Squid, asparagus, and carrot flavored with tarragon and French vermouth いか、アスパラガス、人参のタラゴン、ベルモット風味

japanese cake

This not a photogenic dish. In our regular market, I found some decent looking squid and got a pound of it. Early in the day, I baked ciabatta bread. So, I decided to make a squid dish which would go well with this crusty bread.

There is no recipe or dish on which this is based. From a pound of squid, I made two relatively large (for us) servings.

Squid: The squid was already cleaned. I just washed it and cut the bodies into thin (1/2 inch) rings. I cut he legs in half and made sure no cartilage or “beaks” were left. I patted the pieces dry with paper towels.

Vegetables: I used carrot (one medium, peeled and thinly sliced on the diagonal), asparagus (4, bottoms cut thinly on the diagonal and the tips cut in half lengthwise), royal trumpet mushrooms (2 large, torn length wise), shallot (one small, thinly sliced), garlic (4 cloves thinly sliced).

I started cooking with the vegetables. I added olive oil (2-3 tbs) in a large frying pan on medium heat. I sautéed the shallot, carrot, sliced stems of asparagus first. After a few minutes, I added the tips of the asparagus, royal trumpet mushrooms, and garlic and cooked for 2-3 more minutes. I seasoned it with salt, pepper, thyme (dried, 1/8 tsp) and tarragon (dried 1/4 tsp). I then added white dry vermouth (3-4 tbs) and put on a tightly fitting lid. I steam/simmered it for 1 minute and removed the lid and upped the heat to reduce the juice by about half (2-3 more minutes). I removed  the vegetables and the juice onto a plate.

I wiped the frying pan clean and added olive oil (2 tbs) on medium high heat. When the oil was shimmering on the surface, I added the squid and very quickly sautéed, seasoning with salt pepper for less than 1 minute or until the squid was just cooked. I put back the vegetables back in the pan with the juices and combined with the squid then cut the flame.

I lifted the squid and vegetable from the pan and divided in two plates leaving the juice behind in the pan. I put back the pan and further reduced the liquid (squid imparted some more juice as well). I then added a few thin pats of butter to make an instant sauce. I did not have to adjust the seasoning of the sauce. I poured it over the dish.

My wife toasted and buttered the Ciabatta bread and placed it on the side.

I am not sure how this dish should be categorized. White (French) vermouth and tarragon flavors may be considered “French” in style. Since I did not over cook the squid, it was very tender. Despite the amount of garlic I put in, it was not too garlicy and the tarragon really made this dish.

We are having the last bottle of Hall Cab 2008 with this dish. Ciabatta bread was perfect to mop up the sauce.

P.S. I am sure you can find recipes for ciabatta bread elsewhere. Few points which are important include; a sponge (starter) which I started the day before I baked the bread. Since the dough is rather sticky, I formed the ciabatta (slippers) on a parchment paper (minimal handling and forming to preserve the bubbles) and let it rise on the paper. After the second rise, I lifted the dough by grabbing both edges of the paper and placed it, still on the paper, directily on a pizza stone (baking stone, preheated).

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