Delicious Chocolate....Squid?

Bet you've never thought of putting chocolate on squid!

Even the most extreme chocolate lover might pale at the thought of chocolate squid... or squid in general. Here in the United States, we tend to call squid "calamari," which gives it a nice foreign sound and means we don't have to think too much about what we're eating (and it doesn't hurt when we slather it in butter, either!).

Overseas, though, especially in Asian countries, squid is a common part of many meals. On the other hand, chocolate squid is a phenomenon unique to the San Francisco Chronicle, circa 1992.

Who Eats Squid?

Lots of people eat squid. You can get it raw in sushi and sashimi (something like chomping on a rubber band), eat the tentacles (suckers and all) or even use the ink in certain recipes. Yes, the ink. If you're ever visiting Japan and see a bowl of what looks like spaghetti with black sauce, you're staring into a bowl of squid ink!

So who puts chocolate on it again?

Try it... if You Dare!

This recipe apparently originated with Jayne Benet in the San Francisco Chronicle, March 18, 1992. Do you have what it takes to become a real chocolate extremist? Go on, give it a try... we dare you!

1 lb Squid, cleaned, dried
1/2 lb Ground pork
Olive oil
1 Onion, finely diced
1 sm Carrot, finely diced
2 Garlic cloves, minced
2 Parsley sprigs, minced
1/4 c Bread crumbs
1/2 c Pine nuts, lightly toasted
Salt, pepper
1 c Fish, shellfish or chicken-stock
1/2 c Dry white wine
10 to 12 almonds, blanched, roasted
1 oz Lbarra brand chocolate, coarsely grated (see note)
2 sl Fried crustless French bread - not sourdough

Adapted from "Catalan Cuisine" by Colman Andrews.

Remove heads and tentacles from squid and set bodies aside. Mince heads and tentacles, then mix well with the ground pork (may use a food processor).

Heat about 1/2 inch of olive oil in a cassola (like a cazuela, the straight-sided pottery vessel used for paella and other dishes in Spain) or large skillet and sauté the onion, carrot, garlic and parsley in it until the onions are wilted; add the pork mixture, crumbs and half the pine nuts, mixing together well and cooking until the meat is well done. Season to taste with salt and pepper, then remove mixture from pan and drain on paper towels or in a colander.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

When the pork mixture is cool, lightly stuff the reserved squid bodies with it (do not overstuff, or the squid will shrink and tear during cooking). Bake the squid in a single layer, uncovered, in a lightly oiled baking dish for about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, deglaze the cassola with the stock and wine, simmering until it is reduced by about half. While the liquid reduces, put the almonds, remaining pine nuts, chocolate and fried bread in a mortar and pound with a pestle until finely ground, then moisten with a bit of the liquid to make a thick paste (it must be fine, without grainy texture). Add this mixture to the reduced liquid, stir in well, return to the boil and season to taste. Pour over the stuffed squid, or spoon onto serving plates and set the squid on top of the sauce.

Note: lbarra chocolate is sweetened and flavored with almonds and cinnamon and is available in many markets in the Bay Area