March 15, 2007

Road trip souvenirs- calamar giant

I spent the morning and afternoon transcribing my notes from Dialogos de Cocina; I spent this evening dealing with my souvenirs of two days and two nights in San Sebastian cleaning those two large calamar at the bottom of the icy box above.

The notes needs another morning of work but the calamar and fresh anchovies wouldn't wait. I raided the French Kitchen pantry for some ventreche (bacon), 2 large spring onions, some sad garlic cloves, half a bottle of Cote de Gascgone white wine, one lemon and went to work. The anchovies are filleted and marinating in the lemon and oil waiting for a final touch of fresh pepper and bright olive oil. The calamar have been cleaned, chopped, and braised in a large pot with the bacon, onions and half of the wine (Of course, I drank the other half!).

The galley smells like the sea, the calamar is sweet and still firm. I cooked it for 30 minutes on a low flame. Tomorrow I will cook it again and play with the broth-now a slight rose pink tinted from the skin. Then Saturday, when friends come for dinner, I'll reheat it and add a touch of piment d'espelette and olive oil. these giant squid can handle the slow cooking with grace. The anchovies will be the aperitif with a glass of bone dry white wine, the dessert will be a arroz con leche (rice pudding) which I'll make before dinner and serve just warm.

The week began with Kitchen Talks, the sound of Michel Bras words ringing in my ears as I return home.

"I cook what I am.

I fill my space.

I try to create an atmosphere, to welcome my guests.

To be human."

So this is me, Kate de Gascogne, filling my space with the sound and smell of the Basque sea simmering in anticipation of my friends' arrival.

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