Today I had to use the squid I bought yesterday and decided to make the squid/cuttlesfish dish from MORO. The ingredients list of this recipe sounds more flavoursome than the picture in the book which makes it looks like brown Tripe stew. Unusually the squid has to braise for 50 minutes and even after 50 mins and more than a few pinches of salt and pepper and prolific tasting, I honestly dreaded eating it and felt this may mark my first failure.
I tried a piece of squid, the book says to cook it until “soft”. It had the texture of eating slimy ocean flavoured mushrooms – like chewing a soft slug which smells and tastes like the sea. It looked also like a sea of brown stained rings in an ocean of brown sludgy liquid with a few pallid green broad beans bobbing around in the pan looking like they did not belong there not wanted to be.
I gave the kids their lemon scented roast chicken, plated up my husbands dinner which was the same as the kids and promptly put it in a high up place. I decided to eat my dinner before my husband got home. Mainly to avoid the relevant commentary and eye rolling at my new resolution and I also predicted that this, combined with the residue of my dreaded female monthly visitor may result in a combative night.
I dutifully added the handful of mint leaves to the sludge, a dribble of olive oil and plated it up. Procrastinating slightly, I decided to add a chopped boiled egg to the remains of yesterdays Salmorejo to eat as a chilled soup starter (as its supposed to be eaten). Salmorejo I will definitely be making again and eating a a soup not a sauce. I’m not sure if it was a mixture of genuine hunger mixed with enthusiasm for consuming at least one good thing this evening that made my eyes roll backwards with pleasure at this dish. I will not wait too long to make Salmorejo again and its a perfect way to dispose of over ripe tomatoes. (Salmorejo as a soup – 9 out of 10!).
Anyway, back to the squid tapas/stew. The addition of fresh mint just before consuming (well 5 minutes before consuming as I ate the soup first), transformed this dish into something quite amazing. OK – maybe not amazing but definately more than barely edible. The mint seemed to bind all the flavours and textures together: the fleshy ocean flavoured squid, the onion/wine/bay/paprika based sauce and the contrast of the tense bite of the broad beans. It all came together quite beautifully. Even the worrisome flabbiness of the cooked squid became perfectly acceptable and I enjoyed this dish a lot. Much more than I expected. Would I repeat it? Actually yes I think I would.. Soon? Maybe in a few months or so, but definitely repeatable.
7 out of 10.