I’ve always thrown some form of capsicum in the mix with this recipe (the original recipe, and my usual preparation, included only dried red pepper flakes), but this may be the first time I’ve used fresh seasoning peppers other than habanada. While it made for a very flavorful dish, a much smaller amount than I used last night might have been more fair to (respectful of) the squid.
- exactly one pound of fresh small squid, bodies and tentacles, from American Seafood Company, rinsed and very carefully dried, quickly arranged inside a large rectangular enameled cast iron pan that had been heated on top of the stove until quite hot and its the cooking surface brushed with a little olive oil once it hadthe cephalopods sprinkled with a heaping teaspoon of super-pungent dried Sicilian oregano from Buon Italia, sea salt, freshly-ground black pepper, and 4 or 5 quite small chopped seasoning peppers from Eckerton Hill Farm (red aji dulce and yellow granada), followed by a full 3 tablespoons of juice from an organic Chelsea Whole Foods California lemon and a splash of olive oil, the pan placed inside the hot (400º) oven and the squid roasted for just 5 minutes, by which time their bodies had ballooned somewhat, after which they were removed and arranged on 2 plates and ladled with the cooking juices that had been transferred to a sauce boat
14 ounces of delicious medium size purple viking potatoes from Lucky Dog Organic Farm (purple skin, white flesh), scrubbed, boiled unpeeled in a good amount of generously-salted water until barely cooked through, drained, halved, dried in the still-warm large vintage Corning Pyrex Flameware blue-glass pot in which they had cooked, tossed with a little Whole Foods Market house Portuguese olive oil, seasoned with salt and pepper and tossed with scissored fresh chives, also from Phillips Farms
- a small mix of both green dandelion from Norwich Meadows Farm and its more flashy red cousin from Willow Wisp Farm, washed and drained, the last of the drained water set aside, cut into 2 or 3-inch pieces, barely wilted in a little olive oil, along with one cut clove of ‘Chesnok Red’ garlic from Alewife Farm which had been heated in the oil until fragrant, a bit of the reserved water then added to loosen the greens, seasoned with a little crushed dried dried Itria-Sirissi chili, pepperoncino di Sardegna intero from Buon Italia, salt and pepper, and drizzled with a little olive oil
- the wine was a Portuguese (Beira) white, Vinhas Velhas Branco, Luis Pato 2016, from Astor Wines
- the music was a Vivaldi opera first heard in Rome in 1723, ‘Ercole sul Termodonte’, Fabio Biondi conducting the Europa Galante, and the Coro da Camera ‘Santa Cecilia’ di Borgo San Lorenzo, with Rolando Villazón, Philippe Jaroussky, Romina Basso, Vivica Genaux, Topi Lehtipuu, Patrizia Ciofi, Diana Damrau, and Joyce DiDonato
[the stunning image of John Pascoe’s production of “Ercole sul Termodonte’, with tenor Zachary Stains in the title role, is gratuitous, since that what we accompanied the meal with last night, even if we have enjoyed its audio and visual delights earlier on a proper DVD]