SAUTÉED STUFFED SQUID with Portobello Mushrooms Risotto, Squid Tentacles and Smoked Roma Tomato Sauce
4 Roma tomatoes
Bunches of rose marine
Bunches of thyme
Bunches of birch bark
1 tablespoon grape seed oil
Portobello mushroom risotto
Pinches of micro bok choy
3 oz butter
Squid was not caught much in Iceland in former days, and then mostly for bait. No one thought of eating this most singular fish at that time. This has changed, so nowadays the squid is a sought-after delicacy in Icelandic cuisine.
Small squid is used for this course, both the body and the tentacles. Begin by removing the tentacles and the innards, taking care not to rupture the ink bladder. Clean both the body and the tentacles. Then stuff the squid body with Portobello mushrooms and risotto made from vegetable stock. Take care not to put too much stuffing into the body. When stuffed, close the open end with a toothpick. Sauté the stuff ed squid bodies in butter in a pan until golden brown. Do not overcook the squid, or it will become chewy. After the sautéing, remove the toothpicks.
Sauté the tentacles in grape seed oil, add strips of squid and season with salt and white pepper, adding some butter toward the end. Sauté the tentacles and strips of squid until they start curling up a bit. For the sauce, start by throwing some rose marine, thyme and birch bark on the embers in a grill. Put the tomatoes on the rack, and close the lid completely to keep the smoke inside. The tomatoes are left to cure in the smoke for an hour or so. When the tomatoes are done, peel their skin off and churn them into sauce in a mixer. Heat the sauce close to the boiling point and season to taste with salt, pepper and fresh lime juice. Finally, whip cubes of cold butter vigorously into the sauce with a hand blender till the sauce becomes somewhat frothy.
When this dish is served, the frothy smoked-tomato sauce is used to make a pool in the center of a plate. The sautéed squid is arranged in the center of the pool of sauce, and the arrangement decorated with some micro bok choy and the curled strips of squid.
In this course, which has a lot of appeal, the smoked tomato sauce goes well with the taste of the squid and the stuffing inside it. It entails a bit of work, but I have found the time taken in preparing it entirely worth while.