Sunday, May 23, 2010

Sunday: Tentacle tagine

Squid and chickpea tagine, served over couscous.

We modified this recipe from Paul Johnson's Fish Forever.  This was our first experience cooking squid at home, and we have deemed it a success.  Squid is tricky - it has a tendency to get too tough and chewy, because the proteins in the tissue can form tight bonds when it's cooked.  To compensate, Paul Johnson says you must either cook it extremely briefly over high heat (so that the tissue doesn't have enough time to toughen up) or for a very long time over low heat (so that it tightens, but then becomes soft again over a long period of cooking). 

This tagine, a North African stew, employs the second method, allowing the chopped squid to simmer until it is tender and has picked up the flavor of the spices in the tomato broth.

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