Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Calamari Success!!


I’m so surprised by how many people I know that - still - haven’t been able to jump off that cliff to try Calamari.

Even more surprising is to know that some of those same folks can suck down raw oysters and chase ‘em with beer - but - carry this heavy fear of - Calamari.

Confession here.  I have never been walked through that dark fear of raw oysters.  I will kill you over fried oysters!  But - I can't even handle the sight of watching someone doing raw oysters.  How do you consider what you don't chew as eating - anyway?

In case you don’t know - Calamari is the dress-up name for a wonderful appetizer prepared using - Squid!

And I love it - absolutely!

Nine times out of ten - I have learned that the first experience is downright crucial to success with walking any loved one into a whole new food world for their pleasure.

For me - it was a Christmas dinner in a little bitty small room - some very quaint Mom ‘n Pop place in Turlock, Calfifornia.  For some reason - I can’t even remember the name of the place.  It's been so long ago.  I can only remember the room - and the company at the table.  I dunno.  But I think that gives more value to the memory and the reason why we were there - rather than only remembering the name of the place - so there!

I have tried - for quite a while - years - to get Dwayne to taste Calamari.  Attempts to walk this husband of mine to the other side of that dark fear - Ha! - much like walking some Great Pyraneese - that decides to take a nap - in a mud puddle.

It hasn’t been pretty.

But - let me go on record.  There was success - finally - on Monday, February 2, 2010 - at my most favorite restaurant - Johnny Carino's in Knoxville, Tennessee!

I don’t know why - but - almost everywhere I have been since my first taste of Calamari - I have found it being served with Marinara sauce.  Maybe some people can handle this - but for me - that spicy tomato Marinara just doesn’t fit with - seafood.

When all else fails - try it with Ranch Dressing!

Well - not this time.  But close!

Try this Side Dip!

Teresa's Favorite Calamari Dip

1 8-oz. pkg. Cream Cheese
1 16-oz. carton Sour Cream
2 Tbl. Prepared Horseradish
1 tsp. Lemon Juice
Salt to taste

Let your cream cheese sit until room temperature.  Strain prepared horseradish - unless you use fresh grated.  Combine all ingredients.  Best if you let it set in the refrigerator for thirty minutes or so.

Side Notes -
The very best recipe I have ever found for preparing Calamari at home is one offered by my one of my two favorite Manly Chefs - Mario Batali !!