Tuesday 2/8/2005

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Diary and Notes

Aar me hearties. I have a tale to tell and ye'll ne'er believe a word of it. Fishermans' tales you'll say, tales from the deep where a man's mind drives him to the crazies and 'e sees things that aint rightly there. That's what you'll be thinking me hearties, that's what landlubbers always thinks. But I tells ye I spied a whole shoal of kraken off the larboard side of me ketch just yesterday - and twas a lucky thing we was smuggling tobaccy from the colonies or else we'd a been fish food and no mistaking. "Tobaccy?" I hears ye ask, aye, tobaccy - for there is nothing these sea devils likes better for dinner than a giant mouthful of Virginia's finest - aye - 'tis a strange thing.

Three of the giant beasties came in for the attack, all tentacles and beaks, ripping at the masts and the sails. One got a hold of poor Arenkay the Portugee and that's the last we'll be seeing a him - an' all the while we's a shuvlin the tobaccy into the ocean to calm the monsters and makes 'em turn away. Two tons they ate, two whole tons before they'd leave us be, to wallow in our new found poverty. 'Tis a disaster and there's no Llodys of London insurance for smugglers losses. Aar, I'll 'mayhap 'ave to sell me ketch and go into the pimpin' trade again - aar, the sea is a cruel and lonely place, aar."


Have you ever seen a bigger squid? The whole thing was about 50cm from tail to tentacle tip. I bought three of these monsters in the Arndale market. The three were over a kilo and a half in weight - and weren't cheap neither. I only used two of them, the other I'm freezing and saving for a rainy day. I wouldn't advise cooking this much squid in one go - I did the whole lot in one batch which meant it needed too long for all of it to be cooked and a few pieces had become chewy. I'd recommend cooking the squid REALLY quickly - just heat it through really. Still, squid (or Kraken as we have here) in a smokey, spicy, sun dried tomato sauce with some fishy vialone nano rice and a salad of eggs and sardines can't be a bad dinner - and it wasn't bad at all.

Cake Blog

Syrup Pudding: The last of the pudding batch from Tescos and by far the best. A real quality pud and only 50p.


  • Sardine and Egg Salad
  • Kraken in Tomato Sauce
  • Rice Cooked in Fish Stock


    Sardine and Egg Salad
    2 Cans Sardines in Olive Oil
    2 Eggs
    1 Tomato
    1/2 Red Pepper
    5cm Cucumber
    15 Black Olives
    Juice 1/2 Lemon
    Fresh Parsley
    Salt and Pepper
    2 Kraken
    1/2 Glass White Wine
    1 Clove Garlic
    1 tsp Smoked Spanish Paprika
    1 Tbsp Olive Oil
    Salt and Pepper
    Smokey Sun Dried Tomato Sauce
    1/2 Onion
    1/2 Clove Garlic
    5 Sun Dried Tomatoes
    1 tsp Spanish Smoked Paprika
    1/2 Glass White Wine
    1/2 Tube Tomato Puree
    Dash Wine Vinegar
    1/2 tsp Oregano
    Punch Sugar
    Salt and Pepper
    Rice Cooked in Fish Stock
    250g Vialone Nano Rice
    1/2 Onion
    1/2 Clove Garlic
    1 Stick Celery
    1/2 Glass White Wine
    500ml Fish Stock
    Loads Fresh Parsley
    Salt and Pepper


  • Salad: Boil the eggs (gently for about 12 minutes), leave to cool. Cut the tomatoes/pepper etc. and mix with the chopped eggs and sardines. Make a dressing from the sardine oil, lemon juice and seasoning.
  • Kraken: Clean the Kraken (pull out the head, innards and the hard clear 'bone', keep the tentacles - best bit by far). Slice the body. Marinade in wine, oil, paprika and garlic for an hour. Flash fry in a little oil. Stir into the warm sauce (below).
  • Chop the onion and mince the garlic. Sweat in a little olive oil. Use 1/2 for the sauce and 1/2 for the rice.
  • Sauce: To the sweated onion add the paprika and fry for a minute longer. Next add the wine and choppped sun dried tomatoes. Reduce the wine by 1/2. Stir in the rest of the ingredients, along with enough water to make a soupy mix and simmer gently until it reduces and thickens (at least an hour for a good sauce).
  • Add the celery to the sweated onions and fry until soft. Add the rice, mix, then the wine. When all the wine has been absorbed add a little fish stock, allow this to absorb then add more etc. Stir in loads of chopped parsley when the rice is soft and cooked.


    *All quantities are very approximate and for three people