Stuffed Squid with Chorizo, Piquillo Pepper, Black Olives & Basil Oil


I know. It looks fussy, doesn’t it? A fancy-shmancy tapas. I just wanted to have a little fun with the presentation because, well.. that’s what chefs do. In essence though, this is a pretty basic dish. Take a few squid, clean the suckers, chop some chorizo, onions, garlic, the tentacles of the aforementioned suckers and give it a good sautee in some Spanish olive oil. Add some bread crumbs to bind the mixture, a touch of piment d’espelette and fresh herbs and you’ve got a really tasty stuffing. Who said that cooking was difficult? .. You! ..In my office.. Now!

Squid are meant to be stuffed. Just look at ’em! They’re silly and unfortunate-looking creatures but we’re not here to feel sorry for squid-kind. We have our own problems so go ahead.. stuff the suckers like you don’t care. Seal the openings with a toothpick. Fry the stuffed tails in a small amount of Spanish olive oil, turning gently, until golden in color and you’ve got a really nice tapas. Don’t eat the toothpick, though. It hurts.

stuffed-squid-2 stuffed-squid-3 stuffed-squid-4 stuffed-squid-5 stuffed-squid-6 stuffed-squid-8

To stay with the Basque/Spanish theme, i made a puree of piquillo pepper to serve with. I also kept some of the tentacles and fried them at the last minute because, well.. who doesn’t like a good fried calamari? For the rest, use your imagination.. or look at the pictures.


  • Stuffed Squid with Chorizo, Piquillo Pepper, Black Olives & Basil Oil

  • Serves 4 to 6
  • stuffed-squid-10
    • For the stuffed squid:
    • 12 medium-sized squid + tentacles, cleaned
    • 1 medium onion, chopped
    • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
    • 1 teaspoon chopped thyme
    • 8 ounces chorizo, finely diced
    • salt & piment d’espelette, to taste
    • Spanish olive oil
    • 2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts, chopped
    • 2 or 3 tablespoons bread crumbs
    • fresh herbs, chopped
    • For the piquillo pepper coulis:
    • 6 piquillo peppers, roasted, peeled and chopped
    • 1 small onion, thinly sliced
    • 1 clove garlic, smashed
    • 1 tablespoon Spanish olive oil
    • 1/2 cup chicken stock
    • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
    • salt & pepper to taste
    • to serve:
    • cockles
    • basil oil
    • black olives
    • basil leaves
    • fried tentacles
    • For the stuffed squid:


    • Heat the olive oil in a medium saute pan, add the chorizo and cook until it start to brown around the edges. Meanwhile, chop finely half the tentacles and add to the pan with the chorizo. Stir. Add the onions, the garlic, the thyme and cook over medium-low heat for 5 minutes. Stir occasionally. Add the bread crumbs, the chopped pine nuts, the herbs and stir. Season with salt and piment d’espelette to taste. Let it cool.
    • Stuff the squid with the mixture but do not overfill or they will break during cooking. Secure the top with a toothpick and refrigerate until ready to cook.
    • Heat some olive oil in a sautee pan over medium-low heat. Sprinkle some piment d’espelette over the squid and add to the pan. Cook gently for about 3 minutes on each side. You can finish cooking in a moderate oven.
      For the piquillo pepper coulis:
    • In a small saucepan, heat the olive oil and add the onions and the garlic. Cook for 2 minutes, until soft. Add the chopped piquillo peppers. Add the chicken stock, the heavy cream and bring to a boil for 2 or 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Place in the bowl of a mixer and blend until smooth. Keep warm.
    • To Serve:
    • Toss the leftover tentacles in flour and fry in canola oil. Drain on paper towels and season with salt. Spoon some piquillo pepper coulis in the center of the plate. Add a drizzle of basil oil. Place the stuffed squid on top. Garnish with cockles, olives and basil leaves.
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  • Sean

    ZOMG yum … this is right in my sweet spot. Can’t wait to try it!

  • mike

    That looks fantastic – love the colors!

  • Neel | Learn Food Photography


    Wow!! What a wonderful photographs!! And like the step by step food setup.

    Thanks a lot for sharing.

    This is just so wonderful.
    Thank you again.
    – Neel

  • clumbsycookie

    This plate looks like a garden with a gigantic squid in the middle and I say this as a compliment :)! And then chorizo?! I could bathe in chorizo oil I think, it’s one of my weaknesses, lol!

  • Tartelette

    Oh la vache c’est beau – y’a rien a dire, a part” ell est ou la mienne d’assiette?”!!

  • liz {zested}

    LOVE the step by step setup!

  • Tokyo Terrace

    OK- this officially looks delicious! What a gorgeous fancy-schmancy presentation :) The pictures are beautiful!!

  • Eleanor Hoh (WokStar)

    Amazingly appetizing. I love squid when it’s not tough and chewy. The color combinations are exquisite.

  • alice

    the collage cracks me up. i want to make a flip book out of it!!!! =)

  • Ginny

    yum! yum! yum! you continue to amaze me…

  • Mandacaru, R.

    How ever, fantastic work! Thanks for sharing the step by step set-up.
    Thanks again!

  • Peter

    I love squid, especially when stuffed! Roasted pepper sauce is pure candy!

  • Pei-Lin

    Zen God!! Good idea! Yea … why not some stuffed squid for Christmas dinner! Growing up as Malaysian, I almost always have squid either in stir fry or deep-fried in some kind of tempura-like batter/flour mixture to give it a nice crispy touch on the outside. I think there are local versions of stuffed squid here … It’s just that I haven’t really paid attention to it. Will keep looking out for those kinds in my cookbooks and while shopping!

    From your zendisciple in Malaysia =D

  • Paula Pereira

    That is a sexy dish, that’s all I have to say about that!

  • Natasha – 5 Star Foodie

    It is a gorgeous presentation! I love the vibrant colors!

  • The Little Teochew

    It looks fussy? Well, give me fussy anytime!! :) It looks FABULOUS! Seriously. Like a painting. *deep bow*

  • Jen

    I love Basque food! The play by play photos make it look so easy…

  • Jen@Tiny Urban Kitchen

    That is sooo pretty! I love the bright orange and the step by step plating instructions. :)

  • Don Howes

    gee how many plates per person to get a meal

  • Christine @ Fresh Local

    I can tell you’re going to have your own book or show one day. This dish is stunning detail and thought. Kudos!

  • we are never full

    oh yeah, baby. this is what i’m talking about. a long time ago we did a stuffed squid w/ morcilla and maybe it’s time to do a morcilla/chorizo stuffed squid? hmmmmmm? i love your sauces (you better not be turning into bobby flay, you hear me? ok, you don’t have a trio of sauces here). this is gorgeous.

  • Kitchen M

    I love the collage of your plating! You called this a pretty basic dish!? It’s complicated enough for me. Beautiful! :)

  • dawn

    I could never make squid look this good (or taste this good).
    trop jolie pour manger (how was that? readable? lol)

  • Rose

    LOVE this. The plating, the textures, the creativity, the various flavors going on! This is the kind of small, exciting plate I really dig. Squid stuffed with chorizo? Yes please. Nice spanish flair!

  • pigpigscorner

    OMG this is so beautiful!! love the stuffing!

  • Y

    I already love all those flavours together, but dang, that also looks amazing plated like that. What’s not to like! :)

  • Dolce

    Reminds me of holidays in Spain… and good weather! Anything but snow right now…

  • John

    Looks absolutely astonishing!
    Great recipe and beautiful photos!

    Keep up the good work!

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