Tuesday, 23 November 2010

On Every Street - Squid U Like

Even though I arrived in the kitchen by 7:50, a time by when several keen types would be working away, it was empty, deserted, dead.
I was there early to tackle Puff Pastry, only Croissants remain, and whilst the work takes only 10 minutes or so there are hours of downtime whilst pastry chills. If you are limited to three hours cooking you may not get it done in time. This would not matter if we returned to the kitchen after lunch but we don't we head for Demo to see what we will cook next. So an early start to get the pastry off to a flying start.

The actual work involved today was fairly straightforward, Squid with Garlic and Chilli Butter, Lassi and cooking off Poppadoms. On then to the Garlic and Chilli Butter, lots of chopping, dicing and crushing

followed by beating of butter, combining with chopped items and rolling into a thin sausage before being chilled until needed to fry the squid.

Once safely in the fridge I made the Lassi which would accompany the Lamb Madras which my partner was making. A simple combination of Youghurt, Ice, Water, Sugar and Rose Water, blitzed in a liquidiser, the Lassi can be either sweet or salty and can include suitable fruits - think Indian Smoothie and you are on the way.

"Can you do a White Soda? we think that there is a problem with the flour." How could I refuse? it takes moments and my breads are falling behind. So a quick knock up, turning out, cutting and into an oven for 45 minutes. The result indicated that there may not be too much wrong with the flour.

So as the morning progressed I made my way to the deep fat fryer to knock up my allocation of Poppadoms. To fit them into the fryer you have to put them in sideways then fold in half under the oil - using tongs - and half again. The result is a puffy, crispy fan of tastefulness but probably useless for the Pickle Tray!!

Ok so now the Squid. I got to choose mine somewhat later than others, as a result I had the kind of behemoth usually seen in engravings of entire ships being dragged into the depths.

He filled my chopping board

but a bit of nifty knife work combined with some strong hand action (steady on, steady on) had him reduced to something cookable and not likely to be attacking Captain Nemo in the near future.

Cleaned up the squid would next appear in a hot pan before being plated for tasting.
In the meantime the Puff Pastry had all three rolls and relevant rests and was sent to the fridge to be ready for cooking on Thursday.

Plating time came and, whilst I did not have the nerve to put up a Poppadom the newly cooked squid and the lassi did make it.

Rated as very tasty by the teacher I took advantage of another early finish to have lunch, well some breads and Poppadom and Pickles as  Lamb Madras was not going to be on my menu.

Rory took Demo and had obviously heard that Pam had got in on the 'dismembering poor Innocent ingredients' act as he proceeded to reduce a giant fillet of Tuna to steaks for searing later.

Various uses for Puff Pastry were also demonstrated indicating that my personal stash will be removed from the fridge and converted on Thursday. Rory also demonstrated Croissant Pastry and provided 'Quote of the Day' " 90% of Croissants just melt - into a lardy, doughy sea of nothingness".

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