RECIPE: Marco Polo Squid

Marco Polo Squid

Note: Once the squid and vegetables are prepped, it' not too hard to make the squid and the pasta at the same time (in two separate pots of course).

1 lb. cleaned squid
2 carrots
1 jalapeno
1/2 cup frozen peas
1 bunch white asparagus
1 red bell pepper

3 cloves garlic, chopped well
1/2 t. red pepper flakes
zest of 1 lime
1/4. c. chicken broth
1/4 c. sherry
1/4 c. light brown sugar
1/4 c. rice wine vinegar
2 T. Asian fish sauce (nam pla)
1 T. cornstarch mixed with 2 T. water

handful of fresh cilantro chopped

Prepare the squid. Cut off the long stringy things from the tentacle rings but leave the rings intact.  Open up the body of each squid so you have a nice flat triangle.  Wipe off any gooey stuff. One at a time, lay the squid sheets insides facing up on a cutting board and score each with a nice fine cross hatch pattern. Careful not to cut all the way through. Then slice into 1" strips, cut on the bias so the cross hatch pattern is on the diagonal.  

Peel the carrots and cut into decorative flower shaped disks.  Use an apple corer to make perfect circles of red pepper. Cut the jalapeno into fine dice. Slice off the 3" of the asparagus tips, then slice the remaining stalks into 1/4" pieces.

Get a big pot of water boiling. Add the squid, it'll turn white right away, leave in just 30 seconds then fish out with a strainer, shaking off all the water. Set aside.

Blanch the asparagus tips in the boiling water for 3 minutes, then remove.

Cook the carrots, peppers, pes and asparagus slices the boiling water, drain.

In a heavy bottom pot, add the garlic, red pepper flakes, lime zest, broth, sherry, brown sugar, vinegar, fish sauce.  Bring to a boil and reduce until there's only about 1/4 cup remaining.  Add the cornstarch and water mixture, stir and cook until you have a nice thick sauce.  Add in the cooked squid and mixed vegetables, stirring to coat everything well with the thick sauce. Keep warm.

The Pasta Base
1 lb orzo
1/2 c. home made pesto sauce

Boil the orzo 'til al dente (9 minutes) drain and toss with pesto.

To Assemble

Spoon the orzo with pesto into a serving bowl, making a ring with a deep center.  Arrange the asparagus tips (already blanched, from above) in a spoke pattern on top of the pasta.  Carefully spoon in the warm squid mixture. 

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Written by on March 21, 2010 under ALL RECIPES.

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