Chunks of Cuttlefish in Sauce
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Cuttlefish with Sauce
Tunisia
  -   Soubia Bil Jelbana
Serves:
Effort:
Sched:
DoAhead:  
4 main  
***
1-1/2 hrs  
Most

This delicious recipe will surely get comments, because cuttlefish dishes are not often seen in North America. Cuttlefish are not native to the Americas. They are, however, very popular in North Africa and Mediterranean Europe. They are easily available in Southern California, found all nicely cleaned and skinned in the frozen food cases of Asian markets.




1-1/2
8
2
3
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2
1/2
8
1-1/2
2/3
1/3
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4
1
1
2
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#
oz
cl
T
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t
T
oz
c
t
t
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oz
c
t
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Cuttlefish (1)
Onion
Garlic
Olive Oil
-- Sauce
Paprika
Turmeric
Tomato Sauce (2)  
Water
Salt
Pepper
-- Finish
Chili Anaheim (3)  
Frozen Peas
Cumin seed
Parsley, flat
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Make   -   (1-1/2 hrs - 40 min work)
  1. Clean and pull apart Cuttlefish as needed (for details see Note-1 and our Cuttlefish page). Cut into pieces as desired - about 1 inch random squares is good. For large Indo-Pacific Cuttlefish, use also the fins, and the small parts that feel "plasticy" raw will be fine too.
  2. Bring a pot of water to a boil, stir in Cuttlefish, bring back to a boil and simmer 5 minutes. Drain.
  3. Quarter ONION lengthwise and slice thin crosswise. Crush GARLIC and chop medium. Mix.
  4. In a spacious sauté pan, heat Olive Oil. Stir in Onion mix and Cuttlefish. Fry over moderate heat, stirring until onions are lightly browned.
  5. Stir in Paprika and Turmeric, then immediately take off the heat.
  6. Sir in Tomato Sauce, Salt, Pepper and 1-1/2 c Water. Bring to a boil, cover tightly and simmer over low heat for about 30 minutes or until cuttlefish is tender.
  7. Meanwhile:   Blast the CHILI black with your Propane Torch. Brush off the skin under running water.
  8. Cut Chili into slices about 1/4 inch wide by 3/4 inch long. Grind Cumin fine. Chop PARSLEY small. Mix all together with Frozen Peas.
  9. When Cuttlefish is tender, and you are nearly ready to serve, stir in Finish mix and simmer 4 minutes longer. Stir in a little boiling water if needed to loosen the sauce. You don't want to do this ahead as the peas will lose their bright green color, but the taste will still be fine on reheating.
  10. Serve hot with Flat Bread or Couscous (authentic) or Rice (not authentic, but it works fine). See also Note-3 for buffet service.
NOTES:
  1. Cuttlefish:   Weight is for whole, cleaned, boned and skinned Indo-Pacific cuttlefish. 1-1/2 pounds will yield 1 pound of body meat. The pattern recipe says to use only the bodies, but here in California, we've already violated authenticity by using meaty Indo-Pacific Cuttlefish rather than unavailable European Cuttlefish, so go ahead and toss in the head meat and tentacles if you like - a little more cuttlefish won't hurt this recipe at all. On the plus side, the cuttlefish we get here is all cleaned and ready to slice up for the recipe. For details see our Cuttlefish page.
  2. Tomato Sauce:   Use a very simple tomato sauce without strong seasonings. I use Faraon brand "Spanish style" which comes in convenient 8 ounce cans, but other simple sauces will work.
  3. Chili Anaheim:   This is the "long green" chili sold here in Southern California. It may be called "New Mexico" or just "Long Green" in other regions. It is a rather mild chili. For details see our Chili Page.
  4. Service:   This recipe is written up for table service. For buffet service, I'd make two or three recipes, keeping the pieces of cuttlefish no larger than 1 inch, and toss in Tomatoes (skinned and diced 1/2 inch) and/or cooked 3/4 inch Potato Cubes (white rose are good). About 12 ounces of each per recipe will do. With potatoes you'll also want more sauce, so make about 1-1/3 times what is called for above. The pattern recipe suggests these additions, so I presume they're sufficiently authentic.
  5. Comments:   The pattern recipe is a bit confused. It clearly calls for "Cuttlefish", yet in the steps it describes "cuttlefish pouches", but cuttlefish doesn't come in pouches. What's in the step photos looks like squid, but the photo of the finished dish (a fancy restaurant serving) shows very thick pieces that are surely Cuttlefish.
  6. U.S. measure: t=teaspoon, T=Tablespoon, c=cup, qt=quart, oz=ounce, #=pound, cl=clove ",in=inch, ar=as required tt=to taste
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