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Thursday, January 26, 2012

Calamari Two Ways

I started out this morning being the good dad, and cooking the last two real eggs for my son Kyle.  Eggs are one of my favorite foods, and if wasn’t for cholesterol I would eat whole eggs every day.  I have learned that by cooking one real egg with some egg beaters, the texture and flavor are much closer to the real thing.  So, this morning I sacrificed and had a plate of egg beaters and my favorite keurig starbucks dark roast.

My intention was to have some leftover chicken and salad for lunch, but the gang at work mentioned the word bodega, and I caved in.  Rice, Beans and Pernil had my name all over it.  I got the small plate, and for 4 bucks, you just can’t beat it.  Dodged some rain on my way out of the office to head home, and beat the major traffic.

Kyle and Sue were on their way out to volunteer at the church.  So I decided to go to the gym for a light workout.  20/20/20 – 20 minute run, 20 minute elliptical, 20 minute various machines for legs.  That worked up a good appetite, so I started preparing dinner so that it would be ready when Kyle and Sue get home.  What a good dad.

This day in history “Ancel Keys Born 26 Jan 1904; died 20 Nov 2004 at age 100.”
American nutritionist and epidemiologist who was the first to identify the role of saturated fats in causing heart disease. In 1935, he studied the physiological effects of altitude, which he conducted in the Andes. At the onset of WW II, he designed the lightweight yet nutritious K ration used by American paratroops. The hard biscuits, dry sausage, hard candy and chocolate it contained were items he originally selected at a Minneapolis grocery store, and the ration was named with his initial. In 1947, he began a decade of study of 283 local businessmen. From its results, he determined that saturated fat chiefly determined blood cholesterol levels, and linked smoking, high blood pressure and elevated cholesterol with heart attacks.

Damn, why did I have to eat that Pernil (roasted pork shoulder) today of all days.  Anything in moderation it seems, as every time you turn around something is either bad for you, or surprise, last years bad for you is this years good for you.  I had already planned some calamari for dinner, not something that is high in fat or cholesterol on its own.

Since I like to cook and experiment with new foods, or foods I eat at restaurants that I can usually make better myself, I ventured to cook the calamari two ways.  For the newbs, calamari is squid.  I cheated as I had a jar of Fra Diavlo sauce to work with so I didn’t make any sauce from scratch.  Calamari Fra Diavlo over twisted pasta, and fried calamari with some of the spicy sauce as an appetizer.

This is the first time trying to make my own fried calamari, and it came out ok, but not as good as Randazzo’s in Brooklyn.  The simple recipe of calamari, flour, salt, pepper, and hot oil (375 degrees) may take some time to perfect.  Maybe next time in Brooklyn, I sit at the counter and watch the calamari chef work his magic..  The trick I think is getting the flour, or enough of it to cling to the calamari so that the oil can puff up the calamari to a crispy, yet tender, yet slightly chewy treat.

So as you can see, there was some fried food on the menu, and since I used a deep fryer at the right temperature, not much oil remains in the cooked product.  At least that’s what I tell myself….I  had a bunch of rings and tentacles…..

Photo of the day “Calamari Two Ways”




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