dill dip, calamari and eggs?


yea, ok. that sounds like a gross combination. and i suppose it would be if you were to mix them all together but luckily that is NOT what happened. also, don’t stop reading if you think you aren’t a calamari fan. if you think you don’t like calamari, or have friends or a significant other who doesn’t i bet it’s due to one of two things: they have a hang-up with the fact that it’s squid (i don’t see what the fuss is, it’s just another type of seafood) OR they’ve had it when it was overcooked and terribly chewy (do NOT overcook calamari!). it is one of my favorite types of seafood when properly done. this preparation is a grilled one although i am a sucker for a nice plate of fried calamari rings as well (i will do a post on that in time undoubtedly…)

canandaigua lake

canandaigua lake

i had the pleasure of spending a couple of days down in naples, ny where my dad and his wife tracy have a cottage/vacation home/secluded getaway that overlooks the tail end of canandaigua lake. i love it down by the finger lakes and spent most of my summer weekends as a child near one of these glorious lakes boating, fishing, camping, picnicking, swimming and, when i got a bit older, visiting the bounty of wineries that have been popping up along the “finger lakes wine trail” . we frequented keuka lake in particular and i will always have a soft spot in my heart for it.

looking at keuka from Dr. Konstantin Frank's winery (my favorite one)

looking at keuka lake from Dr. Konstantin Frank’s vineyards (looking at my favorite lake from my favorite winery ❤ )

beautiful right? ahhh…. i hate leaving that place…

but i digress…

since this is not a home that they occupy most weekdays, we decided to try to make do with the ingredients that were already in the freezer or refrigerator from one of the previous weekends. hmm…. greek yogurt, some dried herbs, eggs and some other breakfast fare and salad fixings. and frozen calamari. i love calamari. so it was decided, we would make something with this calamari. but we also craved something to munch on. we found a bag of baby carrots but had nothing to dip them in. a quickly made dill dip using the 0% plain greek yogurt would be not only yummy but guilt free and hit the spot on a HOT summer afternoon.

greek yogurt dill dip

greek yogurt dill dip

greek yogurt dill dip

ingredients:

  • 1 cup 0% plain greek yogurt
  • juice of half a lemon (freshness matters here, don’t use juice from a bottle!)
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • half an onion minced (we used yellow onion but i bet a sweet onion like a vidalia would be even better)
  • 1 tbsp dried dill (to taste, it you don’t want it as strong use less. you could also use fresh dill: finely chop it and use double the amount)
  • a pinch of cayenne pepper
  • kosher or sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper, to taste

directions:

  • mix all the ingredients together and refrigerate at least an hour (preferably overnight) for best flavor. (we ate some right away and it was good, but after we allowed it to chill the flavors really came out and together)

this is great served with veggies or pita chips or whatever you like to dip. we also found out the next morning that it is VERY much nom nom if mixed in with scrambled eggs in place of the milk or cream…

ok, so after the dip we technically made the calamari next, not the following recipe, but i will add in the egg recipe we used the following morning at this point since we’re all in the zone with this dill dip business… (i don’t recommend serving scrambled eggs with you calamari, but to each their own i suppose…)

dill dip scrambled eggs

dill dip scrambled eggs

dill dip scrambled eggs

*in the future, i plan to try the following recipe with other dips or creamy condiments i have on hand as well, in place of the dill dip. why not??

ingredients:

  • 5 eggs
  • 3 heaping tablespoons dill dip (or more if you want them even creamier)
  • salt and pepper
  • havarti cheese (optional- i didn’t have this at the cottage but i wish i had, havarti and dill are amazing together)

directions:

  • heat a medium to large nonstick skillet over medium low heat. allow the pan to heat at least 10 minutes before cooking, you want to cook scrambled eggs gently for best results
  • crack eggs into bowl (discard a yolk from one or two eggs if you want to make it a bit healthier) and beat with tines of a fork
  • add the dill dip and beat with the fork until the yogurt mix is well incorporated into the eggs. you will seem some lumps because remember, there is minced onion and garlic in the dip
  • add a pat of butter (we had smart balance which did the job) to the pan and allow to melt
  • pour in egg mixture
  • allow to cook over medium low heat, gently pulling the eggs to the center of the pan with a spatula every few minutes. this will allow the uncooked egg to trickle off to the side and will prevent the eggs from “browning” which you want to avoid if you want fluffy eggs.
  • if using- add the shredded or pulled apart havarti over the top of the eggs a few minutes before they are done to your liking and gently fold the cheese in while it melts
  • serve immediately with toast or bacon or whatever you like for breakfast

ok back to dinner…

if you can find fresh calamari of course i would go that way, but that is a tough thing to find in western ny. so we used a bag of frozen calamari “tubes”. the tentacles are quite delicious as well but our pack just happened not to have any. you can thaw out frozen calamari (or most types of seafood really) in the fridge the night before or under running cold water in a colander (this is what we did). i recommend getting the calamari into the marinade about an hour before you plan to grill it. i would say you could go up to 2 hours but not longer. seafood doesn’t need to marinate for too terribly long and if you were to, say, marinate it overnight i think you might end up with ceviche due to the vinegar and acid from the lemon. and it needs really at least a half hour to pick up the flavor at all.

grilled marinated calamari

grilled marinated calamari

grilled marinated calamari

ingredients:

*you can eyeball most of these measurements, it’s really up to you how much of one thing or another you want in this marinade, have fun 🙂

  • 1 lb frozen, cleaned calamari (use fresh if you can find it. it will normally be cleaned if found in the case at your local grocery store but if you find a fresh uncleaned or whole squid you may refer to the follow link for the gory details on hot disassemble these guys http://www.wikihow.com/Clean-and-Prepare-a-Squid-to-Make-Calamari)
  • ~1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsps good quality balsamic vinegar
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • juice of a lemon
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (or more if you like it spicy!)
  • kosher or sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper to taste

directions:

  • in a shallow glass dish or plastic bag combine the marinade ingredients and whisk together until combined
  • cut your cleaned and rinsed calamari tubes into desired size. we cut the large tubes in half and left the smaller ones whole. remember, you will be grilling them, you don’t want them to be small rings like when you order fried calamari at a restaurant or you will be loosing them between the grill grates… you could also cut the tubes open lengthwise into calamari “steaks” if you prefer
  • using your hands mix your calamari pieces into your marinade and use your fingers to work some of the marinade into tubes or middle of the pieces
  • allow to chill in the fridge for 1/2 to 2 hours (see note above)
  • heat grill to it’s hottest setting (unless that means on your grill that the flames will be out of control, then turn it down- use your judgement- but the idea is to cook it hot and fast and to NOT overcook it but allow it to pick up some color and/or char) and lightly oil the grates with olive oil on a paper towel
  • using tongs, place your calamari pieces across the grates so they don’t fall in
  • cover the grill and allow to cook approx. 3 minutes
  • flip, cover and allow to cook another 3 minutes (calamari will cook very quickly, check it throughout this process and remove earlier depending on how big you cut your pieces. there should be some char on them and the edges will start to curl up as it cooks)
  • remove and serve immediately, with another squeeze of lemon over the top if desired
calamari with mixed greens and blueberry salad, dill dip and baby carrots (yes, some calamari had gone missing before i could even snap the picture ;)  )

calamari with mixed greens and blueberry salad, dill dip and baby carrots (yes, some calamari had gone missing before i could even snap the picture lol)

*something that i will try next time would be this: place the leftover marinade in a small saucepan and cook over medium heat to reduce slightly and use it as a sauce over the calamari or over a side of grilled veggies (which you could marinate in the same mix) or even some angel hair pasta with a grating of fresh parmesan over the top 🙂

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3 responses to “dill dip, calamari and eggs?

  1. I’ve never tried calamari before, but I definitely will now. This all looks so good. And the eggs make me want to have a second breakfast right now. Wonderful blog.

  2. yes, do try it! calamari is not fishy at all, it actually has a nice clean seafood taste. i love it! and the eggs are something to try with whatever dip you have! thanks for you comment, i’m glad i could inspire you 🙂

  3. Pingback: Fried Calamari | therapy bread·

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