Thank you to all those who have taken the time to post a comment or send an email regarding my boy, Maximus. Tomorrow afternoon, he goes in for a shot of – I want to say “prednisone” which sounds right but, to be honest, could have just been something I once heard on a rerun of E.R.. Anyway, he’s going in for a shot of a corticosteroid that will hopefully help stimulate his appetite. Fingers crossed.
Speaking of appetites – one of my most favorite things in the world to do (next to exacting revenge on my enemies) is going to the market, picking up unique proteins available, and creating a meal around them. Now I know that many of you prefer your beef well done, your fish cooked, and your octopus on the mezzanine floor of your local aquarium. I, however, am a fairly adventurous eater and occasionally enjoy fare some would consider “exotic” (others “disgusting”). In an effort to help those of you looking to expand your culinary horizons (specifically those of you with your forthcoming New Year’s resolution to “eat weirder”), I’d like to offer a few suggestions/recipes to get you started…
Not quite as daunting as other entries, squid can be found on the menu’s of even the most casual eateries – usually fried to crispy doneness and served with a dipping sauce.
Buying: Ask your local fishmonger. They usually carry the “tentacles and tubes”.
Recipe: Rinse your tentacles and tubes, then pat dry. Heat some sea salt (or salt of your choice) in a wok along with some peppercorns and spicier pepper seeds (ie. tepin or pequin) until they brown, then transfer them to a mortar where you will grind them to a fine powder with a pestle. Place three tablespoons of flour in a plastic baggie along with the ground powder and some Old Bay seasoning. Pour some vegetable oil into your wok and switch the heat to high. Transfer your tubes and tentacles into the baggie and give them a shake, making sure they’re good and coated. Once the oil is hot enough, lower the individual coated squid pieces into the wok and allow them to fry up to a golden brown (usually about a minute a piece). Serve with sweet chili dipping sauce (available in most grocery stores).
If you’re feeling squeamish, you can just get the collar – but you’ll be missing out on the delicious cheek and head meat.
Buying: Available at most fish and seafood purveyors. And incredibly cheap!
Recipe: Rinse your fish heads and pat dry. Mix some sesame oil, black pepper, garlic powder, and salt in a bowl, then slather over the fish heads, making sure to cover inside and out. Pop into the oven and broil for 10-15 minutes. Great with rice. Very Japanese!
Many who have sampled sea urchin at their local sushi joint have come away unimpressed. I know that when my writing partner tried it for the first time, he likened the flavor to “the open sea…right beside an open sewer main”. Much of the uni served in Japanese restaurants is packaged and, admittedly, possesses a bit of a funky flavor. Fresh uni – and by fresh, I mean scooped straight out of its spiny shell and served – is nothing like the packaged variety. It’s sweet and creamy and utterly delicious. Forget the fact that they look like little orange tongues.
Buying: Tough to get but if you find them at your local fish market, snap them up. I got mine at $10 a piece. It’ll run you roughly triple that at your high-end Japanese eateries.
Recipe: Have your local fishmonger open them up and scoop out the meat for you. Then bring them home and serve raw. Rice optional.
Well, the advance digital copies of the first issue of Dark Matter (December 14, 2011: Dark (Matter) Developments!) have gone out. Wait. What do you mean you didn’t receive yours? Okay, I’ll look into it. And while I’m at it, I should also get around to a couple of more online interviews. First up, a Q&A with Eric Whitman at The Daily Blam! (now featuring interviews with The Walking Dead composer Bear McCreary, Sam Elliott, Gary Oldman & Colin Firth) The Daily BLAM! | Entertainment News | Movies Television Gaming …), then another with for Nerd World News (check out their update on The Goon and advance trailers of The Hobbit and G.I. Joe: Retaltion – Nerd World News), and then one more with Ryan Thomason over at WatchPlayRead (presently offering sneak peeks at Secret Avengers 21.1 and Spartacus: Vengeance, WatchPlayRead – “It’s What We Do!”). I’ll let you know when the interviews are up once they let me know that the interviews are up.