squid

Sautéed Squid with Leeks and Shishito Peppers

As much as I wanted this to be a slow, relaxing summer, I knew that work would get in the way. And now, here we are, already in July. Our weekends are booked up and now almost every day involves a shoot. Instead of being disappointed by the lack of downtime, we are starting to plan ahead to this fall and winter and are looking to take another vacation around the holidays. We went to Hawaii last year and it was a magical ten days. As much as we love culture and exploring cities, the best part of that trip was relaxing by the pool. We've been talking for years about doing the all-inclusive (and "adults only") thing. An island resort with nothing to do but read, eat, and drink (I gained five pounds in Hawaii so I can only imagine what this trip will do to me). So, that's the direction we're looking in (we're totally open to suggestions if people have them... thinking Cancun, the DR, maybe Turks and Caicos). 

Squid is one of those ingredients I seldom work with. I'll order it anytime it's on a menu, but cooking at home never occurs to me. I did find myself purchasing a few pounds the other week (an impulse buy), along with shishito peppers (which, until this recipe, I had never prepared) and a bunch of leeks. I fired up the wok (one of my favorite kitchen implements) for this dish. It's not a complicated recipe, but it does pack a ton of flavor.  

Sautéed Squid with Leeks and Shishito Peppers

Servings
Serves 4


Ingredients
2 pounds cleaned squid, a mixture of tentacles and bodies, bigger tentacles cut in half, the bodies cut into 1/2" rings
1 bunch washed leeks, light green and white parts only, sliced into thin rings
8 ounces shishito peppers, stems removed
2 teaspoons of fresh minced ginger
1 teaspoon minced garlic
Olive oil
Soy sauce
Sesame oil
Red pepper flakes

Directions
1. Place 1 tablespoon of olive over in a wok or large skillet set over high heat. Heat for 1 minute. Add the leeks and cook for 1 minute. Add shishito peppers and stir to combine. Cook for another 2-3 minutes, until the peppers begin to blister. Transfer peppers and leeks to a bowl.

2. Return the pan to the stove and set over medium-high heat. Pour in 1 tablespoon olive oil and let it heat up for 1 minute. Add squid to the pan, and drizzle 1 tablespoon of soy sauce over them. Cook, without touching them, for one minute. Add minced ginger and garlic. Flip over squid and cook for another 1-2 minutes.

3. Add the cooked peppers and leeks to the pan with the squid and toss to combine. Drizzle 2 teaspoons sesame oil over them and sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes on top. 

Spicy Squid and Mango Salad

Spicy Squid and Mango Salad
Spicy Squid and Mango Salad
Spicy Mango and Squid Salad
Spicy Mango and Squid Salad
Spicy Mango and Squid Salad
Spicy Mango and Squid Salad

We closed on our house last week!!! (I think that deserved more than a single exclamation point) After we did the walk through and signed a gazillion documents, Eric and I went back and had a quiet moment together. There was Prosecco consumed out on the front porch. We got to meet a few of our neighbors, all of whom greeted us warmly. Now we begin the process of moving. We immediately started moving fragile items and the massive amounts of photography props just to make room for more boxes.  Next week, the movers come which, along with hiring a painter, was one of the smartest things we could have done in this whole process. Those cookbooks are heavy!

Despite having no furniture in our house, we managed to throw our first dinner party on Sunday. Ok, so we took in Thai food and ate on the kitchen floor, but it was still a lot of fun. And we drank some delicious wine (thanks to Eric's brother and sister-in-law). My heart melted a little when our niece came up to me and asked me if this was our new home. Seriously, precious.

This weekend will be spent in NJ hanging with my mom as she turns the big 6-0 (sorry, Mom, I had to share!). For months, she kept telling me that it was crazy to come down in the middle of the move. But celebrating this milestone... well, there's no way we are missing this.

Spicy Mango and Squid Salad
Spicy Mango and Squid Salad

Spicy Squid and Mango Salad

Ingredients

1 1/2 pounds small squid, cleaned, bodies cut into 1/3-inch rings and tentacles halved 1 mango, ripe but still firm, peeled and julienned 2 tablespoons olive oil 1 cup lightly packed mint leaves 4 basil leaves, chiffonade 1 tablespoon coarsely chopped cilantro Juice of one lime 1 tablespoon sesame oil 1 1/2 teaspoons minced ginger 1 shallot, sliced thinly 1 tsp chopped habanero pepper 1 1/2 tablespoons finely chopped red bell pepper 1/4 cup unsalted roasted peanuts Salt Black pepper

Instructions

1. Add the oil to a skillet and set over medium heat. Add the squid and cook on low heat for approximately 5 minutes, or until they become opaque. Season with 2 teaspoons Kosher salt and 1 teaspoon black pepper. Remove from heat and transfer squid, but not the cooking liquid, to a bowl to cool.

2. In a separate bowl, add the lime juice, sesame oil, ginger, shallot, and habanero. Season with 1/2 teaspoon salt and whisk to combine.

3. Add the mango, red pepper, mint, basil, and cilantro to the bowl with the squid. Pour the dressing over and toss to combine.

4. Transfer salad to a serving bowl and top with peanuts. Season with salt, to taste.

Squid with Burst Cherry Tomatoes

Squid with Burst Cherry Tomatoes
Squid with Burst Cherry Tomatoes

"Clocks slay time... time is dead as long as it is being clicked off by little wheels;

only when the clock stops does time come to life." - William Faulkner

Squid with Burst Cherry Tomatoes
Squid with Burst Cherry Tomatoes
Squid with Burst Cherry Tomatoes
Squid with Burst Cherry Tomatoes

When we arrived to open the Cape house a few months ago, we noticed that the kitchen clock had stopped working.  This wasn't terribly surprising, since it had been around for quite some time.  To fill the empty space, a platter in the shape of a fish was propped up against the wall.  Eric and his brother like to joke about it. "Hey, what time is it?" one asks... to which the other replies "I think it's half past a fish."

It never gets old.

I've grown to really appreciate the absence of the clock.  So much of my day is spent scheduling that to be in a place that doesn't have a visible clock is refreshing. Somehow life slows down in the most miraculous way when you aren't always checking to see what time it is.   Eating when you want to.  Drinking when you want to. Napping when you want to.  It's a wonderful thing.

Squid with Burst Cherry Tomatoes
Squid with Burst Cherry Tomatoes
Squid with Burst Cherry Tomatoes
Squid with Burst Cherry Tomatoes

Squid with Burst Cherry Tomatoes

(mildly adapted from Tom Colicchio's recipe in Food and Wine Magazine, August 2013)

Servings 8-10

Ingredients

1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil 2 1/2 pounds mixed cherry tomatoes 2 large garlic cloves, minced 1 1/2 teaspoons minced ginger Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper 1 1/2 pounds small squid, cleaned, bodies cut into 1/3-inch rings and tentacles halved 1 1/2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar 1 cup lightly packed small basil leaves

Instructions

1. Add the oil to a skillet and set over medium heat.  Add tomatoes, garlic, ginger, and a pinch of salt and pepper.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes blister, approximately 4 minutes.

2. Add the squid and cook on low heat for approximately 5 minutes, or until they become opaque.

3. Stir in the rice wine vinegar and basil and season with salt and pepper.