This is the perfect recipe if you have guests for dinner: you can prepare it in advance so you can enjoy an aperitif with your friends, and it’s not very well-known outside of France so it will be a bit original.
This dish is known under many different names: Seiches or calamars à l’armoricaine or à l’américaine and there is some debate over where the name comes from. Whatever the name, wherever it comes from, the most important is that it’s delicious!
It’s a fun meal to make as you get to flambé the squid, and on top of that it’s healthy, so you can eat it without feeling guilty!
You can eat it as it is, or serve it with any kind of carbohydrates (or veg if you don’t do carbs): crusty bread, pasta, potatoes, couscous…..but we personally prefer it served with rice.
You can use frozen or fresh squid – frozen tends to be cheaper and easier, and is what we use most of the time.
- Squid - 1kg (rings)
- Shallots - 1 (big)
- Cognac - 40ml (or other spirit)
- White wine - 250ml
- Passata - 500ml
- Tomato purée - 70g
- Double cream - 150ml
- Olive oil - 3 tbsp
- Strong white flour - 2 tbsp (heaped)
- Brown the chopped shallots in the olive oil in a frying pan on a high heat for about 4 minutes, stirring regularly
- Add the squid and cook on a high heat until most of the liquid has evaporated (it should take about 5 minutes)
- Flambé the squid with the cognac (or other spirit)
- Add the flour and stir well
- Add the passata, the tomato purée and the white wine, stir well and cook on low for 45 mn
- Add the cream and stir one last time
Put a frying pan on a high heat. Get all your ingredients ready.
Finely chop the shallot (either a big one or two/three small ones). Pour the olive oil into the pan and add the shallots, brown them on a high heat for about 4 minutes, stirring regularly.
Then add the squid. If your squid is frozen, like mine, don't pour in any of the liquid from the bag. They will produce quite a lot of water whilst cooking and you don't want to boil them. Cook on a high heat until most of the liquid has evaporated. It should take about 5 minutes depending on whether they are frozen or fresh.
It's now time to flambé the squid.
Pour the cognac/other spirit into the frying pan, wait for about 30 seconds and then bring a lit match to the area of the pan where you poured the alcohol. It should catch on fire fast so be quick and get your hand out of the way 😉 While it's flambéing try to gently shake the pan so the alcohol goes everywhere and everything is properly flambéed. It should flambé for about 30 seconds.
For additional details have a look at our Prawns Flambéed with Pastis.
Add the flour and stir well.
Add the passata, the tomato purée and the white wine, stir well and cook on a low heat for 45 minutes. Try to stir it once or twice during cooking, and don't hesitate to add a bit of water if you see that it's getting too dry.
Once it's cooked you can switch the hob off. Add the cream and stir well one last time.
And serve it up.....
- You can use a lot of different spirits to flambé the squid. The best is cognac but it can be a little bit pricey, and not necessarily in everyone's cupboards, so don't hesitate to replace it with whisky, Jack Daniel's, armagnac, etc.
- As with most dishes that are cooked in a sauce, this meal will taste even better reheated the next day.
Don't forget, if you like this recipe please share it! We'd love it if you came back and shared your comments, thoughts, and rating on this dish once you've made it. Bon appétit!
I am linking this recipe up to Emily's Recipe of the week, over at A Mummy Too, click on the image below to discover some other fab recipes: