It's me, the sub again. This time I'm filling in for Beth. Personally, I think Beth took one look at all the steps involved in this recipe and ran for the hills (only kidding Beth ;D).
Today, I'm making the Seafood Salad. I'm a big fan of seafood, but unfortunately, on a cold, rainy day in the northeast, I was in the mood more for a chowder then a room temperature salad, but oh well.
First, I started off with a call to Whole Foods, to make sure they had all the necessary ingredients before I made the 25 minute trek in the rain (I was really most concerned that they had whole calamari aka squid). I chose to use Whole Food's seafood section over our local fish store because since Mat, the previous owner, sold it several years ago, I just haven't found the quality of the seafood up to snuff.
So off I went to Whole Foods to gather my ingredients, whole squid (which luckily came already cleaned), shrimp, clams, mussels and scallops. The recipe also called for octopus but we were in no danger of getting that today or really any day (I'm just not a big fan) and since Marcella gave me the option to skip it, I did.
Once home, everything went into the fridge. By the way, when you by mussels and clams, you should be aware that they're still alive so you never want to put them in the fridge in a sealed container - they need to breathe.
About 5ish we started to work (I forced Chris to help - he cleaned the clams and mussels - I'm never very good at that). It's not a complicated recipe but it's a long recipe - why? Because you need to cook the squid in a pot (by the way, I overcooked them - they cook really quick and if you go even a minute too long, well, they're tough). You have to cook the shrimp in a pot. You have to cook the scallops in another pot. You have to cook the clams and mussels in a broad pan (I did them together but the mussels cooked quicker, fyi). So that's 3 pots and another pan of some sort and if you had the octopus, well that would be 5 pots/pans total! That's a lot of cleanup.
Then, what's that all done, you skin a pepper (not sure why), smash some garlic and mix it all together (after the mussels and clams have rested). Then you douse it all with some olive oil and lemon juice (don't be stingy) as well as salt and some grounds of pepper. Then it sits on the counter for 30 minutes to let the flavors meld.
I think we finally ate around 7:15 - 7:30 or so.
Here's what I thought - I'm not sure I'd make it again unless I get a better fish monger with the absolute freshest seafood ingredients. Even then it's a lot of work for something I can't prep ahead of time and refrigerate and serve later (Marcella is adamant about making sure this salad doesn't see the inside of a fridge. I can understand that - chilled would probably dull the natural flavors). Though, perhaps some variation might show up this summer, sans calamari, and with some crushed red pepper thrown in somewhere.