In the continuing hunt for sustainable seafood, finding a reliable replacement for old staples like shellfish can be hard. Smaller squid such as calamari and baby octopus are safe, farm-fresh alternatives that can be served in a variety of flavorful ways. Baked, roasted, panfried or deep-fried, they have found a place in dozens of cuisines worldwide.
Things You'll Need
- Calamari or baby octopus, 2 pounds
- Cranberry beans, 1 pound
- Orange zest
- Grapeseed oil
- Salt to taste
- Paper towels
- Mixing bowl
- Cooking pot
- Frying pan
Beans and Salsa
Shell your beans into a bowl, and rinse them twice under tepid water. On the third fill-up, use cold water and let the beans soak for six hours before cooking them. Transfer the beans and water to a cooking pot.
Bring the water to a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer and cover. Taste the beans every 10 minutes until they are done, looking for a slightly waxy texture that just starts to fall apart on the first bite -- anywhere between 30 minutes to an hour, depending on the power of your stove.
Use this time to make your salsa, consisting of two parts cilantro and parsley to one part oil. Season to taste.
Roasting Calamari or Baby Octopus
Get a pan scorching hot and leave on it on high until you see a light layer of smoke. Add about 1/2 cup of oil, season the tubes and tentacles lightly with salt and drop them in. Turn frequently to achieve an even cook on both sides.
When the tubes just start to lose their translucent texture, remove them from the heat and lay them out on a paper towel. Add the rest of the oil, bring it up to a smoking temperature and add your beans. Take the pot off the stove after two minutes and transfer the contents to a colander in the sink.
Combine the ingredients in a bowl with the salsa. Grate fresh orange zest on top for an extra kick of citrus.
Tips & Warnings
- Use the pan for cooking calamari or baby octopus to fry the beans; this will infuse as much flavor as possible.
- Pat the squid or baby octopus completely dry before adding it to the pan, otherwise the water and oil will react and cause a dangerous level of splash back.