Shared Plates: July 2018 Contest Winner
This month’s winner, Evan Mignogna (@freehandkitchen), lead recruiter at Ann Arbor-based May Mobility, describes himself as an avid, lifelong home cook. “My style is very much ‘freehand’ — based since childhood on learning about ingredients, flavors, and techniques to cultivate my creative confidence and freedom in the kitchen,” he explains. His recipe for spicy chorizo-stuffed squid certainly demonstrates his culinary creativity, winning the seafood competition.
“I found chorizo in Eastern Market, and as I continued to roam and saw the squid, I knew that was it,” Mignogna recounts. “The rest of this recipe is based on some of my favorite tastes and influences, including Sicilian and Spanish, with flavors like sherry, golden raisin, cumin, almond, [and] citrus.”
Spicy Chorizo and Wild Rice-Stuffed Squid on Golden Raisin Purée with Cumin Almond Brittle (Serves 2)
For the wild rice stuffing:
1 tablespoon olive oil
½ shallot, diced
1 garlic clove, minced
¼ cup diced hot Spanish chorizo
¾ cup black long grain wild rice
1 ½ cups water
1 handful parsley, chopped
Salt and pepper, to taste
In small saucepan on medium heat, add olive oil, shallot, and garlic until fragrant. Add in rice and chorizo. Toss to coat and toast for a minute. Add in water. Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce heat to low. Let cook for 15-20 minutes, until rice is tender and water absorbed. Fluff and add parsley. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
For the golden raisin sauce:
1 cup golden raisins
1 tablespoon butter
½ chopped shallot
1 minced garlic clove
¼ cup dry sherry wine
1 teaspoon sherry wine vinegar
1 teaspoon toasted cumin seeds, ground (mortar & pestle is useful)
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
Juice of half a lemon
Salt and white pepper, to taste
In a small sauté pan, melt butter over medium-low heat and sweat garlic and shallot. Add raisins, sherry wine, and vinegar. Let alcohol smell cook off and soften raisins. Add remaining ingredients until incorporated. Remove from heat and let cool slightly, then puree in mini food processor. Strain through fine mesh strainer back into clean pan on low heat. Let reduce, if necessary, until coats back of spoon. Finish seasoning to taste.
For the almond brittle:
½ cup sliced almonds
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon toasted cumin seeds, ground
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
Toast almonds slightly over medium-low heat, add sugar, butter, cumin until almonds evenly coated and fragrant. Add in lemon zest and parsley. Remove from pan and set aside to cool. When cool and hardened, chop into small chunks.
For the squid:
4 baby squid bodies and tentacles, cleaned. *Rhode Island squid are great for stuffing, two whole squid per person is a good portion
1 egg, beaten
¼ cup corn meal
¼ cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning
Combine corn meal, flour, and Old Bay Seasoning in a bowl. Set aside. Heat two inches of canola oil to 375 degrees in a large pan. Stuff each squid body with ¼ of the rice filling, seal with toothpick if necessary. Saute in a pan with oil on medium-high heat just until lightly browned on all sides. Dredge tentacles in egg then flour and cornmeal mixture. Fry until golden, about 3 minutes. Remove to paper towel and lightly season with salt.
Spoon half of the raisin sauce into the middle of each plate, top each with two stuffed squid and two fried tentacles, then sprinkle with almond brittle and a fresh squeeze of lemon.