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Savory Kraken Pot Pies

Sweet & Creamy Crab & Calamari Seafood Bisque get dressed up for Halloween as Savory Kraken Pot Pies! With black squid ink, lightly fried tentacles, and a buttery pastry top, it’s easy to believe these little horrors come straight from the deep seas.
Course Soup
Cuisine American, French
Keyword calamari, crab, halloween, kraken, sea monster, squid ink
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Make & Bake Pastry Lids 30 minutes
Total Time 2 hours
Servings 6 cups

Ingredients

Seafood Bisque

  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • ½ pound squid, tubes sliced into rings and tentacles separated
  • 1 ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ cup brandy
  • 1 cup dry sherry
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 large bay leaf
  • 1 cup celery, diced
  • 1 cup leeks, diced
  • ½ cup fennel, diced
  • 2 cups cremini mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 5 cups vegetable stock, divided
  • ½ pound crab meat
  • 1 teaspoon squid ink
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 1 cup heavy cream

Fried Calamari Tentacles

  • 2 cup neutral oil (vegetable or canola)
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper

Pot Pie Crust

  • 1 package puff pastry sheets (about 1 pound)
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • ½ to 1 cup all-purpose flour, for dusting

Instructions

Make the Seafood Bisque

  1. Prepare the Calamari Rings: Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Setting the tentacles aside for later use, sauté the calamari rings in the butter for 2-4 minutes. Sprinkle with ½ teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon black pepper, tossing occasionally until they reach a texture similar to al-dente pasta. Remove the cooked rings from the pan to a plate with a slotted spoon and keep warm.
  2. Start the Soup Base: Drain any excess liquid from the pan and discard. Deglaze the sauté pan with the brandy, and melt another 1 tablespoon butter over medium heat. Add the celery, leeks, fennel, and mushrooms to the pan. Let the vegetables sweat in the pan for 5-7 minutes. This will form the base of your soup.
  3. Deglaze the pan again with the dry sherry. Add the tomato paste, cayenne pepper, paprika, lemon juice, 1 teaspoon salt, and the bay leaf. Toss together and sauté for 3 minutes.

  4. Stir in 3 cups of the vegetable stock and bring the mixture to a boil over medium high heat. Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer for 20 minutes to reduce the liquids. Stir in the crabmeat and cook for one minute more. 

    In batches, carefully puree the soup in a blender and set aside.

  5. Make a Squid Ink Roux: In the same pan, melt 3 tablespoons butter over medium high heat. Sprinkle with ¼ cup flour and quickly whisk the two together into a paste. Let the mixture cook until lightly golden. Whisking continuously, slowly incorporate the remaining 2 cups of vegetable stock, followed by the heavy cream. When the roux is creamy and completely smooth, whisk in ½ to 1 teaspoon black squid ink to give the mixture a dark grey, nearly black hue.
  6. Finish the Seafood Bisque: Stir the pureed crab soup mixture into the squid ink roux. The soup will take on a grim grey color. Stir in the sautéed calamari rings and remove the soup from heat. Keep warm if you will be serving the soup shortly, or transfer to a container and chill until needed.

Prepare the Woven Pot Pie Crusts

  1. Allow the pastry to thaw according to package directions. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and prepare a baking sheet with a parchment paper lining. The pastry lids are baked separately from the soup bowls to retain their crispness.

  2. Roll & Cut: Once pliable but still chilled, unfold the sheets of puff pastry on a lightly floured surface. Roll the pastry out until about 1/8 inch thick, and then gently cut the pastry into strips about 1/2 inch wide.

  3. Form the Pastry Lids: To create a lattice work, weave the strips of pastry into the shape of a square large enough to fit the tops of the bowls or ramekins you plan to serve the bisque in. (For help making a pastry lattice, see this tutorial).

  4. Using a circular cookie cutter (or a parchment stencil) the size of the bowls to be used, cut a circular pastry lid out of each woven square until you have enough for at least six small bowls or ramekins. Arrange the pastry lids on a parchment lined baking sheet and chill for 10-15 minutes. (The woven pastry lids can be made and frozen up to a week before - just allow them to come to almost room temperature before baking).

  5. Bake: Whisk together the egg and tablespoon of water to make a simple egg wash. Brush this on the tops of each pastry lid. Bake for 10-15 minutes, until the crusts are a nice golden brown.

Fry the Calamari Tentacles

  1. Right before you plan to serve, heat two cups of canola oil in a medium size, heavy-bottomed sauce pot over high heat, until the oil reaches 350 degree F. Set a cooling rack over foil or parchment paper.

  2. As the oil heats, whisk together the flour, parsley, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. One at a time, lightly dredge each of the of calamari tentacles in the flour mixture, shaking off the excess. Place dredged tentacles on a clean plate.

  3. Once the oil is ready, carefully drop the tentacles into the pot two or three at a time. Let them fry for one minute, and then fish them out with a spider (or other fine mesh strainer). Lay the fried tentacles out on the cooling rack to drain.

Assemble the Kraken Pot Pies

  1. If the seafood bisque is chilled or has otherwise gone cold, heat it through on the stove over medium heat, but do not let it boil. Transfer the soup to individual ramekins. 

    Arrange a few of the fried tentacles on the edges of each bowl, so that they curl out and over the rims. Place a baked pastry lid on top, making it look like the tentacles are trying to reach out of the soup. Serve to your guests for a creepy but delicious first course!