Thursday, October 21, 2010

Double Take

Yeah, I know. Another tomato soup. I didn't mean it, I swear, but this one just called to me, especially since it has two of our favorite words in the title: Spicy and Calimari. E is a calimari fanatic. He'll order it anywhere, even though he is often disappointed. See, we're spoiled calimari snobs, and we like it lightly fried, crisp on the outside, served with lots of lemon, a drop of marinara, and loads of hot peppers on the side. They didn't serve it like that anywhere in Michigan, but E kept trying it anyway. We've eaten Buffalo Style Fried Calimari (blech!), Sticky Asian Style Fried Calimari (double blech!), and Cheese Stuffed Fried Calimari (you guessed it). Nothing beats the basics. So Giada's stew hit all the right notes for me: simple, quick, with the right amount of tomato and heat. The amazing thing is this dish calls for no lemon zest. I almost added it to be true to our favorite calimari flavors, but I resisted. I'm not Giada enough for that yet. And right now my nails are painted gray. She wouldn't approve, but I doubt she'd get this worked up. (Sorry G fans, but that was just necessary :) And she's growing on me slowly. At least she's not Sandra Lee.)

Spicy Calimari Stew with Parmesan Sourdough Croutons

Adapted from Giada De Laurentiis' Giada's Kitchen: New Italian Favorites

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, cut in 1/2
1 28 moz. can crushed tomatos
1 cup chicken stock
1 teaspoon fresh chopped thyme leaves
2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 pounds calamari (squid), bodies thinly sliced and tentacles whole
6 slices sourdough bread
parmesan cheese
olive oil
salt and pepper
garlic powder

For the Croutons:  Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Slice bread into 1 inch cubes. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Toss to coat. Spread in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake until golden and crisp, about 5 minutes. Using a micrograter, grate parmesan cheese generously over hot croutons. Set aside. 

For the Calamari Stew: Warm the olive oil over medium heat in a medium pot. Add the garlic and let cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Remove the garlic. Add the tomatoes, stock, thyme, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper. Bring the mixture to a simmer. Add the calamari and stir to combine. Continue to cook until the mixture comes back up to a simmer, about 2 more minutes (Do NOT overcook the soup now! Nothing is worse than tough calimari!). Serve immediately with the croutons.

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Kirby said...

I love that you added the calimari to it, I dont think my hubs would eat but I sure the heck would anyday!!!

Danielle said...

haha...I made tomato soup the other's so comforing,isn't it? This sure is looking good!

Indie.Tea said...

Whoa, that DOES sound incredible!

Sustainable Eats said...

This sounds FANTASTIC! I wish I knew where to get some local calmari. I may just need to make a trip down to Mutual Fish for this one. I think I've developed an intolerance to clams but calmari is the perfect substitute - thanks so much for sharing this!
xo, Annette

Couscous & Consciousness said...

I love calamari - and this stew looks absolutely wonderful. I could probably have been tempted to add the lemon :-)

Natashya KitchenPuppies said...

You had me at parmesan sourdough croutons! A lovely stew. Yum!

Debinhawaii said...

This looks very hearty and delicious--loving the croutons on top too. Great potluck pick and thanks for sending it to Souper Sundays too. ;-)

girlichef said...

I agree that it is REALLY hard to find good calamari around here....but my tongue is totally wagging just looking at this! I'd be the only one in my house to eat it...but that's okay by me ;) Serious goodness here!

Kim said...

Do you know that I've never tried calamari? It's not that I'm opposed to it, I just never see it in the market and have never ordered it on a menu. This soup looks delicious though. Glad to hear that Giada is starting to grow on you ;-)

Allison said...

Wow. I wish I could say I liked calamari as much as you do. I keep trying. It still hasn't grown on me 100%. Neither, for that matter, has Giada. Glad to see I'm not the only one skeptical about her. I'm game to join the cooking with IHCC, but I'm not sure I can handle Giada once a week...

Cook of the House said...

I, too, love calamari and am very picky about how it is prepared. It is always a risk to order it somewhere for the first time and I have been disappointed several times. Your dish would definitely NOT fall into that category if it tastes as good as it looks!

With calamari, I have a "circles only" rule and I usually give the tentacle portions to my husband. Just can't do it.... Yet