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Saturday, September 7, 2013

Chipirone (tiny squid) Salad with Arugula, Grilled Padron Peppers, Grilled Pineapple, Tomatoes & Cucumbers

Chipirones a la plancha are one of my many favorite Spanish dishes

My friend for life, Rocio 
Chipirones are very small squid, one of the smallest in the sea, and I am crazy about them grilled with garlic and a little salt. 

My friend Rocio lives near Bilbao, in Euskadi, the Basque Country in the foothills of the Pyrenees. On a recent visit we decided to make a dinner salad with grilled chipirones and it was delicious!

It's not so easy to find these small squid here, so the next time I made the salad I used regular squid cut into 1/2" circles. The most important thing about cooking squid is the cooking time. I made this salad for my niece Belle, and the squid was too chewy.  I'll update this recipe when I get the exact cooking time for the squid.

Pimientons de Padron (Padron Peppers) are scrumptious peppers from Galica,Spain. You often see them sold as tapas throughout Spain, grilled and sprinkled with course salt. Pimientons de Padron are not easy to find in Manhattan, but they can sometimes be found in Whole Foods or the Union Square Green Market.  We often substitute shishito peppers, which can be found in some Asian Markets (especially Japanese or Korean markets).

Just because it isn't super easy to find some of the ingredients for this salad in this country, it's not impossible, and it's easy enough to find delicious substitutes

Note:  When grilling squid  don't cook it for more than 2 to 3 minutes. If you cook it longer and you want to retenderize it, you have to cook it for a lot longer, maybe even 1/2 hour - anything in between will taste like rubber. 

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