ISLAND TIME – Brush on an easy grilling glaze made of garlic, chile, pineapple, and more, to give the tender squid a zingy tropical taste. 

THE CHEF: Renee Touponce

Her Dining Options: Port of Call and Oyster Club, both in Mystic, Conn.

She’s known for Innovative recipes that honor the fresh seafood that is caught locally and the family farms in coastal Connecticut. Chefs in charge of two popular eateries in a growing New England food town.

“MY STEPFATHER is from Puerto Rico and I vividly remember the excitement of my first visit,” said Reneé Touponce. “We’d eat pinchos, or skewers, right off the grill. They were perfect bites.”

This recipe for grilling squid with crispy potato tostones from Touponce’s third Slow Food Fast contribution is a delicious tribute to the flavors that shaped them. A spicy barbecue sauce made of pineapple and chili gives the tender, fast-cooking squid an exotic taste, and the soft, boiled baby potatoes are lightly mashed and pan-fried, then sprinkled with a mix of freshly squeezed lime zest and spicy garlic. When eaten together, the simple dish conjures the festive flavors Touponce was able to taste as a child, and proudly continues to enjoy in her kitchens of today.

Kitty Greenwald is a cook, food writer, and co-author of the book ‘Slow Fires’ (Clarkson Potter)

Barbecue-Glazed Grilled Squid With Crispy Smashed Potatoes

Grill it with a simple glaze made of chile, pineapple and garlic, to give tender squid vibrant tropical taste.

Total Time30 minutes



  • Salt Kosher
  • 1 1/2 pounds baby potatoes
  • Two tablespoons of olive oil and an additional tablespoon to fry
  • 1 onion white, cut into pieces
  • 3/4 cup of diced pineapple
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, plus extra for garnish
  • 1/2 jalapeno, stemmed seeded, and chopped
  • 8 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup of ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons of water
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons of brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 guajillo chile, toasted (optional)
  • 2 limes, juiced and zested
  • 2 pounds of squid, rinsed clean and dried
  • Lemon wedges


  1. Prepare a medium-sized kettle of salted water up to the point of boiling. Add potatoes. Boil until tender, 18 -20 minutes depending on size. Drain. Once the potato is cool enough for handling the potato, gently press it until the skins split, while the potato is still intact.
  2. Place a small saucepan on medium heat and add two tablespoons of olive oil. Add onions, and cook until they are soft, around 5 minutes. Add 1/2 cup of pineapple, jalapeno, cilantro and less than half of the garlic. Cook until the garlic softens, but does not turn color for about 3 minutes. Add vinegar, ketchup and water brown sugar, soy sauce and chile, if you are using. Let it simmer until chile softens, approximately 10 minutes. Blend till smooth. Sprinkle with salt and place aside.
  3. In the meantime, prepare the large saute pan 1 1/2 inches of oil at medium-high temperature. When the oil is hot, add the potatoes, making sure not to crowd. Fry in batches, depending on the amount of time needed. Fry until the potatoes are golden in one area, about 3 minutes. Turn and fry for 2 minutes more. Drain off oil, and toss potatoes with the remaining garlic with a pinch of salt and lime juice and zest.
  4. The grill should be heated to a high temperature, or place a cast-iron skillet at a high temperature. Squids should be dry both inside and out, then thread it onto 8-12 skewers. Sprinkle with salt. Reduce the heat to medium. Grill, sprinkling with reserved chile sauce 3 to 5 mins per side. To finish, grill one minute on both sides at high temperatures. (The flesh must be soft but not gummy.) Serve squid with potatoes served on the side. Serve with lemon wedges and fresh cilantro.