Thursday, March 13, 2008
Gutting Your Own Food: Squid with Red Gravy and Vegetables
Another week, another recipe.
Now, any blog can do chicken. Any blog can do steak, shrimp, any blog can simmer a vacu-packed chunk of foie gras.
But who's willing to take their food from source to plate, all in a half an hour? Who can take a living item, eviscerate it, and make it delicious? I can, of course.
To that end, tonight's main course -- Squid.
(My apologies to the Pasta Burner -- she is terrified of squid eyes, and will probably refuse to read this post because of this picture.)
But still! SQUID! S-Q-U-I-D! Raw and intact! Can you dig it?
The victims, in the flesh:
I could go on, taking pictures, dealing with the camera, getting ink all over my hands, trying to explain exactly how to gut and clean a squid. But why? They do an excellent job of it here. They even have pictures! Clearly, any similar description or depiction here would just be redundant.
Need proof that the directions work? Here!
See? Nice and clean. Easy as pie!
Now, to the recipe:
2 Squid, gutted, cleaned, each approx. 10 inches long
1 Head Garlic, roasted.
Three cups Red Gravy (Your choice)
Two cups Assorted Veggies
Two tablespoons balsamic Vinegar
1 Cup Red Wine (dry)
So, first things first. Drizzle some olive oil in a pan, add your head of softened garlic, and then, after a minute or two over high heat to flavor the oil, add the sliced squid head (in ribbons of 1/2 an inch).
Okay -- at this point, we need a break. A serious break. A break of "The Wreck of The Edmund Fitzgerald" proportions. Because we have a big issue just ahead. Enjoy the music, and then we'll get back to the matter at hand.
That was enjoyable. And nautical. And, let's admit, gloomy. But, to the issue at hand:
Red gravy, red sauce, pasta sauce, marinara, all the same deal, folks. It's tomato based pasta sauce. Everyone has their own recipe, everyone has their own secret ingredient, their Grandmother's mother's mother's mother's recipe. We'll have a post on red gravy one of these days, a post about making it from scratch, a post about how to create that...and we'll do that eventually. For today, I hope you have your own sauce, or use what recipe you can get your hands on.
(NOTE: If you are one of those people that makes your own sauce, you almost certainly have some frozen in a container, fossilizing in the back of the freezer, a cube of forgotten deliciousness. Now would be the time to thaw out that cube. And, like I said, if you only have canned sauce, use canned sauce! It's cool -- we're all friends here.)
So, to that end, add two cups of red gravy to the pan -- let's leave it at that -- and add your veggies.
Broccoli, Spinach, Mushrooms, Onions, Red Peppers, and Artichoke Hearts. Mmm.
(Yes, only broccoli and mushrooms appear in the picture. Deal.)
Add the wine and vinegar, stir, cover, and simmer for 30-45 minutes.
While we're waiting, let's do a beet and goat cheese salad. A little wilted spinach on top, a little black-pepper infused butter on top -- bing, bang, boom. Eaaaaasy.
Make a little angel hair pasta, let the sauce reduce, and, once you plate it, grate a little Parmigiano Reggiano on top.
Oh, yeah. That's the stuff. The Pasta Burner found it delicious -- even after the initial squid carnage (and that's saying quite a bit). So yeah -- don't be afraid of prepping your own food, don't be afraid of knowing what you're eating was once alive, don't fear a little slime and guts. It might just be delicious.
A little music to get us out of here, and that'll do it! Until next time.
MUSIC: The Ballad of the Squid and the Whale