Wednesday, 19 August 2009

the simplest summer supper - squid and samphire. And a warning about Twitter.

First, a word of apology. I should have blogged about this a couple of weeks ago when samphire was still available. It might still be available now, if you're very lucky (I got mine from Moxon's in Clapham), but the chances are that it will be a bit woody, which takes the edge off the pleasure of eating it a little. But only a very little.

But I didn't blog about it then because, as some of you will know, I've been acutely afflicted by a shocking I.T. disease called Twitter.

You want to watch out for it. You can try, as I did, to resist it for as long as possible. But from the moment you succumb, your life might never be the same again. Be warned. Be prepared for a period of adjustment. During that time, my top tips are: remember to breathe, eat, and sleep. Be prepared for strange looks from your friends, family, and partner/hanger-on/one-night stand. Also be prepared to respond to the question: 'Why are you writing to someone called hollowlegs?' I can tell you now - any answer you come up with will sound hopelessly dodgy.

So briefly and finally - but hopefully better late than never - a word about samphire and squid.

It's quite simple. Samphire rocks. It is one of the most lush foodie expressions of summer. Green, succulent, salty, and with a whiff of the sea about it, it's the perfect answer to a hot day. If you haven't tried it, put it on your list of things to do next summer. To cook it: steam it for 2 or 3 minutes, then serve with a generous shake of pepper and a generous knob of butter. That's really all there is to it.

And squid is hardly any more effort. Personally, I like to marinade it (it = opened out tubes + tentacles) for a few minutes in some olive oil, chilli, basil, garlic and a little lemon or lime juice. And then just throw it on the grill or into a hot pan. Cook for no more than a couple of minutes each side, and preferably less - you don't want it to go rubbery.

Wash down with a bottle of a super-chilled Pinot Grigio. There are few meals simpler, tastier, or more summery.

squid and samphire - before

This is, of course, the 'before' photo. By the time I'd cooked the stuff, daylight had vanished under a storm cloud, and the 'after' photo suffered somewhat from being taken under artificial light. Trust me, it looked mighty fine to the naked eye, but rather off-puttingly lurid in the photo. Since I want to encourage rather than deter you, I've therefore left the 'after' version to your imagination. The important thing to remember is that it tastes completely fab.

26 comments:

Lizzie said...

Because I ask lots of questions, that's why ;)

I still haven't tried samphire yet. How shocking is that?!

(Hollow Legs)

The Curious Cat said...

I've always wanted to try samphire but where can you buy it fresh and good? I love squid - I had some last night actually. I was always shy about cooking it but now I've got the hang of it, it is one of the easiest, quickest things to prepare for dinner. Do you know if it is a fatty fish? All these things I like inevitably tend to be and then I'm like 'oh bugger - and there I was thinking I was being all healthy...'

The Curious Cat said...

PS Why has twitter taken over for you? I've got an account but it hasn't really moved for me yet...

Browners said...

I love samphire. Whenever we cook fish I ask the fishmonger for some and they normally have some tucked away. Squid, as far as I know is very healthy...

You may well have changed my menu for Thursday...

Helen said...

Well, I did warn you....

Loving the samphire by the way, I am a bit obsessed with it.

goodshoeday said...

Looks good. I managed to get some samphire yesterday at the fish huts on Aldeburgh beach. Hoping its not too woody as I haven't had ay so far this year. i love the stuff.

aforkfulofspaghetti said...

Lizzie - hey! thanks for popping by, esp as you're mentioned. DO try samphire as soon as you can. You'll wonder why you didn't before.

Curious Cat - defo not a fatty fish. Quite the opposite. Enjoy sans guilt!

Browners - if I've changed your menu, then that's my job well done, I reckon. Hope you can find some.

Helen - you did, you did. I have only myself to blame, I know...

goodshoeday - hoping it's not too woody. You're in for a treat.

penny aka jeroxie said...

Samphire and fish. So yummy. Not tried it with squid before but I am such it will be perfect.

I am a twitterholic. So no shame!

♥Rosie♥ said...

As yet I haven't tried samphire *blush* but it sounds delish with squid.

I'm not twittering yet but I will remember your warnings ;0)

Signe said...

Agree twitter is as addictive as crack :S have now taken to going off-line altogether when I need to concentrate on work!

Samphire is indeed a thing of beauty, love that 'ozone' tang you get from it...usually have it with grilled fish but like the idea of pairing it with squid - thanks :D

aforkfulofspaghetti said...

penny - samphire and squid are a match made in heaven

rosie - you MUST try it. And be afraid, VERY afraid of the Twitter

signe - I think I'm going to have to take a leaf out of your book... Do try samphire with squid if you can get hold of both

Susan from Food Blogga said...

Oh, too funny! Sometimes I'm afraid I'll fall into the Twitter black hole and never return to civilization. Are we following each other? I'm @foodblogga. :)

Project 55 said...

I didn't check to see the quality, but I know there was samphire at one of the stalls at Borough market this past Saturday.

It didn't fit in with my purple theme apparently, since all I bought was beets and purple carrots!

-CJ

Bellini Valli said...

Sadly no samphire here but I alwasys enjoy reading about it:D

aforkfulofspaghetti said...

Susan - we weren't, but I'm following you now!

Project 55 - nope, I can see how that wouldn't work. Samphire is definitely not purple...

Bellini - you must come over here one summer...

Squish said...

I love your blog!

Pia K said...

obviously don't eat squid, never heard of smaphire until now, but it sure looks good! and i love the crispness of the photo!

still not hooked on twitter all that, but i have noticed an increase of my doodles and random thoughts and twitter seems to be a perfect instant outlet for them somehow...

Nicisme said...

Twitter can be highly addictive, and dare I say it, fun!
I have eaten samphire but not cooked it myself, yours looks good.

Cookie baker Lynn said...

I've never even heard of samphire. Thanks for giving me my daily nugget of info.

Johanna said...

ooh would love to try samphire - sounds wonderful but I have never had the luck to find it

have just warned my partner to stay away from twitter after your warning - he would be terrible - and beside you can't have gorgeous pics of samphire on twitter!

aforkfulofspaghetti said...

squish - thank you. Good to see you here!

Pia - I think you'd love samphire.

Nicisme - it's the easiest thing to cook, it really is. Just like asparagus.

Johanna - it's worth making the effort to track some down in the summer. You won't regret it! And yes, if you ever want to have a sensible conversation with your partner again - keep him away from Twitter!

aforkfulofspaghetti said...

Lynn - you're welcome! It's a real treat, trust me.

londonfoodieny said...

Ah the curse of twitter! And yet I would not have found you otherwise and so hail twitter!

The Caked Crusader said...

I'm thinking of dipping my toe in the sea of Twitter...sounds like I might have to be careful!!!!

Wen said...

Discovered samphire this past spring and absolutely love the stuff! Will have to try it with squid as you suggest.

If interested, here's what I did with mine - tossed it with udon, seaweed and flying fish roe. Liked the result, but let me know what you think!

http://bit.ly/4udUDE

If helpful for those in London, I've found it at Steve Hatt (Essex Road, Angel), Whole Foods (High St Ken) and this fishmonger on Golborne Road (Notting Hill) in the May - July zone

Wen

Matt said...

I agree, Twitter is dangerous! I'm in the same position as you were when you wrote this post - just disovered it, and it's already taking up way to much time...