Salt and Pepper Squid

DSC_0347-1.JPGWe can’t forget the¬†Chisimath, a brilliant but sadly long gone local Singaporean restaurant, best remembered for their friendly service and their salt and pepper squid.

Mine aren’t as good but they can be so nice that you may not want to stop eating them. ¬†Nothing wrong with a piece of nice bread, a plate of shallow-fried salt-and-pepper squid and a poached egg.

This needs everything at the ready, as cooking happens all at the same time, and only takes minutes.

Clean and trim the squid (I use frozen baby squid and always have some in the freezer). Cut into rings the width of your index finger, leave the tentacles intact but seperate. Drain on kitchen towel. Set aside.

Cut a thick slice of nice sourdough or Rye bread per person. Rub very generously with garlic, then tomatoe, then olive oil. Set aside.

Mix one spoon of corn flour and white wheat flour on a plate.

Prepare one egg white on another plate.

Prepare the spice mix on the thrid plate: a spoon of salt and crushed black pepper, 1/4 crushed celery seeds. A tablespoon of finely chopped red chilly and spring onions each. Mix together.

Get the griddle going and toast your bread nicely. When ready, briefly drain on kitchen tissues.

Bring a small pot of water to the boil, add a splash of vinegar and turn down the heat until it just stops boiling.

Heat a generous amount of olive oil in a frying pan – about as deep as your little finger is thick. Get it pretty hot but not smoking.

Crack an egg into the no longer boiling water.

Now toss the squid in flour, then egg white, then spices. Fry in the hot oil. Since this isn’t a deep fryer, you need to move the pieces a little to prevent them from sticking. Just be gentle. The whole thing takes 3…4 minutes; the squid should start to take on a little colour but still be soft and tender.

Briefly drain squid, egg and bread on kitchen tissue, then plate up. Add some capers for extra kicks and some Balsamic reduction for the good looks.

 

 

Seared Scallops, Glazed with Champagne Zabaglione

DSC_0739I don’t take credit for this recipe; credit goes to Monica Galetti, who presented this as her skills-test challenge in Masterchef Professional in the 2013 series. We saw and liked, then we made our own version and liked, so here’s the plan:

Make a savory Champagne Zabaglione, sear scallops. Dress the scallops with a spoon or two of Zabaglione and whack under the grill until the Zabaglione begins to brown.

Monica’s candidates had to do it in 10 minutes. You may take longer, but it is actually pretty quick to make.

Pre-heat the grill at full whack.

For the Zabaglione, whisk one egg yolk per portion in a Bairne Marie. Whisk, whisk and whisk. Never stop, never slow. You’d want the yolks to heat while whisking them white and fluffy. When you’ve reached 60C, begin slowly adding Champage, about 70ml per portion. Season to taste with a sprinkle of salt, possibly a small dash of lime juice. Monica used fresh horseraddish shavings, which we found nice. Black pepper would also work.

Keep whisking until you’ve reached the consistency of runny custard, and put in the fridge for a few minutes while you sear the scallops in a black pepper butter.

Take a nice wide-rimmed soup plate, add two or three scallops into each, and dress with two large spoons of the Zabaglione. Grill for a minute or two, just until it begins to brown.

Decorate with some samphire or a little fresh dill, serve and enjoy with fresh baquette.