Cleaning Squid

Yes, even an old humbug like me can get into the holiday spirit. I’m about to go cook glorious food with the marvelously talented Simon from ferdiesfoodlab, I had a spectacularly successful day yesterday buying holiday gifts for my family, and I’m leaving in just FOUR SHORT DAYS for a Caribbean vacation. So as you can imagine I’m feeling pretty all right today. Because I’ve been sick for much of this week (cue sympathetic murmurs and get well wishes) I haven’t done much (read, any) cooking. But buzzing away in the back of my brain is a promise I made and have not yet fulfilled. A few weeks ago I blogged a Malaysian Squid Curry, and David from The Clean Platter (a genuinely funny, beautifully-written blog by a fearless Midwestern cook) asked me to write a post on how to clean squid. Continue reading

Pasta with Calamari, Tomato and Caper Sauce

Blogging has turned me into a culinary diurnal vampire. “Huh?” you say. Let me explain: as a food blogger, you realize pretty darned quickly that without natural light your food photos look like … well … crap. This is the case even with a nice SLR camera. It all gets flat and yellow. You know what I’m talking about. It’s when the food looks kind of dessicated and (let’s face it) unappetizing.

I have a single window in my kitchen that faces vaguely north. So, being fairly obsessive-compulsive, I now find myself cooking dinner at 11 a.m. Then I take half a dozen photos of whatever I’ve cooked and I put it away. Or I eat it for lunch. In August I had no idea how grim things could get. Now, by three Continue reading

Malaysian Squid Curry

I went to the Portobello Market today intending to buy a rabbit and some octopus. I was dreaming, vaguely, of Spanish food. I got there too late for the rabbit (damn jetlag!) and lovely Gary of Gary’s Fresh Fish said that octopus is too expensive right now for him to sell it at the prices he likes. But staring at me balefully from Gary’s bins were some giant – I mean massive – cephalopods. Continue reading