A monumental dish, a great hit of my restaurant
ingredients for 4 servings (cost about 5 € pp)
- 2 small cuttlefish (about 250 g each)
- 100 g cheap, small shrimps
- 150 g peas (better fresh)
- 1 tsp of sugar
- 1 bay leaf
- EV olive oil
- 2 medium potatoes
- fresh dill
Every time I prepare this dish I get emotional, as I remember the era of my resto in Athens. This dish was a classic (along with brandada and beef with wild mushrooms) and it took part of my menu every year.
Of course, fresh peas are better than frozen ones, but generally peas can be frozen very well. They have an external skin which protects their tender flesh from the ice, so they don´t get burnt, as other veggies. When I cook peas, I often use a little bit of sugar to intensify their sub-sweet aroma and to make them even more pleasant.
We clean the molluscs, we remove ink, cuttlebone, stomach and head and we cut the body in pieces and the tentacles in halves. We bring a small pot with salted water to a boil, we add the bay leaf and we cook the cuttlefish, till very tender. We should start checking it after 50 minutes, but, they may need more time. We strain and keep aside.
Meanwhile, in another pot with boiling water, salt and sugar we boil the peas for about 3 to 6 minutes. The exact time depends on the size, the freshness (fresh peas need more time, than the frozen ones) and the age of peas (late peas need more time, than the early ones). If we use frozen peas, we must completely defrost them, before boiling them.
Meanwhile we peel the potatoes, we cut them in pieces and we put them in a pot with salted cold water. We bring to a boil, we lower the heat to medium and we cook the potatoes, till tender.
We preheat the oven to 220 Celsius degrees.
In a big baking pan we add the cuttlefish and the potatoes and we bake for about 10 minutes. The last 3 minutes of baking, we add the small shrimps.
We remove the dish from the oven, we add the peas and some more olive oil and we stir. We check the saltiness.
We put in plates, we garnish with fresh dill and we serve.