Thursday, January 17, 2008

Grilled Calamari with Arugula (Page 344)

  • Date: Friday, January 11, 2008 -- 9pm
  • Location: Chicago, IL
  • Kitchen: Vigleik and Shihchi's Apartment
  • Fellow Chef: Vigleik
  • Dining Companion: Shihchi
  • Recipe Rating: B

Vigleik, Shihchi, and I made dinner last Friday at their place. Shihchi suggested squid, so we chose this recipe. There was neither anything terrible, nor anything amazing about this dish. It was conceptually very simple: grilled squid tossed with a lemon dressing and served on a bed of dressed arugula. The keen observer will note that the green stuff supporting the squid in the photo above is indeed not arugula. It is some mixed greens ensemble containing (a bit of) arugula. This was the closest thing Whole Foods had on that particular evening. If anything I think the mixed greens improved the dish, but that may be my bias against bitter greens speaking. The Book indicated that the squid could either be grilled on a real grill or cooked on a grill pan. We did the latter. The recipe called for the squid pieces to be skewered, a step that I figured was only meant to prevent the squid from falling through the grates in the grill. So, since we were using a grill pan, I figured it wasn't necessary and we skipped it. Turns out the skewering has another important functionality: to prevent the squid from curling up. Vigleik was in charge of the grilling of the squid, and he had the unenviable job of trying to uncurl many pieces of squid at once so they would be evenly cooked. He did a good job though and the squid was cooked through but still nice and tender. The lemon dressing was fine -- it wasn't terribly exciting, but it didn't taste bad. Overall the dish was solid, but nothing to write home about.

Here is the recipe.

I have recently become attached to the TV show "Brothers and Sisters." I rented part of Season 1 on DVD, never having seen it, and was instantly hooked. On the show the matriarch of the family likes to cook, and many of her scenes take place in the kitchen. What cookbook is she using in said scenes? The Gourmet Cookbook! There it is, my Book, on the small screen. Every time she is making something out of it, I get all excited. It's like seeing one of my friends starring in a TV show! (Aside: somebody I know was in a documentary once, and I saw it in the theater. Every time he appeared on screen I was practically bouncing out of my seat. I embarrassed the person I went to the movie with so much I thought he was going to walk out. This is sort of like that, except I usually watch my TV show alone, so no one has to suffer the embarrassment I cause!) Whenever The Book appears, I wonder: What is she making? Will she like it? What grade would she give it? (Yes, I know TV isn't real, and she isn't really going to cook from The Book... Now let me return to my TV fantasy land!) The Book even appears in flashbacks to a time before it was published! Ah, the magic of television. If you haven't seen it, the show is good. And when you see the big yellow cookbook you can imagine me getting all excited, staring closely at the TV trying to determine what she's making from the ingredients and equipment shown. And maybe they just open The Book to a random page and give her some carrots and onions to chop, but if so, I don't want to know!


Kevin said...

That bit of TV ephemera has got me way more excited than it should. Thanks for pointing it out, I'm downloading the show right now.

Teena said...

Well I hope you like the show! It's nice to know that someone else has grown as attached to The Book as I have!