- 70 minutes
- For 4 people
- 2.5 € / person
This cephalopod, so common and present all year in the markets, is called in Galicia “ choco ”, although for the vast majority of you it is known as cuttlefish, cuttlefish, Cachón or Chopo . In the area of Huelva and Cádiz it is also called “choco” and, as in Galician lands, it is very present in the gastronomy of the area.
The “choco” or common cuttlefish usually has an average size of 20 cm long, inhabits sandy bottoms with abundant algae near the coast, where it is partially buried and then attacks its prey. It feeds on mollusks, crustaceans, and small fish, giving it a great sea flavor.
The most common ways of preparing them are grilled and stewed in their ink, in Galicia the Chocos in their ink and the Empanada de chocos are famous . A town that is strongly linked to this cephalopod is Redondela, in the Ría de Vigo , where the “ Festa do Choco ” is celebrated every year on the 2nd weekend of May , this year being the 27th edition of 2013. The inhabitants of the town are called ” Chocoiros ” and even the soccer team is called the Choco Sports Club. Nowadays they prepare them in many different ways, but the most traditional are in empanada and of course make them stewed in their ink, accompanied later by white rice or cooked potatoes.
Redondela’s “choco” is highly appreciated for its quality and flavor. It is captured in the Ría de Vigo, at the height of the Rande bridge and the San Simón Island, some areas particularly appropriate for this species. The captured chocos arrive alive at the port and are kept in cages until the moment of the auction in the Lonja arrives. The sailors have created a “nursery” for chocos in the surroundings of the Illa de San Simón, throwing hundreds of pine branches into the sea, which are then anchored to the bottom and in this way the females flock to this aquatic “forest” to spawn.
Preparation of the “chocos” stew in its ink
At the time of purchase, we will ask the fishmonger to clean the chocos for stewing, removing the beak, the viscera and the inner calcareous shell. If you have skill you can also carefully remove the ink bag, which we will then use in the stew. Failing that, we can use a squid ink bag that is sold individually already prepared.
- Chop the peppers, the natural tomato and the onion in “brunoise”, approximately the same size. In a clay pot or flat casserole, pour a good jet of extra virgin olive oil and poach the vegetables according to their hardness.
- First the peppers, then the tomato and finally add the onion and garlic, finely chopped. We salt to taste. We cook over medium heat for 15-20 minutes so that they soften and release their juice. In the traditional recipe they do not contemplate it but at this point you can also add a good stream of white wine, preferably from a DO in Galicia, leaving it to cook for a few more minutes so that the alcohol is consumed.
- We remove the skin from the body of the Choco and the fins, which are very hard and difficult to digest. We chop them into small portions, which can then be eaten in one bite, and we put them in the casserole. We cook them 5 min. so that they are softened and integrated with the rest of the ingredients.
- We break the ink bag and pour it into a glass. Add hot water to the top and stir well so that it dissolves completely.
- Pour the glass of water (250 ml.) Into the saucepan, add the diced potatoes and cook over low heat for about 45 minutes. The water must remain flush, so we can add a little more hot water if necessary. Not much because we want a well-reduced sauce to be produced at the end, with hardly any liquid. When 10 minutes are left to complete the time, we test the salt and rectify if necessary.
- Once the cooking time has passed, remove from the heat and let stand with the covered casserole for about 5-10 minutes, during which time the sauce will acquire the desired texture, with hardly any liquid. We serve hot on the table and enjoy this delicious stew of corn in its ink .
Be sure to enjoy all the recipes for fish and seafood that we have on the blog, I assure you that you will find a lot of ideas to make yours much happier.