360g finely sliced, cleaned southern calamari hood
50ml clarified butter
120g swordfish bacon, cut into 2cm long lardons, see recipe p.25, or substitute smoked eel or pancetta
200ml fish stock
250g cold unsalted butter, cubed
Flake salt to taste
Lemon juice to taste
4 egg yolks
Freshly cracked black pepper to taste
1. To prepare the calamari, start with approx. 4 cleaned hoods and using a sharp knife, cut it as long and thin as possible. The idea is to make the calamari look like noodles and to ensure it is evenly cut, so it evenly cooks.
2. In a medium saucepan set over a medium heat, add the clarified butter until a haze appears or until smoking lightly. Carefully add in the bacon and fry until golden brown, approximately 3 minutes.
3. Once brown, decant all the fat from the saucepan and proceed to add the fish stock to the fried bacon. The stock will boil immediately and reduce a little, resulting in a loss of up to half.
4. Keeping the stock warm, but not simmering, gradually add in the cubes of cold butter and using a whisk, emulsify it into the stock. The result once all the butter is emulsified is a glossy rich butter sauce that you will now poach the calamari in.
5. Leaving the saucepan over a very low heat, add in the calamari and cook very gently for up to 5 minutes or until the calamari is translucent and has just started firming slightly. When overcooked, the calamari will toughen and the silkiness that could have been achieved is lost, so keep an eye on the pan and stir constantly. Season at this stage with a little salt and fresh lemon juice.
6. Once cooked, remove from the heat and using a pair of tongs or carving fork and spoon, gather the noodles coated in sauce and some of the bacon and assemble in a neat pile in the centre of a deep dish. Ensure when assembling to allow some of the butter to drain from the calamari before plating as this sauce is very rich, so only what coats the noodles is required.
7. Once built, create a small well in the centre of the dish and proceed to drop a whole egg yolk in the centre. This egg adds richness to the sauce, but also gives you a fantastic texture.
8. Season the top of the dish with a very liberal amount of coarsely cracked black pepper.
9. Serve immediately.
Styling: Matt Page
Food Prep: Julie Ballard
Wine match: Pinot Grigio