Kalamaria is a very popular dish in Greece and Cyprus, especially during Lent when seafood is allowed to be eaten.  Although we can eat all sorts of delicious food during Lent I find it difficult to cook dried legumes or just vegetables on Sundays as Ι have always connected  Sunday cooking with meat dishes.

During the past weeks I have made kalamari a couple of times, both fried and stuffed.

Although I have used fresh kalamari, frozen works just as well but you’ll have to thaw it overnight. If you get fresh kalamari, which we usually do in Greece, you will have to clean it first.

Fried Kalamari or Calamari (squid) plural kalamaria is a very popular dish, served in all Greek restaurants in Greece and abroad.  In order to cook fried kalamari at home and make it just like the ones you get in a restaurant there are a few things you should know.   I remember when I was younger the first times I attempted to make them, they turned out rubbery not to mention the mess in the kitchen when they would burst and oil was scattered everywhere in the kitchen.  Thank God those days were over when my sister, who owned a restaurant and now her son has three restaurants in Limassol, visited me in Greece many years ago.

You will find the recipe in my cookbook «Mint, Cinnamon & Blossom Water, Flavours of Cyprus, Kopiaste!»

Stuffed Kalamaria are also one of the dishes I prepare during Lent and although I posted this recipe last year, a lot have changed in the way I cook, so I have changed that recipe by adding more ingredients such as mushrooms and fresh herbs.   It tasted heavenly.

 

Kalamaria Gemista me Manitaria (Stuffed Squid with mushrooms) – Recipe by Ivy

Preparation time: 30 minutes

Cooking time:45 minutes

Serves:3- 4

Ingredients:

10

Medium

Kalamaria

½

Cup

Olive oil, divided

1

Medium

onion, finely copped

2

Cloves

Garlic, finely chopped

3

Spring onions, only the white,finely chopped

5

Medium

Button mushrooms, finely chopped

1

Can

(500 grams) whole tomatoes, blended  with 1 tbsp tomato paste and divided

½

Cup

Water

140

Grams

Rice Carolina or glace (similar to Arborio)

½

Cup

White dry wine

1

Sprig

Fresh oregano, finely chopped

2

Sprigs

Fresh thyme, finely chopped

1

cup

Parsley, finely chopped

1

tsp

Salt

Freshly ground black pepper

1

Tbsp

Raisins or craisins (I used craisins)

Directions

1.

Clean and wash the kalamari and remove and cut tentacles in small pieces.

2.

Heat half the olive oil in a skillet and sauté the onions and garlic until translucent.

3.

Then add the mushrooms and sauté for a few minutes and then add the oregano and thyme.

4.

Add the tentacles and sauté as well.

5.

Then add the rice and sauté for a few minutes and add the wine and keep mixing until the alcohol evaporates.

6.

Add 1/3 of the tomato and water and season with salt and pepper.

7.

Keep mixing constantly until the water is absorbed.Finally mix in the parsley and craisins and set aside to cool.

8.

Stuff the kalamari and secure opening with a toothpick. Place in a Pyrex, add remaining tomato and the remaining olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

9.

Preheat oven at 180o C and bake for 45 minutes – 1 hour, (depending on the size of the kalamari), turning once.

Notes: If you have leftover filling, wrap it in aluminum foil and put it in the dish with the kalamari.

Update 28 February, 2012

Stuffed short fin squids.

Kalamaria (Squids) are expensive but there are other alternatives like short fin squids (thrapsala), which are twice cheaper but equally delicious.

Using the the freshest seafood and a few ingredients makes all the difference.

Thrapsala 2 short fin squid ready to be baked

A minor change I made to this recipe was not to add white dry wine in the rice but added a good Greek red wine (1/2 cup), together roasted garlic, mint, parsley and tomato on top.  It produced a more robust flavour, which I prefer and will adopt in the future.   I had some leftover filling which I used to stuffed some red onions.  I used some red onions that’s why they are so dark.  You can see how to prepare the onions here.

 

See also:

How to clean Kalamaria

Kopiaste and Kali Orexi,

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Χωρίς σχόλια on Kalamaria or Thrapsala Tiganita or Gemista (Fried or Stuffed Kalamari)

  1. Ο/Η Rosa λέει:

    Both dishes look fantastic! I would gladly take a plate of each!

    Cheers and have a great weekend,

    Rosa xoxo

  2. Ο/Η Happy Cook λέει:

    I have only had fried squid and i loved it.
    Never had the filles ones, would love to have a taste from them as they look so yumm.

  3. Ο/Η Happy Cook λέει:

    Forgot to say your pic is really beautiful.

  4. Ο/Η deeba λέει:

    The only time I tried Kalamari was in Sydney, & they were yum. You’ve made a neat load of the stuffed ones too Ivy, WOW!!

  5. Ο/Η heart n soul λέει:

    absolutely mouthwatering pics, I’d do anything for a plate of kalamarakia right now:)

  6. Ο/Η pixen λέει:

    yummy… i love squid. Have you tried Brown Squid? It’s made from soaking dried Squid in lye water (or baking soda with water… that I haven’t have infos). The soaking liquid is changed several times until the dried squid becomes larger than it’s dried form (expanded) and wobbly (due to the lye water.) The soaked squid can be used in cooking and also as salad. Occasionally, I crave for it but I still prefer the fresh calamaris :-) Back in my mom’s hometown, they stuffed it with glutinous rice and then cook it in curry or sambal.

  7. Ο/Η Ivy
    Twitter:
    λέει:

    Pixen, unfortunately I’ve never heard of Brown Squid before but it sounds interesting.

  8. Ο/Η Bellini Valli λέει:

    The sttuffed squid looks especially delicious. Remind me to tell you of the time I went squid jigging off the coast of the province of Newfoundland and having ink in my hair.

  9. Ο/Η Peter λέει:

    The fried kalamarakia…standard – love them and you did them well but your stuffed kalamaria and the pics with the filling exposed…to die for!

  10. Ο/Η Psychgrad λέει:

    I would really like to try making squid at home. R isn’t open to it at this point, but I think he would change his tune if I served it to him.

    So many recipes…so little time.

    Psychgrad’s last blog post..Fear of Pork

  11. [...] Kalamaria Tiganita (fried) and Gemista (stuffed) [...]

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