Thursday, May 21, 2015

Sauteed Calamari with Jalapeno, Cilantro, and Lime

When people hear "calamari", they think battered and fried diet saboteurs.  But it has a bad rep!  Calamari can be delicious AND super healthy when grilled or sauteed with minimal added oil.

And, don't get me wrong- I LOVE some me deep-fried calamari, especially if it's done properly.  And I've even made it myself (done properly, of course ;-)).  But for a weeknight, it doesn't make the cut in the health department.

This time around I sauteed a bag of pre-cut rings.  You can also buy the bag with mixed rings and tentacles, or the whole pieces and cut them yourself.  Make sure to clean and remove any hard pieces of cartilage or whatever it is that is sometimes still in the whole pieces.

I had a cast-iron skillet to use this time, and it really did make a difference for the better.  Can't wait until we're not moving all over the place so that my kitchen can be fully stocked with all of the goodies I want.  You can use a different kind of skillet still- it'll just be very difficult to get the nice crisp browning without overcooking.  But they don't need to be brown.

You can also grill these.  I've done them in a grill basket before with great results.  In that case, add the lime juice and cilantro after you've put the grilled calamari into a non-holey dish. ;-)

What you need:

2 teaspoons coconut oil
1 pound calamari, cut into rings
1 jalapeno, sliced and seeds removed unless you like it hot
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
juice of one lime
salt and pepper to taste

Start by squeezing the excess moisture out of your calamari.  Literally squeezing with (multiple) paper towel.  This is very important!  Too much liquid will make it hard to get a sear on them.

Next, heat a large cast-iron skillet over high heat.  Add the coconut oil.  Once the oil is hot, add the calamari rings.  Saute for 1-2 minutes, stirring frequently.  Add the jalapeno.  Continue to saute for another 1-2 minutes, or until complelely opaque.  You may not get any color on your rings depending on how hot your stove gets and what kind of pan you use.  Do not overcook.  Remove from heat and add cilantro and lime juice.  Season with salt and pepper, if desired- I added salt to mine once it was on my plate, husband waved it away.

I served mine over a bed of greens and chopped tomato with a Roasted Red Pepper Sauce on the side (see below for that recipe).

Roasted Red Pepper Sauce:

1 roasted red pepper, seeds and stem removed (I left the skin on)
1 cup Greek yogurt
juice of 1/2 lime
4-5 cloves roasted garlic
pinch of salt

Puree all ingredients in a blender or food processor.  That's it!

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