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Monday, July 18, 2011

Calamari Steak and Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes with Talbott Chardonnay

I never even knew that calamari steak existed until I moved to Monterey. Now it has become one of those things I do not know if I could live without having every once in a while. I grew up with a lot of chicken fried steak, and I have to say that I like this a whole lot better.

This recipe is super easy to make and it is a shame I waited so long to cook this myself. In addition, calamari is low in calories and fat. This recipe does have a fair amount of oil and butter, but at least you are beginning with something that by itself is very healthy

Since a lot of calamari is caught in Monterey, calamari steak is very easy to find here. I have no idea if this is
 something other Whole Food locations or fish markets carry. I would love to know as we are moving in six months and I will still want to make this. This is what they look like:

WINE: 2007 Talbott Chardonnay, Sleepy Hollow Vineyard, Santa Lucia Highlands (Monterey)

Talbott Vineyards only make Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. And they do it very well. The Sleepy Hollow Chardonnay boasts pineapple with a little honey and vanilla on nose. Very silky, subtle lemon notes mingle with tropical fruit and butterscotch on the palate. This Chardonnay is awesome, but one with more buttery notes would fair even better with this dish.

RECIPE: Calamari Steak
Servings: 2

• 2 calamari steaks, pounded thin if not so already
• Salt and pepper, to taste
• 1/3 cup flour
• 1 egg, beaten
• ½ cup Italian bread crumbs
• ~4 tbsp olive oil, divided
• 1 shallot bulb, thinly sliced
• 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
• ¼ cup white wine
• 1 tbsp butter
• 1 tbsp capers
• ½ tbsp lemon juice

1. Heat a small pan over medium heat for sauce. Add 1 ½ tbsp olive oil.
2. Heat a large pan (cast iron works well) over medium high heat for calamari steaks. Coat bottom of pan with olive oil. Amount depends on size of pan.
3. Begin cooking shallots for 2-3 minutes in small pan.
4. Add garlic to shallots. Cook for another minute or two.
5. Set up a station with flour on one plate or in shallow dish, egg in another plate or shallow dish, and breadcrumbs on a third plate or shallow dish.

6. Sprinkle salt and pepper over both sides of calamari.
7. Dip both sides of calamari in flour.
8. Dip both sides of calamari in egg.
9. Dip both sides of calamari in breadcrumbs.
10. Add calamari to large pan. Flip after 1 ½ minutes when bottom is browned. Repeat on other side. These will cook quickly. Remove from pan when finished.
11. Add white wine to shallots and garlic. Turn up heat for one minute.
12. Reduce heat. Add butter, capers and lemon juice. Stir. When butter is melted, sauce is finished. Spoon sauce over calamari steak.

RECIPE: Roasted Garlic Red Potatoes
Servings: 3

• 12-15 cloves of roasted mashed garlic, see below
• 1 lb. small red potatoes
• 1/3 cup half-n-half
• 2 tbsp butter
• ½ tsp salt, or more to taste
• ¼ tsp pepper, or more to taste.

1. Bring a large pot of water to boil.
2. Quarter potatoes and add to pot.
3. Boil for ~15 minutes or until a fork slides easily in and out.
4. Drain.
5. In a large bowl, use a mixer and mix together potatoes with garlic, half-n-half, butter, salt and pepper.

Techniques for Roasting Garlic.

You can roast whole heads of garlic or garlic that is already peeled. I tend to buy already peeled garlic, so roast it more that way. Roasted garlic is much more mellow, so you want to use more than you would if it was unroasted. You can do this ahead of time and use in a variety of things!

Roasting Peeled Garlic
1. Heat oven to 350°F.
2. Place peeled garlic in center of aluminum foil and drizzle olive oil on top.
3. Wrap foil around garlic in a tight package.
4. Bake for 30-45 minutes until garlic is easily mashed with a fork.

Roasting a Whole Head of Garlic
1. Heat oven to 350°F.
2. Chop off the top ~1/2 inch of the garlic head. This helps you to remove the garlic once roasted.
3. Place garlic in a shallow pan.
4. Drizzle with olive oil.
5. Seal pan with aluminum foil.
6. Bake for ~45 minutes until garlic is soft enough to be easily mashed with a fork.
7. Squeeze head to remove garlic.

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