I don’t mean to say how often this is my dinner, and that it’s actually lunch the next day cold with a sprinkling of capers. Because even though it really serves two people, I love it too much to use it for friendship. Frankly, it’s ridiculous that it’s so quick and easy to do. Yet there is such depth and complexity to its taste: squid brings with it the salty kiss of the sea; The smokiness of paprika, the heat of cayenne pepper and the hit of garlic give it a boldness that pairs well with smooth, creamy beans. i love spanish Jewish Beans that are soft, thin-shelled, extra-large butter beans, of course you can use regular canned butter beans or soak dried butter beans and cook them yourself.
Indeed, you are free to use any bean you want; This is, in any case, a dish suitable for easy variation. You can make it with shrimp instead of calamari, or if you leave out the seafood element altogether, you’ve got yourself the most elegant, luxurious, and refreshing baked beans you can imagine.
Finally, it’s fair to say that you can make another quick-fire, lethal dish simply by swapping the jar, without wanting to distract your attention from the special pleasure of this simple yet sublime dinner. Jewish squid with a jar of chickpeas and 11⁄2 pounds of oysters or mussels. Prepare the oysters or mussels and once the beans are cooked, continue as you would for the squid, but add the sherry (I wouldn’t substitute the lemon juice here) to the hot skillet along with the soaked and drained shellfish and pinch off the lid.
10–12 ounces squid (cleaned weight)
2 tablespoons Amontillado or other dry sherry (or use 2 tablespoons juice from the lemon below)
1 x 25-ounce jar of Spanish judión beans or 2 x 14-ounce cans of butter beans
3 tablespoons plus 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil and more for serving
4 greasy cloves of garlic
1/2 teaspoon plus 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon sweet smoked paprika, plus more for powder
2 teaspoons of tomato paste
1/4 teaspoon flaked sea salt or kosher salt (or 8 teaspoons fine sea salt)
1. Slice open the tubes of squid and then cut into bite-sized pieces. If the tentacles are in large clusters, cut them in half. Transfer the squid to a small plate, pour the sherry over it and mix well. If you do not want to use sherry, then of course replace it with lemon juice, but first grate the lemon with a fine grater on a small plate. Drop the squid while you’re dealing with the beans.
2. Empty the contents of the jar or cans of beans into a colander, rinse thoroughly with cold running water, then drain (it doesn’t matter if they have some water left) and pour into a serving dish or shallow bowl. bring them and the squid to a bowl and stove large enough to fit them in later.
3. Pour 3 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil into a wok-like pan (or a wide, shallow casserole) and if you haven’t grate the lemon zest yet, now finely grate the zest and Peel the Garlic, then mince or grate. Add 1⁄2 teaspoons cayenne pepper and sweet smoked paprika and heat over low heat, stirring often, about a minute or until oil begins to sizzle aromatically.
4. Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring, for another minute, then add the beans (with a few tablespoons of the water collected in the dish) and stir in the pan until they turn fiery red, oiling it very, very gently. If you’ve drained your beans very efficiently, you may need to get a few tablespoons of water from the tap. Sprinkle with salt, mix lightly one last time (the beans coming out of the jar are incredibly soft and you don’t want to mash them). Increase the heat slightly, clamp the lid and let them cook for 3 minutes, by this time they should be fully warmed up.
5. After the beans are heated, transfer them back to the serving plate and keep them by the stove ready to integrate with the squid.
6. Pour the remaining 2 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil into the pan, add 1⁄4 teaspoon of chili flakes and turn the heat to high. Squeeze the squid pieces onto the plate they are in, then drop them into the hot chilled oil and cook for 3 minutes or until they are fully cooked and opaque, stirring almost often. Do not cook them beyond this point or they will harden. Pour off the sherry (or lemon) and squid juices on the plate, don’t worry about the slight gray color they may have; even if the squid is cleaned, you usually get some ink.
7. Once this is bubbling, turn the heat back up to medium-low and scrape the beans from their bowls into the skillet above the squid. Stir gently and taste to see if it needs lemon. If you used lemon juice to soften the squid, I’m sure not, but if you soaked the squid in sherry, you can add a tablespoon at the end. Add more salt if needed.
8. Return to serving platter, drizzle over as you see fit or drizzle with extra virgin olive oil, sprinkle with some sweet smoked paprika and serve immediately.
Cook, Eat, Repeat: Ingredients, Recipes and Stories by Nigella Lawson. Copyright 2021 by Nigella Lawson. Quoted with permission from Ecco, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.
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