Monday, March 9, 2009

Fresh squid for dinner

Saturday morning at 7:00 a.m. Luiz nudged me awake and said "Let's go to the beach." He was determined to get some beach time in before the sun was too hot.

The idea was to go to Piratininga Beach with our beach umbrella and chairs (I insisted on a chair, Luiz decided not to take one - which he later regretted.) Piratininga is a beautiful beach but it does not have restaurants or kiosks lining the shore serving patrons at tables on the sand. It's more a do-it-yourself destination. Although -- there are still plenty of folks walking the beach selling cold beverages, sunscreen, food and whatever else they think you might buy.

So after coffee and a quick shower we were out the door and catching the bus to Piratininga. We arrived on the beach just before 9:00 a.m. and there were already more than 100 people there claiming their spot and enjoying a morning plunge in the sea.

Anyway, by about 11:00 a.m. a couple fishermen were laying out their catch in the back of their boat for sale. The fish looked great, but the squid got my taste buds going. We asked them to clean about 1.5 pounds for us.

They were pretty big squid with bodies longer than 6 inches. As such, there were full ink sacs in each of them. What a mess. Plus, if you've cleaned squid and burst open the ink sac you know that it itches like crazy. The men were good humored about it but would occasionally take a break to dive into the sea and wash off their stained hands.

We left the beach around noon. Once back in the apartment we set out to cook up our fresh, cleaned beauties. And herein comes the inevitable dillema with Luiz and I. I like my seafood barely sufficiently cooked and served with a fresh vegetable sauce or accompanyment of some kind. Luiz enjoys his seafood fried.

So I cut up the squid and divided it into two bowls: one for my concoction, one for his.

An hour later I was savoring my squid in maranara sauce served over pasta and Luiz was draining his fried squid on paper towels to be eaten with a creamy garlic white sauce covered pasta.

Two more different results would be hard to find. But both were delicious in their own way.

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