calamari


when a ricettario italiano directs you in the index from calamari to squid, go no further. squid may translate to calamari, the reverse simply doesn't hold true. not in an italian cookbook. stretching a point? me? ma mai! in the same way that a squid ain't no cuttlefish, an italian capocuoca, even a lowly cuoco focaccino, would not likely do squid, if calamari was at hand. some italians translate squid into seppia, which is lovely, considering the name arrives from their ink color, sepia.
oh, well. i get way too italian, hence fussy. it's likely the german in me, all allusion aside. today, and while wild mushrooms are at the market, i am trying calamari ripieni, finished under the broiler. two ways of doing this: the inky way and the smart, the lazy man's way. so, stephanie drove me to uwajimaya for - this being a japanese american market - already cleaned 'squid'. aka イカ. i prefer the smaller version, and used it, more tender less cooking. anyways, i glazed some cipollini in hazelnut oil, tossed in wild chanterelles, a glass of white wine and, once reduced to a luscious velvety texture, i cleaved the mess and bulged it into the maw of each calamaro. toothpicks kept the stuff inside. brushed with olive oil, pepper and sea salt. off went the little sacks inches under a 600 broiler. 



brown and tender, golden, impossibly perfect, onto the plate and yes, into 'il recinto degli denti'. dio mio, oh yes. really. and more barbaresco nebbiolo.