Sauteed calamari with celery
Living near a good fish and seafood shop was something I had wanted for quite some time. I dreamed of having a regular spot where clean and fresh seafood was neatly laid on ice beds, ready to come home with me for dinner. But for a while there, our intake of fish was minimal because it was so hard to find high grade quality products. Even a place like Whole Foods didn’t seem capable of selling fish that didn’t have muddy eyes (a sign they aren’t fresh). Then four months ago, we moved to Brooklyn and our lives completely changed.
Here, organic, fresh and especially local seems to take precedence over imported products with a steep price tag. Doing the groceries has become exciting over the simplest ingredients like tomatoes. Biting into a New Jersey tomato that’s been picked off its plant just a few hours ago is a deep and awakening experience. A little sadness comes with the realization that I can’t remember the last time I tasted a tomato this meaty and sweet.
Restaurants are also big supporters of local farmers which greatly helps the community stick together. Unlike Manhattan where everyone is stressed about meeting deadlines, here, life is a little slower. We might only be one stop away from Canal street but we can actually stop to smell the flowers.
You could say that my dream has come true; I am in love with our new neighborhood and found a wonderful fish and seafood shop a 10 minute walk away. The selection offered is wide-ranging but most importantly, the shop is Spic & Span clean and the seafood fresh as can be. Needless to say I’ve had a ball cooking with seafood over the summer.
Making something quick like sauteed calamari with celery takes less time than cooking soup and tastes like a good old salt and pepper Chinese stir-fry. It’s beautiful, can feed up to five people and is also very healthy. When it comes to sauteing calamari, the one thing to remember is to keep cooking time to a minimum to avoid the pieces from turning rubbery. This quick recipe not only tastes great hot but can also be served cold the next day with an added dash of soy, or a little lemon and olive oil.
- 1lb calamari (squid), cleaned, bodies cut into 1/4 inch thick, tentacles left whole
- 3 celery stalks, cut into 1/4 thick pieces
- 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- salt and pepper
- - In a large pan over high heat, add oil, garlic and cook for one minute.
- - Add celery and cook for 3 minutes, until celery has begun to soften. Season with salt and pepper.
- - Add butter, calamari and cook for 2 minute, stirring to cook evenly.
- - Turn off the heat, transfer on to a plate and pour soy sauce on top.
- - Season with salt and pepper one last time and serve immediately.