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Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Lazaro Cooks is here with his Calamares Enchilado with Crispy Peppered Squid Rings


Hope everyone had a great 3-day weekend! Please welcome Lazaro from Lazaro Cooks! He's here to guest blog and share his talented writing and cooking. It's an honor to have him here and be I Just Love My Apron's first guest blogger. Lazaro is an incredible writer and creative foodie. He's also writing an article on Blog Critics. It's worth it to check it out. I'm positive you will love his blog and his food. 

Hello readers of I Just Love My Apron.  My name is Lazaro; I am one half of the creative team behind the blog Lazaro Cooks!  I was extremely happy when Tanantha asked me to guest post on this wonderful blog.  I have thoroughly enjoyed reading Tanantha’s work.  Not only is she a talented cook, but she is a super-sweet person. I find her cooking to be inspiring.  To my amazing readers, thank you for your continued support. 

On October 27, 1492, Christopher Columbus sighted a large land mass, which was later called Cuba.  In his diaries, Columbus called it “the most beautiful land human eyes had ever seen.”  Cuba, known as “The Pearl of the Caribbean”, is where my family is from.  My family emigrated in the early seventies, fleeing from the communist dictatorship government.  I was fortunate enough to be born in Miami, in the United States.  My Grandmother Esperanza practically raised my brother and me while my parents worked.  This course is my interpretation of her classic dish. 

Traditionally, Calamares Enchilado is a dish of squid cooked in a tangy, aromatic tomato based sauce. I remember getting home after school, opening the front door, and being attacked by the magnificent sweet-smelling food emanating from the kitchen.  In my dish, I served a modified version of the tomato sauce.  Attempting to balance the acidity with a hint of sweetness is key. 

The squid used in creating this dish is an 8-12 inch tube and tentacle.  The body is cut into rings, the tentacles are diced, and the head I do not serve.  There are two different cooking methods for the squid, producing two distinct textures on the plate.  The diced tentacles are cooked traditionally in the tomato sauce rendering them soft and tender.  For the rings I wanted to contrast and have them be quite crispy. I also coated them in a light peppery coating, nothing too thick. 

The rice used is basmati.  I love the fragrant nutty aroma this rice produces.  Finish the dish with some freshly chopped oregano and edible flowers.  Give this course a try, you will not be disappointed. 

Calamares Enchilado with Crispy Peppered Squid Rings 

For the Enchilado Sauce:
2 poblano chilies - diced
1 leek – (white & light green parts only) diced
1 onion – diced
3 roasted red peppers – diced
3 garlic cloves – minced
2 tbs chipotle hot sauce
8 oz tomato sauce
8 oz white wine – (Riesling)
Ground cumin
Sea salt
1 lime – zested & juiced
1 tsp agave syrup
1 tsp freshly chopped savory
Diced Squid tentacles
    1. Heat 2 tbs olive oil over medium-high heat
    2. Add the poblano chilies.  Cook for 5 minutes
    3. Add the roasted red peppers.  Cook for 5 minutes
    4. Add the onion & leeks.  Cook for 5 minutes
    5. Add the chipotle sauce, tomato sauce, white wine, garlic, lime juice & zest
    6. Season with ground cumin & sea salt
    7. Reduce the heat and simmer to desired sauce consistency
    8. Add the diced squid tentacles.  Cook for 2 minutes (DO NOT OVERCOOK)
    9. Finish the sauce with 1 tsp freshly chopped savory & agave syrup to taste

For the Peppered Squid Rings:
1 lb squid rings – (kept cold in the refrigerator)
Peanut oil for frying
Coating Mix:
1 tbs Wondra flour
1 tbs onion powder
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
¼ tsp sea salt
      1. In a bowl, combine the coating mix ingredients
      2. Pour the coating mix into a large freezer bag
      3. Add the squid rings to the bag
      4. Seal tightly and shake the bag to coat the squid
      5. In a fry pan, heat ¼ inch of peanut oil, to 350 F.
      6. Prepare a plate lined with paper towel
      7. Add the squid to the pan.  Cook for 1 minute per side.
      8. You want a nice golden brown.  (DO NOT OVERCOOK)
      9. Remove the squid to drain on paper towels

For the Basmati Rice:
2 cups uncooked basmati rice
2 cups water
1 ½  cups Riesling wine
2 Veggie stock cubes
1 tsp walnut oil
    1. Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan
    2. Bring to a boil.  Stir to combine well
    3. Cover with aluminum foil
    4. Reduce heat & simmer 15 minutes
    5. Remove from the heat.  Allow to sit for 10 minutes covered.
    6. Uncover and fluff with a fork

To Plate:
    1. Place a mound of rice on a plate.
    2. Generously cover with the Enchilado sauce
    3. Sprinkle freshly chopped oregano & edible flowers on the sauce
    4. Arrange the crispy peppered squid rings around the rice

That’s it for now…till we exchange a few words again…Peace!


Elin said...

Hi Lazaro...a wonderful guest post and thanks for sharing the recipe here with us. Will be looking forward to cooking this out when I next buy the squids :)

Thanks Tanantha for inviting Lazaro to write such interesting and inspiring post. Great recipe ! :)


sophia said...

Crispy peppered squid rings? Not even a picture is needed to make me drool the way I am now! My dad adores squids, but he'll flip out over this one!

Lazaro Cooks! said...


Thank you so much for allowing me on your awesome blog. The blog post looks great, you did a fantastic job.


Sweet Southern Prep said...

Yum! That dish looks delicious, and so colorful! Great recipe here. I LOVE calamari!

Chef Dennis said...

what a fantastic job with the blog!! Lazaro as usual "top notch work" great photographs and an easy to follow recipe!! Your grandmother sounds a lot like me mexican grandmother....what an incredible cook!!
T....I do love your blog and enjoy reading it!!
thanks so much for all you do!

My Carolina Kitchen said...

What a eye appealing squid dish Lazaro. I don't believe I've ever seen squid prepared this way and I know I would just love it. It's a shame most restaurants in the US deep fry their squid until it resembles a french fry.

Ma What's 4 dinner said...

Uh, wow! Table for one please and I'll take two of everything. Glad Lazaro is showing off his mad skills, can't wait to have a look around this blog too.

Lots of yummy love,
Alex aka Ma, What's For Dinner

Stella said...

Hey Lazaro, this sounds enticing-I love fried squid. Especially when it's crispy like it should be! Esperanza's way sounds wonderful. I wish I could have run home with you guys to eat her food. I think there was just like a bag of Doritos and some bananas at my house (sigh)...
Hi Tanantha!

lostpastremembered said...

Love that squid... always looking for new ways to cook it since it's so good for you!!

Anncoo said...

This is a lovely guest post. I'm always inspired by Lazaro Cooks!

Pacheco Patty said...

Your recipe and photo look and sound incredible, your post is an interesting read and of course inspires me to get into the kitchen and cook!

roxan said...

Mmm, that looks so good! Lazaro, thank you for sharing such a wonderful dish with us, as always!

Tanantha - About the CSA Programs... CSA stands for community supported agriculture. It's a way to support local farms and get wonderful fresh produce. There are a few different set ups, but the gist is that you get a box of produce on a regular basis (weekly, biweekly etc) for a set dollar amount. You're in Seattle right? I bet there are a ton of CSA programs out there. Try googling "CSA seattle"

Anonymous said...

A fabulous guest post! The plating is gorgeous and so colorful! I love the idea of crispy pepper squid rings, totally delicious!

denise @ quickies on the dinner table said...

Lazaro - when I saw only squid rings, I was dissapointed. Then I read that you put them in the sauce and all is right with my world again!! As if you would discard anything as delectable! Of course I jumped the gun, not being familiar with this dish....

The flavours in this just sing and the plating is dreamily beautiful. The colours, mesmerising! You cook not cook anything mundane, if you tried :)

Thank you Tanantha for having Lazaro as your guest and enabling him to share yet another of his culinary gems!

citronetvanille said...

What a lovely guest post! you could not have picked better than Lazaro for this. He knows how to make everything taste and look special, creativity as its best! it seems like we are on the same wave length, I bought tons of squid yesterday. I adore squid in general and this Cuban recipe is fantastic! After all Gracias Esperanza!

Julie M. said...

Wow Lazaro! You can cook for me any day of the week. That looks amazing!

Tanantha, great choice for your first guest post!

Cook with Madin said...

Hi Tanantha, thank you for inviting Lazaro as your guest here on your site. I enjoyed it and photos.

Hi Lazaro, thank you for sharing a incredible dish. My family and I love squid, I'm looking forward in trying this out.

Ana Powell said...

Awesome, fantastic dish and photos ♥

Joy said...

That looks so good. I love calamari.

Lyndsey said...

Very nice guest post here Lazaro! I love that you used a Grandmother inspired family dish. The calamari looks fabulous!

Tanantha P. said...

Thanks so much Laz for sharing your talent here!! As you can see, we all love it and this post is overwhelmed by great positive comments!!

Thanks everyone especially Lazaro's readers for stopping by!

Rick said...

Those look as good as onion rings!

lequan@luvtoeat said...

Beautiful presentation Lazaro! The purple flower pedals really add the perfect touch to this wonderful dish. Squid is one of my favorite seafoods to eat. I am definitely drooling over your dish right now!

Thank you Tanantha for a great guest post :-D

Foodessa said...

This sweet and savoury dish seems to have turned our quite festive and creative. It also gives the impression that you were playing around with some olympic circles???
Great post from Lazaro that always shows his passion and dedication at its best.
Flavourful wishes, Claudia

Cooking with Coley said...

Looks delicious and colorful!

Judy said...

What a wonderful guest post! Thank you for sharing your calamari recipe, it looks delicious!

Jenn [Defunkt Gourmet] said...

Great collaboration!
And Lazaro, you truly have a way with colour. If I had made it, it probably would have looked beige. Like my wardrobe, still have to learn how to inject colour and not in an intense manner.

Lawyer Loves Lunch said...

I have never had squid prepared this way and I have never been more intrigued :)

Chef E said...

Oh my gosh that looks fantastic, and I bet it taste fantastic too! Lazaro come cook for me!

Monet said...

Lazaro...a great guest post, but what else could I expect? I only wish I could get my hands on some fresh squid. We don't get the best sea food in Colorado!

Biren said...

Hi Lazaro...a very appealing dish with lovely presentation! Great job!

Hi Tanantha! Thanks for a wonderful guest post.

sweetlife said...

great recipe, lazaro..I love the sauce and the presentation is stunning


Mo said...

Looks like a wonderful dish, Lazaro. Great presentation, too! :) I haven't had calamari in ages...

Magdalena said...

It looks so refreshening, delicate...just for summertime ...! (it is a pity that our wetaher does not spoil us here)....

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