It’s been a while since I’ve posted on “The List” but that’s probably because I’ve been cooking so much. But trying new restaurants, new dishes, and new flavors is one of the most sure-fire ways to kick up the creativity. Which is exactly what happened after we ate at DBGB’s this past week. DBGB’s is Daniel Boulud’s take on the gastropub that promises great beers (like this Back in Black which was awesome), and some upturned classic bar food to go with it. They have become known for their many varieties of sausage, which we were sure to enjoy, but what really wowed me the most was their grilled calamari appetizer. Paired with spiced chickpeas and an tangy lemon yogurt sauce the most impressive component of the dish was the technique. Because calamari is one of the easiest things to overcook. And chewy calamari is just about the least appealing thing I can imagine.
So running with this inspiration, I was hoping to make some perfectly prepared calamari of my own. First I made a “salad” of diced heirloom tomatoes, fresh corn, red onion, zucchini, and a sweet peach. The flavors melded perfectly with the help of some lime juice and paprika and was the perfect place for some “second-blanched” calamari. I’ve tried this method a number of times in the past but this was by far the best execution. Blanching the calamari for only a matter of seconds in a water broth spiked with lemons and old bay, creates the perfect texture and highlights the seafood’s flavor.
And this “salad” was complimented with a side of some simple kale chips. Another method that has been getting some fairly regular blog attention, baking kale with just a bit of olive oil and salt is worth a shot. Because there is no substitute for ruffles and doritos but for a unique crispy addition to your meal, these will certainly do the job!