The recipe of the month : Basquaise Calamar Fricassee with Cardamon-Scented Crab Cream [fr]

This month, the Consulate’s Chef teaches us how to cook a Basquaise Calamar Fricassee with Cardamon-Scented Crab Cream.

Hello everyone !!

I am very happy to see you here again this July!! This month I am taking you to the Basque country with a recipe in which we will use products from the sea as well as from the land! Squid Fricassee Piperade with crab-scented green Cardamom cream.

This recipe is full of warmth and the taste of spices, and I am sure that you will find it delicious. I am also sure that the Cardamom will provoke new sensations. Basque cuisine is known in France and Spain for its refinement and quality. The Pays Basque has a traditional agriculture that consists of small farms. It also has an exceptional weather and geography. As a result, the Pays Basque has a large gamut of local products (cheese, lamb, peppers, wine, ham, fish, cake, etc.) Nevertheless there are Gascon and Béarnaise influences towards the French coast, whereas in the South, there are more Spanish influences with olive oil, tomato, peppers, and use of the grill.

In short, the Pays Basque has impressive local culinary flavors and an interesting culture! And now for the recipe…time to get to your stoves!

For 4 people:


12 squid
1 garlic clove
2 grams of Espelette pepper
15 cl of olive oil
1 pinch of salt

Pepper Piperade:

1 green pepper
1 red pepper
1 yellow pepper
1 onion
1 garlic clove
3 tomatoes
5 cl olive oil
1 pinch of salt
2 pinches of Espelette pepper
15 grams of tomato concentrate

Cardamon-Scented Crab Cream:

3 “étrilles” (small crabs)
A dash of olive oil
2 cl of Cognac
10 cl of dry white wine
1 shallot
1 carrot
¼ leek
¼ celery branch
1 tomato
1 tablespoon of tomato concentrate
1 litre of liquid cream
2 grains of crushed green cardamom seeds
1 pinch of fine salt

Finishing Touches:

4 slices of chorizo
4 sprigs of chervil
4 pinches of Espelette pepper

Preparation of the Peppers:

1. Take the stalks out of the peppers, cut them in 4. Peel them and take out the seeds, take out the white membranes and cut them into thin strips.
2. Peel the onion and the garlic and chop finely with a mandolin.
3. Blanch the tomatoes, cut them in 4 and seed them.
4. In a pan, heat a dash of olive oil, add the onion and the garlic, salt and cook until they take on a nice amber color. Add the peppers and season with salt and Espelette pepper.
5. Cook for 20 minutes on low heat, incorporate the tomato concentrate, and cook for another 10 minutes. Add the tomatoes, cook for 5 minutes and keep warm.

Preparation of the Squid:

1. Peel the garlic and cut it into pieces. Separate the heads from the bodies of the squids, take the internal cartilage from the bodies out, as well as the dark skin, and empty the bodies. Take out the eyes and the beak from the heads and rinse everything.

2. Cut the bodies in half lengthwise, rinse and dry. Criss-cross the squids with the tip of a knife, and let the heads marinate in the olive oil with the garlic and the pepper. Keep cool.

Preparation of the crab-scented cream:

1. Peel the vegetables away from the aromatic herbs, cut into big cubes, cut the crabs into 4.

2. Heat a pan with the olive oil, add the crabs, crush them and brown lightly.

3. Add the aromatic herbs and let them brown, deglaze with Cognac, reduce and deglaze with white wine, reduce.

4. Add the tomato cut into the pieces and the concentrate, cook for 10 minutes, mix and pour in the liquid cream.

5. Boil, lower the heat and cook for 25 minutes.

6. Add the crushed cardamom and let it infuse for 15 minutes.

7. Pass the cream through a sieve, pressing it, and reserve.

Preparation of the Chorizo Julienne:

8. Cut the chorizo slices into thin sticks, keep cool.

Preparing the Chipirons:

9. Pour a dash of oil into a hot pan, add the drained squid, salt and cook until they are nicely colored.

Finishing Touches:

1. In a hollow plate, place a mold that is 5-6 cms in diameter.

2. Fill it with the warm, nicely seasoned Piperade. Make a small hollow in the Piperade and put the drained squid in it.

3. Take out the mold. Decorate with the Chorizo and a sprig of chervil.

4. With a mixer, liquefy the cardamom sauce, and separate the mousse.

5. Pour it around the squid.

6. Finish with a touch of Espelette pepper.

With this little saying by Paul Gaugin, artist, I wish you all very nice meal. See you soon!

“Cooking presupposes a light head, a generous spirit and a big heart.”


Last modified on 23/08/2019

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