Once again I pulled out Marcella for Sunday. A few weeks back I noticed that on Fridays as I walk from North Station to work, past Faneuil Hall, Government Center, and various other Boston landmarks, I was also walking by Haymarket that goes on Fridays and Saturdays (and by this I mean the actual market, not the T stop). I know opinions are mixed about the market (it’s no farmer’s market!) but I decided to try some of the squid they had on sale–farmer’s market or no I do like the outdoor market. (Haymarket is apparently known for rudeness–again, no problem there, so who knows…)
I had been commissioned by my uncle-in-law Jimmy to figure out how to cook squid, which I was happy to do as I’ve loved squid since first having calamares in Spain. Interestingly, you either have to cook squid very briefly or for a long long time–there’s a very unhappy medium where the squid gets very rubbery. This recipe was on the long slow side, which was nice because once you had started it you coudl forget it about it (mostly) for a while. The funny thing is how floppy and well, slimy, the squid is, but that once it hits the pan it rapidly takes on a clear white color and becomes quite sturdy. With the addition of the tomatoes and about an hour of stewing it eventually took on a rosier hue.
The funniest thing has to be stirring around a pot filled with tentacles. Bubble bubble toil and trouble indeed.
So I do like squid, but couldn’t really handle it for lunch the next day. (Nor really for dinner, but musn’t waste leftovers. I liked the recipe, I would make it again (eventually), but it’s not, at least for me, something you want the next day. Also the flavor gets stronger I think and gets closer and closer to the taste of squid ink–if you’ve ever had those dishes of squid baked in their ink, that’s the flavor I mean. It’s pretty overpowering).
Therefore, I used the Chocolate and Zucchini cookbook to make a lunchtime sandwich: Pan Bagnat. Very tasty. A few years ago I wouldn’t have imagined eating a soggy vinegary, olive-oily, sandwich packed with anchovies (among more appealing items such as boiled eggs, basil, tomato, and olives) but it really hit the spot. As my husband says, trust the French when it comes to food even if it sounds weird, they usually know what they are doing. Of course, now I love sardines in mustard–one of those cravings you get when you’re pregnant, but which in my case never quite went away.