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Calamari with Sweet Pepper Confit

Makes 4 servings

 

Calamari with Sweet Pepper Confit Eric: When I was younger I could stand at a tapas bar in Spain or Andorra eating calamari all night. If you can't make it to Spain, try this version, but make sure you use baby calamari-they're much more tender.

 

The Confit:
1/2 cup olive oil (not extra-virgin)
20 baby sweet red peppers, whole
3 large cloves garlic, peeled and halved lengthwise
1 shallot, peeled and cut into 1/4 inch-thick slices
3 branches fresh thyme
Pinch cayenne
Fine sea salt, to taste

The Calamari
1 tablespoon olive oil (not extra-virgin)
1/2 pound cleaned baby squid, bodies only, skinned
and cut across into 1/4 inch wide slices
Fine sea salt, to taste
Freshly ground white pepper, to taste
Cayenne, to taste
1 small clove garlic, peeled and finely diced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
 
 

1. For the confit, at least 1 day before serving, place the olive oil, peppers, garlic, shallot, thyme, cayenne, and salt in a large saucepan over low heat. Cover the pan and bring to a simmer. Adjust the heat so the oil is at a slow simmer and cook, turning the peppers in the oil from time to time, until very soft, about 15 minutes. Let cool, cover, and refrigerate. (The recipe can be made to this point up to 2 days ahead.)

2. Stem the peppers and reheat them in their oil. For the calamari, heat the oil in a 10-inch nonstick skillet over high heat until just smoking. Season the squid with salt, pepper, and cayenne. Place the squid in the skillet and sauté until they turn white, about 1-1/2 minutes. Add the garlic, 1 tablespoon of parsley, and the lemon juice. Sauté for 1-1/2 minutes more.

3. To serve, arrange 5 peppers in a circle around each of 4 large plates (reserving the oil), with the stem ends toward the center of the plate and leaving a 1-inch border between the peppers and the plate rim. Place the calamari in the center of the plate. Spoon the oil from the peppers in a circle outside the peppers. Drop a little balsamic vinegar over the oil. Sprinkle the remaining tablespoon of parsley over the oil and serve immediately.

 

From:
Le Bernardin Cookbook:
Four-Star Simplicity

By Maguy Le Coze and Eric Ripert
Doubleday
Hardcover, $35.00
372 pages
ISBN: 0-385-48841-6
Recipe Reprinted by permission.

 

Le Bernardin Cookbook:
Four-Star Simplicity

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This page created December 1998


 


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