Sunday, July 22, 2007

Stinky, Slimy Squid Guts: A Tale of Seduction

I've seduced the Frog. Again.

Well, that makes it sound sudden-like. Actually, over the space of a year my obsessive watching of the Food Network (Canada's version) has altered the Frog's attitude. He has gone from "Not again! Don't you watch anything else? What is that? Iron what?" to "Nothing good is ever on the TV except on the Food Network. Oooh! Look! License to Grill is on! That guy is really cool! Oooh! And look! Iron Chef is on next. I wonder what the secret ingredient is!"

It's all rather funny and kinda cute to see a guy who was inordinately proud that he cut one pepper into slices for me in 15 minutes become the guy who is listening intently to Jamie Oliver about how to cut up a clove of garlic in 15 seconds. And now we've gone to a new level. A hands-on level.

On Friday morning, we went shopping at Auchan for three day's meals. In choosing at the fish mongers, Frog became obsessed with the idea of eating squid cooked from fresh (frozen or bad resto versions have been our lot in the past). He tried to beg me to cook them and, to be frank, I balked. But, to his credit, he didn't and was so desperate he decided he'd do it himself as long as I helped him find a recipe.

The next morning, he had a stomach-turning moment when he thought that he'd gotten himself into deeper water than he could handle. I helped him track down gutting procedures and recipes on the net, suggested replacements for a couple of ingredients not possible to obtain in the given time (long story) and willingly coached him through the steps. He went a little green again when he looked at the little squiddies laying in their inky, stinky, slimy pool but he washed, skinned, gutted, cut, debeaked, etc., while gaining, in leaps, his confidence back.

What we ended up making was a marinated squid dish cooked from residual heat and then chilled. He even made the rice to go with it. He was very proud of his creation, loved me all the more for helping him make it happen and strutted like a peacock when his father asked for the recipe and praised his efforts. It just may happen that I won't be the only one obsessing over a hard-to-get ingredient anymore. I, ashamedly, didn't take his budding interest in cooking too seriously in the last month or so. But now I know it's love.

Here is the orginal recipe from White Wine- Marinated Squid

We changed two things as we couldn't get to the store. I know it would have been better with the original lemon juice but we had to use a mild vinegar for the acid. FiL's cupboards are pretty bare of herbs so we used thyme instead. But, despite these changes, the squid was meltingly soft and nicely, lightly flavoured. A nice hot summer day recipe.


Dawn said...

Good for him (and you)! I wish that my husband had even occasionally cooked something out of a desire to eat a good meal. That's often the reason that I cook!

s'kat said...

He really picked quite a one to start off with! Looks like a lovely meal, and hopefully it will be the start of a new tradition!

and yes on non-touristy French things!

Christine said...

I'd say for an amateur cook, your frog did himself well. I love squid and this dish looks wonderful. Please convey my congratulations. :)

Joe said...

I could never get Jeff to try something like this, but I'd love to try it someday!

Nerissa said...

Dawn: Since he had the good example of his father cooking family meals, and I mean good quality meals, I guess it certainly helped him on the path.

s'kat: Well, it certainly wasn't the easiest way to go but I suppose he could have chosen worse. It was, actually, a rather simple dish, even with the gutting. And, okay, vote 4 :D
Christine: I will certainly tell him :)
Joe: He doesn't like squid?