Winter isn’t over yet, so I’m still making stews. I used to cook this one with octopus, but I just can’t eat octopi anymore because they are smart enough to be cousins. In Switzerland it’s impossible to find Mexican chorizo so I make my own. As with everything I cook, I’m relaxed about proportions and ingredients. If I have zucchini instead of cabbage, that’s fine. No chipotles? Use smoked paprika, or a mix of cayenne and guajillo, or habanero. No squid? Try this dish with shrimp (hmmm, but maybe with corn instead of cabbage). For me, soups and stews are mix-and-match, as long as ingredients match the spice palette I’m working with. (Yes, each spice actually has a color in my head and also a tone, and I mix them for harmony and contrast.)
Mexican Squid Stew
- 1 large cookpot
- 4 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 4 large bell peppers (red, yellow, or orange)
- 200 grams Mexican chorizo (fresh, raw)
- 1 canned chipotle pepper, chopped (or more, to taste). You can use powdered chipotle. If using dried, rehydrate in hot water, then stem and seed.
- 6 sprigs fresh thyme
- 3 fresh bay leaves (or you can substitute dried if you must).
- 6 cloves garlic (or more, to taste, roughly chopped).
- ¼ cup red wine vinegar (the better the vinegar, the better the taste). Jerez vinegar is also nice.
- 1 tbsp dark brown sugar
- 800 grams crushed tomatoes
- 1 kilo squid tentacles (frozen, pre-cooked)
- 3 cups sliced green cabbage
- 3 tbsp fresh parsley (chopped)
- fresh cilantro (chopped, to taste)
- 1-2 lemons (quartered)
- Heat the olive oil and fry the peppers and onions over medium heat until soft, but don't let them brown.
- Add the fresh chorizo and chipotle and fry with the peppers. When the chorizo is cooked through, add the garlic and cook until the smell permeates the air. Add the bay, thyme, vinegar and brown sugar, and then the tomatoes, along with about 2 cups of water.
- Stir in the sliced cabbage, bring to a simmer and cook until it reaches the desires tenderness. (I like mine a little crunchy.) Usually this takes about half an hour. Then stir in the frozen, cooked squid and heat through. Do not overcook or the squid may toughen.
- Top with chopped cilantro and parsley and a squeeze of lemon