Spanish-Style Braised Squid

Every once in a while, someone will ask me how we get Bug to eat the food I feature on the blog. Well, in this case, I will openly admit that she didn't eat this - she had her own "kid dinner" and then we ate this meal post-bedtime. Now, she loves calamari (code: fried food) but she wouldn't touch this with a 10-foot pole. And as much as I would love to "expose" her to a new food, to be quite frank, that would have ruined my meal if I had to spend it cajoling and convincing her to take a single bite.

Right before I left on my summer vacation, I found a galley of Emeril Lagasse's new cookbook Farm to Fork: Cooking Local, Cooking Fresh in the office and took it. One of the first meals I made was this Spanish-Style Braised Squid:

It was the type of dish that transports you to another place because it just doesn't seem possible that you're sitting in your apartment in Queens, tasting something so fresh and straight-from-the-ocean. In fact, it was sort of a cruel joke. I should have been enjoying it from some cozy vacation home nestled on some beach in Spain, right? Well, I was very much grounded in New York, on the 17th floor of my apartment building, and this was the next best thing to actually being abroad.

Spanish-Style Braised Squid
by Emeril Lagasse

1/4 c. olive oil
3/4 c. sliced onions
3 tbsp. sliced garlic
1/2 c. dry white wine, such as Albarino
1 lb. squid, tentacles removed and reserved, bodies cut into thin rings
3 tsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 1/2 tsp. chopped fresh oregano leaves
1 1/2 tsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tsp. nonpareil capers, drained (I omitted these - I don't like capers)
3/4 tsp. kosher salt
Generous 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1/4 tsp. hot pimenton (smoked Spanish paprika)
Warm crusty bread, for serving

1. Combine the olive oil and onions in a large saute pan (I used nonstick) over medium heat, and cook until the onions are beginning to caramelize, 3-4 minutes. Then add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes longer (watch it closely so it doesn't burn!). Add the white wine and reduce for 2 minutes. Add the squid (tentacles and rings), parsley, oregano, lemon juice, capers (if you want), salt, pepper, and paprika. Cook until the squid is tender, 5-6 minutes.

2. Serve with the crusty bread

4-6 tapas-size servings (I just made this 2 entree-size servings)

The only thing I would change about this is add another 1/4 tsp. or so of paprika next time. The recipe could have done with more smokiness, I think. Otherwise, this recipe was incredibly simple and easy...but you would never guess from the richness of flavor and texture.

Eat, drink, and travel vicariously through food.

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