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Clem and Ursie's Squid Stew

In my Cape Cod cooking days, good friend Clem Silva and our best girlfriend Jana and myself, always loved a good squid stew. And many a pot full we've eaten together. Clem and his sister Deb have now taken the wonderful home cooking of their mom and dad, (Big Clem and Ursie), and showcased it in their very own, wildly successful, P-Town, Massachusetts eatery, called - none other than - Clem amp; Ursies. As far squid stews go, the best-of-the-best are found on Cape Cod, where for hundreds of years Portuguese have lived and worked the waters of the North Atlantic and prolific Cape Cod Bay. This recipe is amazingly simple (once you've cleaned the squid) and totally satisfying. It's a great one-pot meal on a cool evening, with a rustic loaf of bread, and Patti Page softly singing "Old Cape Cod" in the background.

Serves 6 - 8

3 pounds prepared squid
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 onions, finely diced
2 tablespoons finely chopped garlic
1 tablespoon crushed red pepper
4 ripe tomatoes, cored and chopped
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon salt
6 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

Clean and wash the squid thoroughly and cut into two-inch pieces. Heat the olive oil in a large pot. Add the onion, garlic, and red pepper and saute over medium heat for about 5 minutes. Add the squid, tomatoes, tomato paste and 2 cups water. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for about 2 to hours, or until the squid is somewhat tender. Add the potatoes and salt and continue cooking until the potatoes are tender, about 30 to 40 minutes. Add the vinegar and cook 2 minutes longer. It is good to make this stew at least several hours before serving so that the flavors meld.

Source: Coastal Cooking with John Shields (Broadway, 2004)


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