oven
- 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- Sea salt to taste
- Prepare the squid by separating the head from the body, remove the feather cartilage and any other gunk you come into contact with. Wash the body under cold running water. Cut the head away from the tentacles by slicing just under the eyes (discard the head) and push out the beak from the middle of the tentacles. Pull with your hands the side fins from each squid and finely chop them together with the tentacles. Stuff this mix into each squid and close the top with a wooden toothpick. Set aside.
- In a medium size sauce pan, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and add the sliced onions, green pepper and chopped garlic and cook on a low heat for 60 minutes until the mixture is very soft and well caramelised. Make sure you keep on stirring the mix, to avoid it from catching the pan and burning.
- In a medium size frying pan, heat some of the oil, once hot fry the baby squid in batches of 6 for about 2 minutes each side or until golden brown. Place each batch into the caramelised onion mix. Deglaze the pan with one quarter of the brandy after each batch has been fried and pour the juices into the squid and onion mix. Once all the squid has been fried, heat the mix, pour the txakoli wine and cook on a low heat for 20 minutes. Check the seasoning and allow the squid to rest for around 1 hour before serving. This will help the flavours to infuse the squid better.
- To serve, reheat the squid and onion mix and serve 3 squid per person as a starter or 6 squid per person as a main course. Sprinkle some chopped parsley and breadcrumbs on each squid before serving.
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