Monday, August 04, 2003

Last night I made salt and pepper squid from Nigella Bites , a book that looks more promising than How to Eat- I had made the vietnamese chicken salad with success, and the pictures are all shiny.

The squid was problematic- the fish truck guy at the Farmer's Market said he only sold cooked squid, and Whole Foods' squid being frozen and thawed, I decided frozen would be fresher. But they only had 10 oz, so I also bought some at TJ's for half the price for 16 oz, figuring I could half that bag to make 18 oz. Well, the TJ's squid, the cheap stuff, defrosted beautifully. The Whole Foods squid was a soggy mess. I figured hey, I'll drain it, and it'll be fine. Well, no. The first batch, mostly TJ's squid, came out fine. But the Whole Foods squid did not take to the corn starch at all, leaving a runny mess in the bag, and it cooked up awfully. So awfully I abandoned the batch entirely, got a new pan, and fried up the frozen TJ's squid, which came out fine. (And for that batch I learned that my in between bruising and pulverizing mortar and pestle skills are not close enough to pulverizing for the peppercorns, so I ground them instead- much better.)

The aioli was the real triumph. I am a mayonnaise goddess. I should add that to my food manifesto- I believe storebough mayonnaise is for pansies.