Tag Archives: white wine

Calamari That’s Spicy (But Not Really)

Another Thai adventure; here’s the ingredients:

  • Cleaned Squid, 2 lbs
  • Cucumber
  • Tomato
  • Garlic, 10 cloves, minced
  • Cornstarch, 2 tablespoons
  • White pepper, 1/2 teaspoon
  • Sugar, 2 tablespoons
  • Soy sauce, 2 tablespoons
  • Fish sauce, 4 tablespoons
  • White wine, 4 tablespoons
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The ingredients.

This was my first time cooking with squid, and it was fun. The first step is to create the marinade, by mixing all of the ingredients with the exception of the garnishes (cucumber and tomato) and the squid. When you do, it looks like this:

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The marinade.

The squid itself requires a bit more work. This is what a mantle looks like:

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The mantle.

After it’s been washed and whatnot, you should do a bunch of scoring – hatch marks diagonally in both directions. This will help soften the squid as it cooks, and allow the flavors of the marinade to more deeply penetrate and infuse the flesh.

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The mantle, scored.

Then slice it up into strips or rings or whatever you like. You may also have some tentacle bits, as we did. Again, you’ll wash these.

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Tentacles!

Then add everything into the marinade and let it steep for at least 10 minutes.

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Marinading.

Then stir-fry on the stove, in some oil (I separated the squid from the marinade because it was, after all, just a marinade).

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Saute!

When the squid is firm and curled, you’ll know you’re done cooking.

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Curly bits.

Then garnish and you’re done. Yum!

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Done!

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Fish With Pickled Plums

Sadly, this recipe was a failure. Admittedly, I made the dish with fillets instead of whole fish, and that may have made a difference. But as it was, it was barely edible. So naturally, you’ll want to know the recipe. The ingredients are:

  • Fish, cod or some other white fish, 1.5 pounds (again, I used fillets rather than a whole fish)
  • Jalapeno peppers, 2, sliced
  • Pickled plums, 3, slivered
  • Lime juice, 2 tablespoons
  • White wine, 1 tablespoon
  • Ginger, slivered, 2 tablespoons
  • Fish sauce, 1 tablespoon
  • Salt, 1/2 teaspoon
  • Ground white pepper, 1/2 teaspoon
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The ingredients.

The unique ingredient here is pickled plum. I found mine at a Japanese grocery.

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The pickled plums.

This is what they look like, in case you’re curious.

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The pickled plums.

The first step is to coat the fish in the salt and pepper, which I did by shaking it in a bag, like so.

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Prepping the fish.

Then place it on a steaming plate.

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Steaming.

Add in the rest of the ingredients as well.

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Steaming.

Then cover and steam for 30 minutes, and you’re done. Enjoy? I didn’t, but as I said – if you use a whole fish, you may have better results.

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Yum? Ummm…

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Ryan’s Mussel Fettuccine

This recipe of mine has changed over the years, and as you can see from the list of ingredients, there’s still plenty of room for improvisation:

  • ½ cup white wine
  • Garlic
  • Stick of butter
  • Red pepper flakes
  • Diced tomatoes
  • Onion
  • Fettuccini (box)
  • Mussels (2 lbs)
  • Lemon Juice
  • Salt?
  • Pepper?
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The ingredients.

First, you may want to soak and de-beard the mussels. Since we’ll be putting the mussels, shell and all, into our meal, you may also want to scrub the shell. I don’t – I think rinsing is fine – but to each his or her own.

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Soaking the mussels. Use cold water and soak them for as long as you like. Soaking incentivizes the mussels to let out their beards, which you can then pluck more easily.

Next, fry the onions and garlic in the butter for a little while. I might use a large onion, or less, or more. Similarly, the amount of garlic you use is up to you. I use at least a few crushed cloves.  Again, how much you want to cook things at this stage is up to you.

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Onions in butter smell delicious.

Next add your white wine and diced tomatoes.

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Adding stuff

And then your lemon juice and red pepper flakes. Again, you have discretion in how much you use. You can always add more red pepper later, if you want it spicier – and in my opinion, this dish is better with some kick. But it’s up to you.

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Adding more stuff.

At some point, you may want to start making your fettuccini. Follow the instructions on the box. I use a whole box, but again, it’s up to you. And I add olive oil and a bit of salt to the water, but you may do things differently.

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Making fettuccini

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Making fettuccini

Add the mussels. Yup, just pour them in there – just the mussels, that is; not the water they were soaking in.

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Adding the mussels.

Cover the pot – let them steam. In the heat, they’ll gradually open, which is how you know they’re cooked. At some point, you may want to add in the noodles, too. Then cover the pan again so the mussels can continue to cook.

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Adding the noodles.

When the mussels are fully open, the dish is done. You should taste test it, and see how much salt and pepper you want to add, and decide whether you want to add more lemon juice or white wine or red pepper flakes or anything else. Then you get to the good part:

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Yum.

Enjoy!

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