About Me
I'm a Melbourne boy, hailing from St Kilda with one ex, one current wife and four kids. Love the outdoors and making new discoveries. I cook a lot at home (cheers from wife) and do some preserving, mostly jams, pickles and fruit liqueurs. This is the diary of a cooking journey.

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Thursday, December 15, 2005
Double or Nothing
What I said.

"Darling, can you buy me 750 g calamari (squid), make sure their not too big."

What the Wife heard.

"Darling, can you buy me some squid. I need real big ones, you know the sort that chase Captain Nemo to the ocean depths and when they're done with him, go and wrestle sperm whales."

My request turned into a kilo and a half of two hulking squid - when I was expecting three or four sweet, tender calamari of 750 g.

The stir fry just went out the window.

Maybe they could be floured and fried, so I got to work cleaning. Separated the body and tentacles. Yuk, one of them had had a last supper of a large sardine. Flaps off, skin off, divided the tentacles and cut the body into rings. Dipped into seasoned flour a squid ring and a piece of tentacle and dropped them into hot oil, sizzled for two minutes and tried them.

The squid ring wasn't too bad, but the tentacle I could have used to replace my car tyres. What next?

Squid, octopus and cuttlefish are cephalapods, members of the mollusc family, only they don't have an outer shell. When cooking, it's a choice of fast ~ about two minutes on high heat or long and slow ~ up to an hour on low heat. Anything in between will leave them tough.

A braise was my only hope of salvation, so this is what I did.

Squid with Peas

1 & 1/2 kg large squid, cleaned and skinned - see note below
1 onion, chopped
4 fat cloves garlic roughly chopped
4 tablespoons chopped parsley
1 teaspoon dried marjoram
1 cup dry white wine
1 - 400 g tin crushed tomatoes
100 mls olive oil
cayenne pepper to taste
250 g peas
salt and lots of black pepper

Gently fry the onion in the olive oil until it turns pale gold, while this happens cut the squid body into rings, cut the tentacles and flaps into short lengths. Add the garlic to the onion and fry two minutes more. Turn up the heat, add white wine and reduce till almost gone, add crushed tomatoes, squid, parsley, marjoram, pinch of cayenne and season. When it bubbles, turn down the heat to low, partially cover with lid and cook for one hour or until squid is tender. Check if it needs water from time to time. Add peas and cook until peas are ready, about five minutes. Serve with rice.

Note - large squid have a stronger taste - smaller, sweeter squid can be substituted.
  posted at 7:32 am

At 1:26 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yum. Squid's great. Must try that.

At 1:48 pm, Blogger neil said...

Pleased to meet you kitchen hand; large squid at $4 kg, good value too.


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