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cuttlefish with baharat, peas and samphire

Cuttlefish with baharat, peas and samphire

PT20M

Just after finishing college, a few of my friends and I went to Spain for a celebratory trip to visit a friend whose family own a campsite. One evening, my friend’s mum cooked us a selection of dishes, including sepia, or cuttlefish. At the time I had no idea what sepia was and she couldn’t really explain it to me, but she did say that she had cooked it with peas and cinnamon. It was so yummy that I made a note of it. It wasn’t until years and years later that I referred back to that notebook and, knowing more about food at this point, realised it was cuttlefish. So here is my version of that dish.

Ingredients

1
Cut open the cuttlefish and score the inside in a cross-hatch pattern. Slice it into irregular diamond shapes about 4cm wide. Pat the cuttlefish dry with kitchen paper and keep in the refrigerator until needed
2
To make the baharat, blend together all the spices in a spice grinder. Don't worry if you can't find all the ingredients here, just leave them out if you can't). Stored in an air tight container, this will keep for up to 4 weeks
3
Heat the measured olive oil in a small saucepan and add the onion. Cook over a medium heat until light golden brown. Remove from the heat and add 2 tbsp of the baharat
4
Heat a large frying pan and add 1 tbsp olive oil. Add the cuttlefish and let it fry for at least 1 minute before moving it; you want the edges to caramelise. After that, move the fish around a little in the pan and cook for 1 more minute
5
Now add the cooked onion, peas and samphire and cook for 1 more minute, or until the samphire has just wilted. Remove the pan from the heat, add the lemon juice, season with salt and pepper and add a little more olive oil to make a dressing in the pan. Finally, stir in the herbs and serve

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