Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Chargrilled Cuttlefish with Chilli and Blood Orange Aioli

This weekend's sunshine had me craving one thing in particular - squid. For me, warm weekends are all about the smell of crustaceans and squid on a barbeque, the sweet flesh and smoky, ozonic smell of charred shells gets me crazy. I was a bit disorganised with my fish purchasing, so ended up snaffling the last cuttlefish at Shellseekers - as one of Jamie's Fifteen chefs had just bagged the last of the squid and crabs for the restaurant. I have to admit, I haven't cooked cuttlefish that many times (squid seems so much more manageable for some reason), and like squid, you either cook it in a flash on a very hot griddle, or long, low and slow in a braising pot. I had the cuttlefish cleaned (a very messy job - and can ruin your distressed antique french oak surfaces with its ink), and then set to work slicing it and scoring the flesh finely in a criss-cross pattern. I then decided to marinate it with a wild combination of ingredients I had purchased earlier at the market; mint, fresh garlic and blood orange seemed like a good trinity, and a nice combination of flavours for the cuttlefish to play with.

Once marinated for a few hours, the cuttlefish was cooked on a searingly hot cast iron griddle pan, until the ends charred and the flesh soft and creamy.
I served this with a simple aioli; two egg yolks and a squeeze of lemon juice beaten until pale. I then drizzled in a sunflower oil (Rapeseed works really well too), until I had a thick, viscous mayonnaise. I flavoured it with finely chopped red chilli, blood orange juice and zest, and seasoning. This is a great dish with a well chilled bottle of Prosecco or Cava.


aforkfulofspaghetti said...

Fantastic warm weather dish - full of the promise of summer! Wonderful.

Feather on a Wire said...

Looks heavenly and making my mouth jouce up. Something I shall serve this summer on the terrace.