This dish can best be described as Spain on a plate, from the spicy chorizo (pronounced chore-e-tho, as I learned on a recent trip to Spain), to the hot smoked paprika (love this stuff), to one of my favorite little cephalopods — squid.  It requires minimum effort, but the result is maximum in flavor. Just a handful of ingredients is needed to transform the ordinary chickpea (aka garbanzo bean) into a flavorful plate of food.On most days, I feel like I am just biding my time, waiting to sit down in the evening to a good meal, a glass of wine, and good company. These are the little, everyday things in life that I cherish the most. Although, if we were eating this meal in Spain, dinner would be served closer to 10:00 p.m. (or later); many restaurants don’t even open for dinner until at least 9:00 p.m. And, if you show up closer to 9:00 p.m. rather than 10:00 p.m., you will quickly distinguish yourself as a tourist (as we quickly learned).

If you happen to have access to a grill, you can grill the squid (and peppers too) to impart a nice smokiness that is a hallmark of charcoal grilling. This is how I prefer to cook squid, if only I had a grill and a location to store it (which I sadly do not, given my rather compact ~800 square foot apartment).

A few summer’s back, while driving across the north coast of Spain and through the town of Ribadesella, we spotted this farmers’ market. Of course, I cannot resist a farmers’ market, home or abroad, so we pulled off the road in search of culinary treasures. We picked up a link of spicy chorizo — by far, the best chorizo I have ever tasted. What made this the best chorizo I ever had? It was spicy and smoky and oily and delicious — quite a bit stronger in flavor than chorizo you find back in the States. Was hard pressed not to devour it in one sitting, but rather, attempted to savor it over the course of the week. A difficult feat, as every time you stepped into our hotel room, you were instantly hit with the intoxicating aroma of chorizo.

Oh, how I wish I had some of that spicy chorizo right now!


Squid + Spicy Chorizo + Hot Smoked Paprika = Deliciousness!

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Love all the colors of the peppers…so vibrant!
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Squid, Chickpea, and Chorizo Salad

Mix of peppers (used 2 red bell peppers, 1 orange bell pepper, 2 Anaheim or Cubanelle)
3 1/2 cups *cooked chickpeas (can use canned chickpeas), rinsed and drained
1 small bunch of parsley, about 3/4 cup chopped plus extra to garnish
2 Fresno chiles, seeded and thinly sliced
1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 1/3 pounds squid, bodies sliced into ~ 1/2-inch thick rings, tentacles chopped in half
12 ounces spicy Spanish chorizo,  cut into small cubes
Sea salt and black pepper to taste
1 tablespoon hot smoked paprika
Juice and zest of 1 large lemon

*I prefer the texture of dried beans compared to canned (which tend to be a bit too soft for my preference).

Roast the peppers on an open gas flame, turning with metal tongs, until charred on all sides (alternatively, can place under the broiler or roast on the grill, turning every few minutes). Place in a paper bag about 10 minutes. Remove from the bag, and with the side of  a chef’s knife, scrape away the charred skin. Cut open and seed the peppers. Cut into thin slices. In a large bowl mix the peppers and any juices with the chickpeas, parsley, and Fresno chiles. Set aside.

Heat a large skillet over high heat until smoking. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil to the pan. Add the garlic and saute ~30 seconds. Add the squid and stir-fry for ~2 minutes. Scatter the chorizo over the squid, continue to cook for 1 more minute.  Add the garlic, squid, and chorizo to the bowl with the peppers and chickpeas. Season with salt and pepper, hot smoked paprika, then dress with the remaining olive oil, lemon juice and lemon zest. Mix together. Garnish with chopped parsley and a drizzle of olive oil.

*Alternatively, prepare the squid and peppers on the grill.

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3 comments

Reply

This looks absolutely beautiful and delicious. I've always been somewhat intimidated about cooking squid. I should go for it and give it a try!

Reply

It's pretty easy to cook squid. They either need to be cooked for about 2 minutes over high heat or braised for at least 30 minutes (anything in between and your squid will tend to be rubbery).

Reply

It's pretty easy to cook squid. They either need to be cooked for about 2 minutes over high heat or braised for at least 30 minutes (anything in between and your squid will tend to be rubbery).

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