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Thankyou to Allan Campion who included a link to this blog in his most recent Newsletter.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Chilli Salt Squid with Asian Herb Salad and Palm Sugar-Lime Juice Dressing

All of my friends seem to love salt and pepper squid, although, I can't really say that I've ever had it myself. I always wondered about the chef that invented it... were they feeling that lazy that day, that all they could come up with was deep fried squid with salt and pepper on it? If I've learnt anything about cooking since starting this challenge, it's that simple isn't always the best.... and Ezard's recipes are rarely simple.
This is Ezard's twist on the classic, nothing much too different, the main difference being that the the salt and pepper is 'spiced up' a little to add a new dimension to the dish, giving it tad more zing than the original.

Basically your salt and pepper consists of star anise, chilli, Cinnamon, pepper, cardamon and salt.

This is the squid... two of them....chopped finely into rings....

Your garnish consists of finely chopped and sliced chillies, garlic and ginger, all deep fried separately til golden.

Once you've made your salad and lime dressing that goes with the squid, you can start deep frying your squid. You need to make sure your squid is really, really dry before you start to fry it. This was my downfall on this dish. I kept the squid too moist, because I thought it wouldn't matter, but after being dipped in the rice flour, it kind of went all gluggy and doughy. I continued on anyway.
I plated up the salad and the squid then sprinkled the garnish on top. The dish looked fantastic. Piled high with salad and squid... it looked just like the book. The only problem was that because I didn't dry my squid properly, the squid didn't go crispy. The dish tasted great, but the overall texture wasn't great, I wasn't impressed at all. This had nothing to do with the recipe, but with my lack of attention to drying the squid. I hope to make this one again one day, because I'm sure it could be great, but I just have to remember to keep the squid dry!!

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