olive oil

Cape Verdean Calamari

Guisado de Lula

(Stew of Squid)

As Clarice Pinto and Lucy Pires, from Santiago, Cape Verde, taught Lindsay Sterling in Brockton Massachusetts. Photos by Lindsay Sterling.

Cooking time: 45 minutes
Serves: 10
Notes: I adapted this recipe slightly to avoid MSG which was in many of the pre-prepared spice mixtures they used. You may use squid or calamari in this recipe; both taste great.

Ingredients

  • 3 lbs cleaned squid (a mixture of whole bodies about 4" long and legs is ideal; sliced bodies or rounds would also work)
  • 3-inch-piece of yuca root, also known as cassava (optional)
  • 6 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/4 cup red cooking wine
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup beer
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 small bunch fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 4 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2" chunks
  • 1/2 orange bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 tomato, sliced
  • 1 onion, sliced into triangular chunks
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp annatto or achiote powder (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp sweet paprika
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder (adjust to your preferred spice level)
  • 1 tsp Old Bay (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp chicken bouillon

Instructions

1. Cook calamari covered with water in pressure cooker under pressure for 30 minutes. If you don't have a pressure cooker, don't worry about it. Just boil it for twenty minutes in a regular pot. Your calamari won't be super duper tender like hers was, but it'll still taste great.

2. Cut/pry the thick brown skin off the yuca. Slice lengthwise through the middle and carve out the fiber that runs through the middle. It's about the size of embroidery thread. If you can't find it, don't worry about it, it may become apparent as you cut the yuca into pieces. Cut the yuca into 1/2 inch thick triangles.

3. Strain calamari and add back to the pressure cooker pot or large pot with all other ingredients, including the yuca. Cook on medium high heat, boiling for about 20 minutes until the potatoes and yuca are soft and some of the liquid has evaporated.

Albanian/Greek Chicken Pie

Kotopita

As Bill Dilios, from Politsani, Albania (formerly part of Greece), taught Lindsay Sterling in Freeport, ME.

Serves: 10 for dinner, 20 as an appetizer or side
Cooking Time: 2 hours plus thawing overnight

Ingredients

  • 1 box phyllo dough
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 4 large yellow or sweet onions, medium dice
  • 1 stick butter, cut into 1/2" chunks + 1 stick butter
  • 4 chicken breasts, cut into 1/2" cubs
  • 1 1/2 cups long grain white rice
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 1 boullion cube, 1 tsp boullion paste, or 1 tsp salt
  • 3 eggs

Equipment

  • cutting board
  • chef knife
  • mixing spoon
  • large soup pot 
  • large mixing bowl
  • medium bowl
  • pastry brush
  • Bill's special kotopita pan [link to store]:
  • or 3 pie plates
  • or 2 9x12, 2-inch deep baking dishes 

Instructions

1. Thaw phyllo dough. The day before you want to make kotopita, transfer the phyllo dough box from the freezer to the fridge to thaw it. Then an hour before you want to start cooking, take the phyllo box out of the fridge and let it come to room temperature on the counter. If you forget to take the phyllo out of the freezer the night before, you can thaw it on the counter in 2-3 hours. 

2. Make the filling. Saute onions with 2 Tbsp oil and 1 stick butter (cut into chunks) until onions are soft, 5-10 minutes. Cut the chicken pieces into 1/2 inch cubes and add to the onions. Wash all surfaces that raw chicken touched.  When chicken is half-cooked (opaque on the outside but still translucent in the center), add rice and saute for 2 minutes without browning anything. Add chicken stock so that the rice is just floating in liquid, about 3 cups. Add crushed bouillon cube, bouillon paste, or salt as desired and incorporate. Saute, stirring frequently, until the liquid disappears and you have a thick mass of chicken and rice with no runny liquid. Remove from stove and let cool. Mix in three eggs.

3. Preheat oven to 395. 

4. Assemble the pie. See how he did it in this video. You melt a stick of butter in cereal bowl and get a pastry brush out. Bill made one awesome, giant pie in a what looked like an extra-large, deep-dish pizza pan. Alternatively you can use three pie dishes or 2 9x12 baking dishes. Brush the bottom and sides of the baking dish with olive oil. Layer whole phyllo sheets over the bottom of baking dish, overlapping the edges of the pan by roughly 2 inches. (No folding, cutting or fussing!). 

Now be like Jackson Pollock with the butter brush dripping melted butter on the phyllo. You don't need to brush the butter around - just drip enough butter so that it looks like it's starting to rain on a sidewalk. Make another layer of phyllo overlapping the edges again. Drizzle butter again. Layer phyllo again. Drizzle butter again. When you have about five layers of phyllo, make a layer of chicken filling about 1/2" inch deep. Cover with two more layers of phyllo/butter drips. Add another layer of filling about 1/2" deep. Do five more layers of phyllo. Fold all the draped edges of phyllo on top of the pie. Brush butter over the dry edges of phyllo, folding them down onto the pie. 

If you are using multiple pies, when you complete one pie, just follow the same process and make another one in another dish. 

5. Bake for about 40 minutes, turning the temp down to 385 after ten minutes. When the entire pie is golden brown, remove from oven and let the pie cool for 10-20 minutes. 

Bill Dilios teaches how to cook his favorite dish from Politsani, Albania.

6. Serve. A cool trick for cutting the pie: place a large cutting board (one that is bigger than the pie itself) over the top of the pie. Holding the pan and the cutting board together, flip them over so that the pan ends up upside down on top of the cutting board. Now just lift the pan off the pie. Use a serrated bread knife to pie into squares or wedges, depending on what look you want.

Once pie is cool, store leftover pie in tinfoil in the fridge for up to 3 days. Reheat in a 350 degree oven or toaster oven.