Anand Prahlad of the Spotted Dick fame has magic fingers. He bakes, cooks, draws, designs, is a perfectionist typographer and has great taste in movies and music. He is quite the man I must say. Anand had promised me a squid session. I wanted to learn how to eviscerate a squid which essentially means I wanted to stick my fingers in its mantle (the large white bulb like thing) and pull out its organs.
So last evening Anand invited Sangeeta and myself for a night of white russians, squid cooked two ways and home made lemon tarts. Yes he made dessert as well!
We bought the squid from the seafood section of Food Right in Mulund. Anand pointed out that the blacker the eyes are, the fresher the squid as opposed to cloudy eyes. I think that would be true for all seafood. The skin of the squid is speckled with chromatophores that allow the squid to change color. How cool. We bought two squids.
Anand started the first squid and I did the second under Anand's meticulous supervision. It was a really fun. The squid was very sweet and clean smelling.
What follows is a step by step process of cleaning and eviscerating the squid. I am posting most pictures of Anand prepping the squid and a few of me (afterall this is my blog). Let me tell you as Anand demonstrated his squid cleaning skills he also gave Sangeeta and me invaluable insight on the female erogenous zones.
|Check out that skin|
|Separate the tentacles from the head|
|Separate the head|
|Readying to pull out the quill.|
|Pulling out the quill which looked like plastic.|
|The quill/ the pen/ the gladius|
|The longer tentacles are cut off|
|Pulling the flat fin at the back and separating it from the mantle helps initializing the skinning process|
|The beautifully clean mantle. Now gently tug at inside organs.|
|The evisceration of the squid...|
|Here they come|
|Pulling the innards out in one go.|
|The mantle is empty and needs to be thoroughly washed|
|The tentacles.. very dramatic|
|The fin needs to be very carefully cut in two parts and from it this hard thick flesh needs to be sliced away as it will not cook well.|
|Clean all the skin from the edges|
|Slice the mantle into rings- this is for the Malabar curry|
|The end tip- not sure but Anand was trying to explain something with this.|
|The mouth is still attached to the tentacles. This needs to be cut out as well.|
|The suckers on the tentacles have to be cleaned out next.|
|scrapping the suckers. You can determine the size of the squid by the size of the suckers.|
|Anand the squidy genius|
Essentially the same steps. Pictures courtsey Sangeeta.
|I deskinned! Look how happy I am|
|Instruction from Anand on how to eviscerate the squid|
|OH! Oh! Amazing! Wow... that was something else.|
|The ink sacs- this squid did not put up too much of a fight.|
|Clearly I am enjoying cleaning up the squid mantle.|
|The beautiful mantle- so pure and white.|
|Sangeeta cleaning the tentacles|
|Sangeeta's matrimonial pic- she can clean the tentacles!|
|For the appetizer, slice open the mantle and lay it flat.|
|The beautiful pattern|
|The scoring helps the flavours to stick to the surface.|
Also it was hard to write this post without being too vulgar.