Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Stuffed Squid (Page 343)

RECIPE # 1118

  • Date: Tuesday, February 23, 2010 -- 7pm
  • Location: Berkeley, CA
  • Kitchen: Our Temporary California Home
  • Dining Companion: Matty
  • Recipe Rating: B

I chose this recipe as part of the All Seafood All The Time plan. I started by separating the squid tentacles from the bodies and chopping the tentacles. I sauteed the tentacles in olive oil until just cooked through, then I let them cool. I pureed some canned stewed tomatoes and added them to the oil, along with basil leaves, sea salt, and pepper. I simmered the sauce for 10 minutes. To make the squid stuffing I combined pecorino, fresh bread crumbs, minced garlic, parsley, eggs, the sauteed tentacles, and pepper. I stuffed each squid body (loosely), then used toothpicks to close the openings. I browned the stuffed squid in oil, then added the squid to the tomato sauce and cooked until the squid were tender. I removed the toothpicks and served the stuffed squid in the sauce.

When my special gentleman came home the evening I made this, he asked, "What's for dinner?" I answered, "Squid stuffed with squid." That was the best description I could come up with for this recipe. Squid bodies stuffed with squid tentacles. Mmmmm.... I wasn't looking forward to this one so much, but it was ok. My special gentleman described the dish by saying, "They taste like ravioli. Very chewy ravioli." It was true -- the squid had its characteristic chewy texture. The filling had a good flavor, although I think I would have preferred it without the squid tentacles. The tomato sauce was very standard, but had a nice flavor to it. I am pretty neutral on squid -- I neither love it nor hate it -- and this recipe didn't particularly push me in either direction. It was only OK.

The recipe is here.

When I was little I secretly wished that I would break my arm. I envied the girl who didn't have to run in gym class because running made her cough up blood. There was a girl in my school with cancer, and in a way I thought it was glamorous. In my young days I didn't understand that illness and injury come with pain and suffering. And I remembering wishing that I too could be injured, or seriously ill. In retrospect I feel terrible that I ever thought that way. It's crazy. Absolutely crazy. And I wish I could go back and explain to my young self how horrible those wishes were.

Years later, when I was diagnosed with my tumor, I was scared. I wondered if the tumor was payback for all those crazy childhood desires. But I quickly realized that my tumor was not so scary, or dangerous. Indeed it has hardly negatively affected my life so far at all. Earlier this week I was waiting for the results of some medical tests for something actually scary. The tests all came back normal -- thank goodness! -- but it was a frightening experience and it really shook me up. I just kept thinking about that 7 year-old version of myself, and how I didn't understand at all what it meant to be ill. And I kept wondering, if the tests came back with bad news, would I have brought it on myself with those wishes, years ago?

Luckily everything came back normal. And now, more than ever, I am feeling very blessed by my good health.

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