Friday, July 3, 2009

Salt & Pepper Squid & Olives

A mind-blowing dish.
A flavor unmatched.
A dry texture that seems beyond science considering the battered & fried application it's given.
I have dreams and nightmares about this dish.
The dreams are of me eating it.
The nightmares are of me trying to replicate it.

Deep-frying has always been one of my biggest challenges. How do I keep it from getting soggy? How do I finish it golden brown on the outer without undercooking the inner? Why does the batter separate so easily? How do I not make it greasy?

Salt & Pepper Squid answers all these questions, yet I don't know the answer.
The internet isn't as useful as it seems.
I tried to match this dish tonight. I made a Szechuan peppercorn tempura-like batter with toasted salt. But it still ended up soggy, greasy and it separated from the squid itself a bit.
The flavor's were on point.
I served it with garlic-sauteed chives and chili's plus kalamata olives. Olives are a great pair with squid. Well specifically prepared this way. It's also a good way to cut down the grease on your palette.

I'd love to further this discovery:

Salt & Pepper squid with....
Nicoise Olive Waffle + Garlic-Nut Syrup + Chives+Chili Butter
Kalamata Tapenade + Mashed Eggplant + Basil+Lemon Confit
Stuffed with Sticky Rice + Chorizo + Raisins + Spanish Olives

But honestly, this dish should almost not be tampered (despite my tendencies and temptations to do so). It speaks for itself, simple with a large garnish of garlic, cilantro and jalapeno. If you've never had it, please go. I'll tell you where!

King Palace BBQ & Seafood Chinese Restaurant
163rd St & NE 3rd ave

Lung Gong
8th St. & SW 119th ave.

Tropical (Dim Sum)
40th St. & SW 84th Ave.

*these are all in Miami, by the way.

Taste it and you tell me otherwise. I dare you.

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