For years (since 1980), my family has been coming to Nea Kallikratia for our summer vacations. Here in Toronto, people head north to their cottages to spend the summers but us…we just go to Greece!
The Psarotaverna (seafood tavern) where my family & friends’ frequent is called Kapetan Giakoumis and it operates summer & winter and patronized by Greeks and tourists alike for it’s fresh, local seafood and affordable prices.
I don’t think anyone’s paid more than 20 euros (per person) for an array of seafood appetizers and lots of Tsipouro.
Each year that I visit Greece I see new dishes, new takes on classics and I’m all too happy to share these food experiences with you all.
In Greece, “dinner” is eaten late and whenever we go out ( 9 or 10pm), our tables are surrounded by Greeks, as the tourists dine early.
Today’s feature is a souvlaki made from calamari. I’ve seen this done before but what struck me this time was the simplicity and beauty of the presentation.
What “Giakoumis” did was to simply cut the squid then skewer the pieces to reform the shape of the squid’s body with alternating coloured peppers and sweet red onions. Brilliant!
There are two paths you can take with this dish: one is to use smaller squids and serve them up as appetizers or go the entree route and use larger squid for each plating.
I’ve taken the latter approach, using one large squid per person. I do love calamarai, be it poached or fried but when it’s grilled, it takes on a whole new dimension…it’s my favourite.
Try Calamari Souvlaki…charred calamari, tender to the bite that’s balanced by crunchy and sweet peppers and onions between each bite!
Calamari Souvlaki (ÎšÎ±Î»Î±Î¼Î¬ÏÎ¹Î± Î£Î¿Ï…Î²Î»Î¬ÎºÎ¹)
1 whole squid, cleaned and cut into equal pieces
wooden skewers (soaked in water overnight)
some red onion (cut to the size of squid pieces)
red, yellow and green peppers (cut to the size of squid)
minced garlic (or garlic powder)
dry Greek oregano
- Even using wooden skewers, soak them the night before so that when they hit the grill, they don’t burn away or…use metal skewers like I did today.
- After you’ve cleaned your squid, the cut it up in equal pieces but remember to keep the pieces in the sequence of the squid’s body.
- Start skewering the squid, starting from the tail and finishing at the other end with the tentacles, with you alternating a piece of onion or pepper in between each squid segment.
- Once you’ve skewered your squid and vegetables, marinate them by first drizzling olive oil, splash of balsamic vinegar, minced garlic, black peppers, a little sea salt ( more later) and some Greek oregano. Allow the calamari to marinade for 1 hour room temperature.
- Pre-heat your gas or charcoal grill until you have a medium-high heat. You should be able to count up to five when you put you hand above the grill (before it gets to hot).
- Now season your calamari with sea salt and before grilling, ensure you’ve brushed your grill when and that you’ve treated it with some vegetable oil (this will prevent sticking).
- Grill your squid for about a couple of minutes on each side (until charred) and keep turning the skewers until all sides have that char-grilled look.
- Drizzle with good olive oil, squeeze some fresh lemon juice and sprinkle some dried Greek oregano.
- Serve hot with a salad, rice pilaf and some crusty bread.
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