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Last Chance Foods

Recipe: Squid a la Plancha with Romesco and Sea Beans

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Charred Montauk Squid by Chef Jason Weiner of Almond

For the saffron aioli:

  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • Pinch of saffron threads
  • Salt
  • 1 cup plus 3 tablespoons mild olive oil
  • A squeeze of fresh lemon juice

To make the aioli: In a mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, combine the egg yolks, garlic clove, saffron and a pinch of salt. Whisk at high speed while adding the oil drop by drop. As the mixture thickens, increase the oil to a very thin trickle until it is used up and the aioli is thick and wobbly. Adjust the seasoning with a squeeze of lemon juice and more salt, if needed. You’ll end up with more sauce than you need.

For the Romesco Sauce:

  • 4 medium-size ripe tomatoes (1-3/4 lb. total), cored
  • 1 head garlic, sliced in half crosswise
  • 2 Tbs. plus 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 Cups Day-Old Bread Diced
  • ½ cup Slivered Almonds (toasted)
  • 2 Canned Piquillo Peppers (seeded and drained)
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt; more to taste
  • 1 tsp. chile flakes
  • 2 to 3 Tbs. Sherry Vinegar

Heat the oven to 375°F. Put the tomatoes and one half of the garlic head in a baking pan. Drizzle about 1 Tbs. of the olive oil into the cored tomato wells and on top of the garlic half. Roast until the tomatoes and garlic are well caramelized but not burnt, about 90 minutes. Toss the bread with 1 Tbs. of oil. Toast it in the oven for a couple minutes till until golden brown. From the remaining half head of garlic, coarsely chop 1 Tbs. garlic and put it in a food processor.

When the tomatoes and garlic are caramelized, let them cool. Pinch off the tomato skins (discard them) and squeeze out the garlic pulp. Put the tomatoes and garlic pulp in the processor. Add the salt, the remaining 1/3 cup olive oil, the bread, the vinegar, the piquillos, the almonds, and the chile flakes. Pulse to incorporate. Add salt to taste. Process the romesco until it comes together as a sauce but not so much as to lose its coarse, nutty texture. If it seems too thick, add 1 or 2 Tbs. red wine. If it's too thin, add bread, pulsing a few more times. You’ll end up with more sauce than you need.

For the Chickpeas:

  • 1 Can Chickpeas (drained)
  • 1 Tbs. Olive Oil
  • 1 Tbs. Ground Cumin
  • 1 Tsp. salt
  • Toss all ingredients and spread on a cookie sheet. Toast in a preheated 375 oven for five minutes.
  • For the Squid:
  • 2# Fresh Squid Cleaned and Rinsed
  • 1 Bunch Basil (rough chopped, stems and all)
  • 1 Tbs. Olive Oil
  • Toss ingredients together and stored wrapped and chilled until ready to cook.
  • For the Sea Beans:
  • ½ # Sea Beans (blanched and shocked)
  • 1 tbs. olive oil
  • ½ tsp. chile flakes
  • Cooking and Assembly:
  • ½ Avocado Diced

Heat a large heavy bottomed pan(preferably cast iron) till it smokes. Meanwhile, put about 2 or 3 tbs of the romesco and 1 tbs of saffron aioli on 4 dinner plates. Put the squid in the hot pan and cook on high heat till it caramelizes. Don’t shake the pan, as this will inhibit the process. Remove the squid and allow it to cool slightly. In the meantime, quickly stir fry the sea beans with olive oil in the same pan. Add the chile flakes at the very end. Scatter the sea beans on the four plates. Now slice the squid as pictured and lay it on top of the sea beans. Now garnish with the chickpeas and diced avocado.