Last saturday, 2. p.m, at the crowded local market: I am standing exhausted among the fish stalls, my shoulders hurt from all the bags I'm carrying. I have everything I need for a whole week of fresh season vegetables and fruits. Unfortunately, the asperges have not appeared on the stalls yet... but I got fragrant deep red strawberries and a juicy mango instead. The fish looked amazing that day: after a lot of hesitation, I decided for a beutifully fresh sea bar, some mackerels. There is also that fish: "Wijting" in dutch. I don't know what it is, but there has been a massive arrival. Next time maybe. Time to go! And then, I almost bumped into the stall: squids! I love these animals... But cleaning them is always such a hastle. Ok, I'll have some of these too. I tried my most charming smile and asked if they could clean them for me... But, that doesn't work in Holland! Anyway, I gave it a try. Off with my kilo of calamars to clean...
Back in my kitchen, it took me a good half hour to clean these damn animals! First carefully removing the inside, then the skin. Water, lemon... All bright and clean, packed in plastic bags and off to the freezer. a complete spa treatment. I was definitely out of energy after that and almost regretted buying them.
Few days later, in my kitchen again, you could have heard me singing, like Edith Piaf, "Non, rien de rien... Non, je ne regrettes rien"! It was worth every effort: searching for an idea for my lunch box I remembered! I unpacked my first little bag of squids, and got started. With squid, I always remember the cleaning part, and forget the recipe. It's everytime different eventhough there's always a mediterranean touch to it. One thing is sure, there were a lot of jealous the next day at the cantine!
Improvised sauteed squid.
(Calamars sautes: impro du jour)
1 pers. prep: 10 min(excl. cleaning), cooking: 15/20 min
300g small or mid-size squids cleaned
3 small tomatoes (or more if you want more sauce)
1 new carrot
1 red oignon
2 cloves of fresh garlic
a small handful flat parsley
5 cl. of red wine
cayenne pepper to taste (or fresh red chili pepper)
a pinch of cumin powder
sea salt, pepper
Roughly chop your tomatoes and oignon. Chop your carrot in very small pieces. If your calamars are big enough, you can cut them in slices or the Jamie Oliver's way (cf. Jamie's Dinners) as featured in the photo: To do so, insert a wide cook's knife in the squid and with another cook's knife, slice the squid along it's length at small intervals.
Oil your skillet slightly so that it doesn't stick. Let it warm up on high fire. Add the cleaned calamars. After 5 to 10 min, they will have released most of their water. Keep these juices aside for later and add the chopped vegetables, the fresh garlic cloves, a bit of olive oil, season with salt peper and cayenne pepper. Once the vegetables start to colour, add half of the calamar juices, the wine and leave to cook for 10 min on mi. If it dries out, add the rest of the juices. Add the end, add a pinch of cumin, the flat parsley. Serve promptly with some white rice for example.
This will also be delicious warmed up the next day. In my lunch box, I replaced the rice with grilled new carrots.