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Shrimp, Scallops and Stuffed Squid

Shrimp, Scallops and Stuffed Squid
Bountiful seafood dishes like this one are traditionally served on Christmas Eve in Italian households. The squid can be stuffed and refrigerated several hours before cooking, and the sauce can be made the morning of the dinner.

Ingredients:

For the shrimp:

  • 36 large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 2 tsp. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

For the scallops:

  • 18 sea scallops
  • 1 tsp. fine sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp. unsalted butter
  • 2 1/2 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup dry white wine
  • 1 tsp. balsamic vinegar

For the squid:

  • 18 small squid, each 3 to 4 inches long, cleaned
  • 6 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 large shallots, minced
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh basil
  • 1 can (28 oz.) plum tomatoes, coarsely chopped,
     with juices
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 yellow onion, minced
  • 4 cups chopped spinach
  • 1/4 cup fresh bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup minced prosciutto

Directions:

To prepare the shrimp, in a bowl, combine the shrimp, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt, black pepper and red pepper flakes. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Preheat a broiler. Remove the shrimp from the marinade, reserving the marinade, and lay them on a broiler pan. Broil 4 to 5 inches from the heat source, brushing twice with the marinade, until opaque throughout, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer to a warmed platter and sprinkle with the parsley.

To prepare the scallops, dry them well and season with the salt and black pepper. In a large fry pan over medium-high heat, melt the butter with the olive oil. When hot, add the scallops and sear, turning once, until golden, about 30 seconds per side. Pour in the wine and scrape up any browned bits. Add the vinegar and turn the scallops once more to cook through, about 1 minute total. Transfer to a warmed platter.

To prepare the squid, pat the whole bodies dry and mince the tentacles; set aside.

In a large saucepan over medium heat, warm 2 Tbs. of the olive oil. Add the shallots and sauté until translucent, about 4 minutes. Add half of the basil and the tomatoes and their juice and cook, stirring occasionally, until thick, about 20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and stir in the remaining basil. Set the sauce aside.

In a fry pan over medium-high heat, warm 2 Tbs. of the olive oil. Add the onion and sauté until nearly translucent, about 2 minutes. Add the spinach and stir until wilted, about 2 minutes. Add the tentacles and bread crumbs and stir until the tentacles are opaque and the crumbs are lightly golden, about 4 minutes more. Stir in the prosciutto, season with salt and black pepper, and let cool. Pack 2 to 3 tsp. into each squid body and close with a toothpick.

In a large fry pan over medium heat, warm the remaining 2 Tbs. olive oil. Add the stuffed squid in a single layer and sauté, turning as needed, just until opaque, 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a warmed platter. Reheat the sauce and pour over the squid, serving the extra alongside. Serve all the seafood at once either on a single, large platter or on separate platters. Serves 6.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma, Christmas Entertaining, by Georgeanne Brennan (Simon & Schuster, 2005).