Slimy . . . jiggly . . .
Squid, squid, squid.
How I loathe thee, squid. . .
Now in my life I am known for absolutes. The truth is that while I may talk as if I live in a world of black and white, the reality is that there is a HUGE amount of nuanced grey behind the scenes.
Nuances or not, there are still some wee absolutes that shall not be changed. I won't wear white pants after Labour Day. I won't vote Conservative. I won't be seen in sandals with socks. I will never sport a tattoo. I will not drink bad wine. I will not allow margarine into the household. I will not use cheap olive oil. There will NEVER be a green can of 'cheese product' in my cupboard.
I used to say I'd never cook squid until Deborah (and Marcella in a round about way) made me.
Sigh, another of my lovely absolutes that I had held near and dear to my heart tossed on the trash heap of life.
When I was making the menu for the week I offered Paul the choice of upcoming Pomodori recipes - he responded with 'let's get the damn squid over with.'
Hardly a rousing endorsement.
On Sunday, while steeling up the courage to cook my squids, I called mom to invite her over for a squid feast. When she heard the menu . . . she declined the invitation.
This is a first of historic proportions.
I reminded her of liver nights as a child and the abuse that had been inflicted upon my sister and myself by her disgusting liver recipes (which I invariably tossed to the dog under my dad's watchful and jealous eye - he wisely knew that such behaviour would never be allowed for HIM). Reminded of this horror, she grudgingly relented and came over.
You might ask 'what has the poor squid ever done to Jerry?'
The answer is nothing. Squid doesn't taste horrible - in fact, I actually enjoy the taste. I think it is the texture. Well, I didn't enjoy cleaning the things either, truth be told. I LOATH the tentacles. Those suction cups that threaten to grab and tug at my throat as they slide down. Perhaps it is just an overactive imagination and meds are in order???
Marcella points out that there are really two ways to cook squid - fast and hot as in fried calamari - which I love - yes, I really do (remember that world of grey I admit to actually residing in . . .), or long and slow - which is the technique used in this recipe.
To make this classic Tuscan dish (over dinner mom argued that Tuscany had no coastline and therefore there was nothing classic about this. We rose to Marcella's defense . . . reminding her of a wee place called Livorno - a city she insisted we had made up . . . Paul had to get our driving atlas of Italy to prove her wrong . . . see the fun we have at the DeQuetteville/Blonski dinner table? 'Tis an invitation to covet!)
Hmmm - I have meandered on a wee digression here.
Anyway. Classic Tuscan dish. Marcella = A +, Edith = sent back to Italian geography for dummies.
One cleans the squid. Eeewww - enough said. Even the cats were offended.
I lay down for an hour to recover.
Imagine what I would have needed had I even touched the things instead of making Paul do it all?
Fortified by a glass of vino and a beer, I commenced cooking. Onion and garlic is sautéed in olive oil. Parsley. Tomatoes. This cooks and forms a simple sauce.
This wasn't so bad after all.
We then dumped in the cleaned squid that had been cut into rings by Paolo (don't forget those tentacles) and cooked it over a low heat for 35 - 40 minutes. After a light sprinkle of salt and pepper we were ready for the peas. I had some fresh ones purchased at the market so I shelled 2 pounds of those beautiful pods and added them to the 'stew'.
Twenty minutes later we were ready to eat. Paul moaned that ALL of the tentacles were on his plate. Mom, having eaten a few bites said 'no leftovers for me tonight'. Paul and I cleaned off our plates and used the loaf of crusty bread to sop up all of the juices. This was tasty.
It really was.
See. Another absolute shot all to heck.
Thanks for your help with this Marcella!