October 8, 2006
In the Miyazaki region of Southern Japan they take their squid seriously. It was in a remote fishing village that we first encountered this treat. The chef, an elder buddhist monk, walked to the table carrying a squid the size of my arm in his left hand and the largest knife I’ve ever seen in his right. As the squid writhed on the platter he sliced it into strips with lightening speed. We picked up the quivering slices with chopsticks, dipped them in tiny dishes of soy sauce and popped them in our mouths. It was firm, tender and tasted of the earth and the sea. The soy sauce left a faint smoky flavor on the palatte. After the second squid and as many bottles of unfiltered sake Jennifer and I felt both vital and potent.
Well, you’re not in Japan, David and you don’t have access to a sharp knife toting chef wearing orange and white robes. This dish will do in a pinch and is perfect for those warm, sunny days in October. Eat this dish on the veranda overlooking the park while you sip dry Spanish muscat.
Calamari, Cherry Tomato and Olive Salad
1 lb fresh squid
1/2 pint yellow or orange cherry tomatoes
1/2 cup picholine or lucque olives
1 cayenne pepper, deseeded and minced
1/2 cup sliced basil leaves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 clove garlic, smashed
8 green peppercorns
1/2 red onion shaved on the madoline.
Juice of 1 lime
Put the shaved onions and the lime juice in bowl and cover. Store in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
Clean and cut the squid. In a sautee pan, bring 1 cup of white wine to a simmer with the salt, garlic and peppercorns. Simmer for 5 minutes then add the squid. Cook 1 1/2 to 2 minutes max until opaque. Remove the squid, cool and reserve the liquid for poaching cod tomorrow night.
Combine all ingredients except the onions and toss with the dressing. Serve over red oak leaf or mesclun. Mound the shaved onions on top.
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
1/2 teaspoon taragon mustard
1/4 cup olive oil
1 clove of garlic, minced
pinch of salt
Combine the mustard lemon juice and garlic. Whisk in the olive oil, add the salt. Cover and store in the refriderator for at least 30 mins