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Hootie and the Blowfish.. and Couscous :)

Blow Fish with Couscous

Quick stop today! Have you tried the Blowfish before? No not the band (although those stories are welcome) but the fish.. :) yes, from that same family as Puffer fish but not quite as sinister!

Blowfish is a white fleshed, mild flavored fish that easily picks up the flavors that you coat it in. It is much like chicken in that respect as also in the way you eat it.. like a drumstick.

For a quick meal, I paired Smoked Paprika and Oregano Breaded Blowfish with a fresh Couscous with cucumber, sundried tomatoes and walnuts.

Smoked Paprika and Oregano Breaded Blowfish
(serves 2)

4 plump blowfish, cleaned and de-finned
2 tsp smoked paprika
salt and pepper as needed
4 T flour for dredging (you can use rice flour to go glutenfree)
1 tsp oregano
oil as needed for sauteeing

Season the fish with salt, pepper and paprika. Mix the oregano into the flour and lightly salt it.

Heat oil on medium high in a heavy bottomed frying pan. Touch the edge of a fish to the oil, if it sizzles then we are ready to go. Using the tails to hold the fish, lightly pat both sides in the flour. Dust away excess flour and place in frying pan. Do not touch for 2 minutes. Gently lift turn over and cook for 4 minutes. Serve immediately.

Quick lunches and Seafood

Stuffed Squid

Summer is the time for most things perfect.. beautifully ripe produce and the high season for meat. Except it is perhaps a bit too hot, in many places, to do much with all that good stuff.

Easy, quick meals that do not require prolonged periods of standing over the flame are my way of cooking through these few months of heat. Yes, and things that require the oven to be turned on are kept to necessity.

Crawfish Boil

Seafood becomes the go to choice of meat. It's fresh, ridiculously succulent and flavorful and cooks in a jiffy.. not to mention the versatality of use.. from salads to, full blown gourmet entree that you can put together with minimal sweat (pun intended!)

Sometime back, my favorite seafood market was carrying fresh crawfish. So we had a simple lunch of a couple of pounds of the shell fish cooked in a spicy, Creole inspired broth.

Another day, as I was perusing one of my few cookbooks, I came across a Spanish recipe for Stuffed Squid, which, made quite a lot of sense and packed a whole lot of flavor. That's my recipe today!

Stuffed Squid sliced

Enjoy, and stay cool (or warm!) this week! :)

Stuffed Squid in Saffron Tomato Sauce

For the Squid:
8 baby squid, cleaned, tentacles removed and reserved
4 shallots, diced fine
3 cloves of garlic, minced
3 T golden raisins
1/4 cup bread crumbs
salt and paprika for seasoning

For the sauce:
1 medium red onion, diced
2 medium tomatoes, diced small
3 T dried apricots, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp saffron
1/2 cup stock
salt, pepper and oil as needed
cilantro, red onion, tomatoes for garnish

To prepare the squid:
Finely chop the tentacles and mix all the stuffing ingredients together. Season with salt and paprika. Gently fill the squid cavity with the stuffing taking care to not be greedy! {the bodies shrink while cooking, so overfilling runs the risk of bursting at the seams}. Lock the ends with toothpicks. Set aside until ready for cooking.

To make the sauce, saute the garlic and onion in oil. When soft add tomatoes, apricots, saffron aand all the seasoning. Gently place the stuffed squid in the pan and pour the stock over. Cover with lid and cook for 15 minutes, then lift the lid and cook for another 10 minutes. During this time, turn the squid around for even cooking. Serve immediately garnished with diced onion, tomatoes and cilantro sprinkled.

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