Cuttlefish and potatoes

Cuttlefish and potatoes

I’m really grateful to Max for thinking of me as it was his contact with the local deli that meant that I got to clean and cook cuttlefish last night.Actually, Max did a bit more than that, he gave me instructions on how to clean them and collected them from the shop as well.

Max also gave me a number of recipe suggestions – but in the end I went with something pretty simple from the first Moro cookbook.

Here are Max’s instructions on how to clean a cuttlefish:

The fish is composed of two main parts that need separating carefully: the main meaty body and the tentacles with all that’s connected to it that lies within the main body.

So you’ll have to pull one out of the other using particular care.

You’ll then have to delve through the interiors and recognize the black ink sachet. It’s a shapeless small bit that looks almost silvery. That must be put into a cup and pierced, you’ll add water to dilute its content.

Opposite the tentacles there’s a large yellow sack that needs also removing with care and I already explained how to use it.

You’ll also have to remove the bone and the skin. If you’re careful you can pull the skin away in one single stroke. Start by lifting one fin alongside the body.

You can then also separate the skin by by the fins before throwing the skin away.

Be careful when squiting the eyes, make a large incision with the knife and direct it the other way when you’ll carefully push the content out. It’s just so easy to squirt it over you.

Cuttlefish and potatoes (2)I had about 14 fish, which took the best part of an hour to clean (and I’ve still got ink under my fingernails).

But that was more due to my never having done it before than how difficult the whole thing was.

As for cooking. That was relatively simple.

Diced onion, 2 red peppers and a clove of garlic fried in olive oil for 10-15 minutes then add the potatoes (6 halved and then sliced), the cuttlefish and a good glug of white wine. You let this simmer for about 40 minutes (or until the potatoes are cooked) adding water if the sauce gets too thick.

Then eat, and accept the compliments of those you let share this lovely meal.

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About Andrew Brown

I live in Lewisham, South East London, and spent 9 years as a Labour councillor in the borough between 1997 and 2006.
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One Response to Cuttlefish and potatoes

  1. Max says:

    To clean 14 of them in under an hour is very good, almost a pro time.
    I’m glad you liked them. It’s surprising how this tasty fish is almost unknown here.
    Of course we’ll keep a secret how to use the yellow sack;-)

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