Espetadas de puntillitas de ayamonte

When you're at the fish market visiting a peixeiro (fishmonger) you trust,don’t pass up the opportunity to buy some fresh fish, caught that morning! I was lucky enough while in the local supermarket this morning to stumble upon some local baby squid from just across the river in Ayamonte.How excited was I? Puntillitas are an Andalucian speciality.I already had a dish in mind and was going to buy some baby squid on my next visit to the market in Vila real de Santo Antonio.This however was too good an opportunity to be missed. Knowing their provenance and where they were caught,these were an extremely local speciality. They are a type of seafood that are characterized by their tenderness (if preserved and cooked as they should be) and richness in protein.Great when eaten in seafood salads or stews.In Ayamonte, where they come from, the tapas bars specialize in chocos, calamares,chipirones, puntillitas, pijotas, acedías and a whole assortment of fried fish tapas.Here  you will find puntillitas fritas...delicious but because they are fried bear in mind that the calorie count will inevitably rise.My idea was to prepare them in a more Portuguese and somewhat healthier style. I was going to grill them as posh kebabs with Chouriço and a lemon, coriander and anchovy olive oil, but still do them a bit of Spanish justice by serving lashings of smoked paprika aioli alongside.A few new potatoes in parsley butter would not go amiss either.
Espetadas de puntillitas de ayamonte
con chouriço e olio de limão,anchoas e coentros
Serves 2 (or 4 as a starter )
600g Puntillitas (baby squid)
150g Chouriço
2 tbsp butter
2 garlic cloves,roughly chopped


Handful coriander leaves
juice of half a lemon
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
2large anchovy fillets in oil ,drained

To prepare the squid:
Firmly pull the head and innards from the body and wash the body well. Cut off the heads just below the eyes,leaving the tentacles in one piece,and discard the head.pull out the transparent quill,rinse the tube and peel off the outer membrane.cut the chouriço into about 8 chunks.Thread the pieces of squid (body and tentacles)( I tucked the tentacles inside the tubes because they were so small)and chouriço alternately onto the skewers.heat the butter and garlic in a small pan.Sizzle just until the garlic is starting to crisp up but not yet turning golden.Remove from the heat immediately as the garlic will carry on simmering in the butter as it cools.

To make the lemon anchovy and coriander oil:
Pulse the coriander with the lemon juice,oil, salt and anchovies i a blender until you have chunky flecks of green sauce.

Preheat the grill.Brush the skewers with the garlic butter and grill until charred here and there(probably more noticeable on the chouriço), brushing occasionally with the butter.Take great care not to overcook - the squid must be cooked through but still tender.Serve the skewers with the lemon coriander oil.


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