This Warm Squid and Potato Salad recipe, a guest post by my eldest daughter, is a Basque-inspired recipe with Spanish and French influences. My husband was based in Barcelona for a number of years, and when we visited him, our family fell in love with Spanish food, especially tapas. In Singapore however, it has been surprisingly difficult to find good Spanish food. Santi at Marina Bay Sands was one of the few, but sadly it had to close down not long after its founding chef had a heart attack. My family’s current favourite by the way is Binomio at Craig Road where we celebrated my youngest daughter’s birthday this year (you MUST try their squid masquerading as Kway Teow – so tender and savoury that you will remember the dish for a long time to come!)
Our love affair with Spanish food was re-ignited after my eldest daughter prepared a ‘Spanish Fiesta’ themed feast for the family, inspired by her holiday to the French Basque country – a melting pot of French and Spanish influences featuring lots of seafood because it is after all a coastal region with seafood aplenty! You will be amazed, like we were, at how well squid and potatoes go together – because this does not happen in Chinese-Canto cuisine which is our family’s staple. This beautiful combination of juicy succulent squid cooked to ‘just-done’ perfection and nicely-browned fluffy potatoes bursting with flavours of the French Basque Country will surely whet your appetite and delight all your senses.
The trick in making this warm squid and potato salad dish a stunning success takes just a small dose of determination – first to learn how to clean the squid (see my tutorial here) and secondly, to restrain yourself from flipping the potatoes too often (they won’t be nicely browned underneath if you keep flipping them)!
Here’s the recipe for our family’s Warm Squid and Potato Salad to jazz up your Christmas feast with some French Basque Country flavours to tease your palate!
Suggested Modifications for Special Diets
- Child-Friendly: Finally a salad that contains no raw vegetables (which my 3-year-old grandson – foodie that he is – still hates)! Kids will love this combination of savoury squid rings and fluffy potatoes.
- Egg-Free: No modifications needed.
- Fish-Free: No modifications needed.
- Gluten-Free: No modifications needed.
- Nut-free: No modifications needed.
- Wash and peel the potatoes. Cut into quarters.
- Wash, peel and chop the onion into strips.
- Slice the chorizo diagonally to elongate the surface of each slice.
Wash the squid and remove the spine, mouth, eye, dirt sac and ink sac. You may choose to peel off the skin or leave it on depending on your preference. (See my video demonstrating the easiest and quickest way to clean squid!)
In a medium pot, boil the potatoes until fork tender, then drain.
In a non-stick pan, add 3 TBsp of oil over medium heat. Add the potatoes in a single layer. Remove when browned.
Starting with a clean pan over medium heat, add 2 TBsp of oil and the sliced onions. When the onions start to caramelise, add in the chorizo and fry for 2-3 minutes.
- Remove the onions and chorizo from the pan.
Immediately add in 1 TBsp butter into the pan at medium heat. It should start to sizzle. Immediately add in 3-4 squid bodies, and fry for about 3-4 minutes on each side. The squid should be nicely browned on both sides while the inside is still slightly moist and translucent (3/4 cooked).
- Add more butter, and repeat with the remaining squid bodies, reserving the tentacles for the final batch (they crisp extra nicely!)
Use a pair of scissors to cut the squid bodies into 2 inch pieces
Add a dash of white wine to deglaze the pan used to fry the squid.
Then add back the onions, chorizo, potatoes and squid and mix well to soak up the glaze, or until the squid is fully cooked (2-4 minutes).
Transfer the contents to a serving plate and garnish with dill.
Optional: mix in rocket leaves and dress with a dash of lemon juice.
- To get nicely browned potatoes, spread them in a single layer and don’t turn them until the edges start to brown.
- To increase the surface area of crisp potato, try this: after draining the potatoes, cover the pot and shake it vigorously to create a “crumbly” potato surface. This makes the potatoes extra fluffy.
- To get browned squid without overcooking, use a heavy pan that’s well heated through by Step 3 above.
- It is very important to add in the squid IMMEDIATELY into the sizzling butter, otherwise the butter will get burnt.
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