Monday, March 03, 2008

Squid Pro Quo

People either hate calamari or love calamari; never in between. People who love it swear it is worth the cost and the trouble to prepare. The people who hate it hate it to the point of having that thick feeling in the back of their throats that usually comes just before vomiting.

To be fair, though I love calamari, you've really got to wonder what the first guy to eat it was thinking. What kind of long, drawn-out famine was going on in the world that would inspire someone to cook this up, put it in their mouth and chew.

If you hate calamari, you may as well click onto your next blog.

If you love calamari, then you may as well get into your car, drive to Virginia, hit I-81, get off at the Edinburg exit, make a left off the ramp and take this to Main Street. Make a left on Main Street and right there you will see Sal's Italian Bistro. I guarantee it will be the best calamari you've ever eaten. Ever.

The reason I send you to Sal's instead of encouraging you to follow my "recipe," is that my recipe sucked big time.

All the elements were there except for:

  • Sal gets his seafood fresh by driving to the docks every morning, I could only find frozen at Martin's;
  • Sal managed to find a fresh chili pepper while I could only find shriveled red "moderately hot" pepper at Martin's;
  • Sal may (I stress may) use the Nigella method of dredging the calamari in corn starch rather than flour. On the slim chance I try this again, I'll try it with corn starch.
  • Sal. Just like I knew not to order the calamari on Sundays because Sal isn't doing the cooking on Sunday. Sal -- or a successful Sal-in-training -- is crucial.
Anyway, unless I can find a fresh source for calamari, I won't be trying this again. And I hate the deep fried breaded things you find everywhere else.

Not that it was horrible -- it just wasn't worth the effort and expense.

Guess I'll just have to keep going to Sal's -- a rather happy outcome for a failed experiment!

Added later: I had nothing to do with this.


Gwynne said...

For "failed," it looks pretty good to this land-locked seafood lover. My husband, being the better cook in the family, can take frozen squid sold as fish bait (not even kidding) and turn it into an awesome dish ...this was one of the first dishes he cooked for me and I knew then that I had to marry the guy. ;-) While we both love the breaded and fried version, he sauteed the fish bait in Chinese Oyster Sauce (and some other secret ingredients) and vegetables...good stuff!

Dark Garden said...

I'm sorry for this... I really am... Not knowin' Sis' friends and all that. ROFLMAO!!!!)

.... No.... I can't.... I'll just let it go.

.... .....

..... "sauteed fish bait"!!!!...

... "in Chinese Oyster Sauce"!!!!!

I'm dyin'... I'm dyin!!!!

Sisiggy said...

Gwynne: It wasn't so much bad, as mediocre and not what I was aiming for. I should have known better that frozen calamari wouldn't be good enough to stand alone. And it was so poorly frozen, that it didn't have had that calamari "tension" when cook, so it would have been useless mixed with other stuff.

DG: That's about all the use that should have been made of the frozen calamari. The smell alone...for what I paid, I really expected a better product. And you're not to scare gwynne with the voices in your head.

Gwynne said...

Sounds like what you got was not only frozen but spoiled first! Too bad, especially for all the effort.

DG, surely, eating fish bait is not something new to you. I've heard about those people in West Virginia. ;-)

Dark Garden said...

Actually.. I started having flash-backs to when I would ask for money in exchange for eating things out of the garbage or fridge. This usually entailed me chasing Sis around the kitchen. ... and usually ended up w. Sis running around the kitchen retching.

Gwynne, oh my, I DO NOT even claim to BE in WV! But this really is one of the funniest food anecdote-snippits I've ever heard!

Gwynne said...

"...I would ask for money in exchange for eating things out of the garbage..."

Yep, I thought so. ;-)

Your childhood sounds similar to mine in that I chased my brother around the kitchen, forcing him to eat live beatles and Christmas lightbulbs ("look, candy!"). But deep inside, I am really a nice person. ;-)

And for the record, I have no idea where you ARE. My apologies for any harm done, to you or the people of WV. WV is a great state.

tracy said...

I'm actually headed in that direction next week. I'd love to try it again. The first I ever ate was like chewing wet leather. Folks tell me it is because it wasn't cooked correctly. I wouldn't know...?

tracy said...

Oh, and I've heard about those people in WV. also. Hell, I grew up there for 18 years--ha.

Sisiggy said...

For the record, everyone, in case you didn't get this yet: DG is my brother, so like me, grew up in New Jersey. We are where we are by marriage. Were we where we were headed, I'd be snowed in in Maine and he'd be underwater in the Caribbean.

(But, between you and me, for $5 he'll eat 10-day-old dried out macaroni and cheese.)

Gwynne said...

Is that $5 by today's standard, or do we have to adjust it for inflation?