Located on the French coast, Biarritz cuisine includes many seafood dishes. This recipe for stuffed squid also features the famous Bayonne ham, a signature delicacy from the region.
- 3 French shallots, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, diced
- ½ onion, diced
- 60 g Bayonne cured ham, diced
- 45 ml port
- ground espelette or hot paprika
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 8 baby calamari, cleaned
- 500 ml (2 cups) seafood bisque
- 2 tbsp squid ink paste
- 1 tsp espelette oil
- 2 sprigs fresh chervil
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 8 large raw prawns, peeled, deveined, heads and shells reserved
- 1 salmon head
- 1 brown onion, finely chopped
- 1 small carrot, finely chopped
- 1 celery stick, finely chopped
- 3 large garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 litre (4 cups) water, plus 375ml (1½ cups) water, extra
- 80 ml (⅓ cup) dry white wine
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- pinch of saffron threads
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 pig’s trotters
- 2 onions, chopped
- 2 leeks, chopped
- 2 carrots, chopped
- 2 sprigs thyme
- 2 bay leaves
- 3 cloves
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
To make the bisque, heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the reserved prawn heads, shells and salmon head. Cook, stirring, for 4-5 minutes or until the shells are browned.
Add the onion, carrot, celery, garlic and bay leaf, and cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes or until the onion is soft.
Discard the prawn heads and salmon head, but reserve the prawn shells. Add the water, wine, tomato paste and saffron to the pan, and bring to the boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes or until the vegetables are tender. Set aside to cool for 10 minutes.
Transfer the mixture to a blender (shells included) and blend until very smooth. Strain through a coarse sieve into a clean saucepan. Stir in the extra water. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
To prepare the stuffing, place all ingredients in a saucepan over medium heat. Cover with water and cook for 1½ hours. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Remove the trotters and reserve. Discard the cooking liquid.
Heat a saucepan over medium heat. Add shallot, garlic and onion. Cook for 4 minutes or until fragrant. Add ham, pig’s trotters, port and a pinch each of salt and espelette. Cook for 5 minutes, then remove from the heat and allow to cool. When cooled, use a fork to break down and combine the ingredients.
Heat a clean pan over medium heat. Add olive oil. Pan-fry calamari for 2 minutes or until slightly browned on each side. Remove, then spoon stuffing into each calamari. Close the cavity with a tooth pick and set aside.
In the same pan, add seafood bisque and squid ink and whisk until combined. Bring to the boil and cook for 5 minutes, until reduced.
Return the stuffed calamari to the pan, bring to a simmer and cook, basting with sauce, for a further 2 minutes on each side.
Transfer the calamari to a serving platter and spoon over the ink sauce. Dress the plate with drops of espelette oil, and garnish with chervil and a pinch of espelette powder.