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The Caterer

Grilled Cornish squid, ink sauce, cannellini beans, lemon and parsley

11 September 2006
Grilled Cornish squid, ink sauce, cannellini beans, lemon and parsley

Ingredients

(serves 10)
For the marinated squid
2kg medium-fresh Cornish squid, uncleaned
100ml olive oil
2 fresh red chillies, deseeded, halved and cut into fine slices
8 cloves garlic, finely sliced
Zest of 1 lemon, finely pared into strips
For the gremolata
1 bunch flat-leaf parsley
1 large unwaxed lemon
3 cloves of garlic
For the ink sauce
10 shallots, roughly chopped
30g butter
Half-bottle dry white wine
500cl fish stock
50cl passatta (or 1dsp tomato pur‚e)
400cl double cream
Squid ink: use the sacs from the squid plus five sachets of ink
For the cannellini beans
Proscuitto trimmings or hock, roughly chopped
1.5kg fresh cannellini or coco blanc beans (shelled weight)
Whole garlic bulb, cut in half
2 bay leaves

To serve
1 red chilli, seeded and finely chopped
Extra virgin olive oil to taste
10 handfuls rocket, washed

Method
Clean the squid, then score with a blunt-edged knife in the lattice effect, using the knife on a slight angle. Rinse, dry and marinate for a few hours in 100ml olive oil with the red chilli, garlic and strips of lemon zest.

To make the gremolata, wash and dry the parsley. Pick the leaves and shred finely into a chiffonade. Grate the lemon zest and garlic into fine shards on a Parmesan grater. Mix with the parsley. Tip mixture on to a dry cloth and allow to sit for 20 minutes at room temperature to remove a little of the moisture.

To make the ink sauce, sweat the shallots in a little butter, add half a bottle of white wine and reduce to a glaze, then add the stock and reduce by about three-quarters. Mix in the tomato and simmer for three minutes, then pour in double cream and bring to the boil. Simmer for 10 minutes, season and strain into liquidiser. Add the squid ink and blend until creamy. A glossy black sauce is achieved.

To prepare the cannellini beans, gently fry the chopped proscuitto in a casserole pan until the fat turns golden, then add the halved head of garlic, fresh beans, plenty of water and bay leaves. Bring up to the boil and cook for 20-30 minutes. The beans should be soft, yet firm enough enough to hold their shape. Remove from heat and leave to cool naturally in the liquor.

When ready to serve, grill the seasoned squid on a dry grill or chargrill. Slice into bite-sized pieces. Dress in gremolata with a little fresh chilli and olive oil. Mix the warm beans and wild rocket on the plate, place squid on the top and drizzle the ink sauce around the plate with some rich extra virgin olive oil. Serve immediately.

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