Squid Jeddah with khubz

 Squid Jeddah with khubz

Squid Jeddah, khubz
Here comes a recipe. The first one on here – I’ll attempt to take more pics of the ‘before’ process as I go on. Right, Squid Jeddah, firstly I made the name up, it’s not a famous Red Sea recipe, so don’t go saying ‘ah, yah, I always insist on Squid Jeddah when I’m cruising the corniche’. As you may be considered some kinda eejit. That being said it does draw on some Arabic threads and is a fab alternative to the seared, salt & pepper squid that seems to be on every bloody menu.

A note on squid – it used to be a pretty cheap product but since the advent of the tellychef and 24/7 food programming, squid has become cool, meaning expensive. 2 ways to cook it really – really quick or pretty slow. If you’re shallow or deep frying it it needs only a few seconds – any longer than that and it’ll tighten up and turn into the chewy rubberbands most people remember from their hols. Try and get the small to medium size squid (the main tube up to about 15cm long). Any bigger than this and they start to get pretty thick and only suitable for slower cooking.
This will feed 4 as a main (add some rice or couscous) or 6/8 as a starter.

 

3k of fresh squid, that should turn into around 2k of ready to cook loveliness when it’s been trimmed. Cut the tubes into manageable, one bite mouthful size pieces. If the tentacles are large, cut them in half.
10 cloves garlic – half really thinly slices, half mashed
8 shallots, peeled (make sure you take it down the nice bits – no tough layers). Cut into quarters.
100g of pitted olives
1 aubergine, cut into dice sized  pieces
3 medium heat chillies, jalapeno work fine – take the seeds out and fine dice the flesh. Works well with a little heat but the seeds would smash it
500ml water
3 tablespoons light soy sauce
1 level teaspoon ground cumin
60g dark sugar
4oz banana chilli ketchup
4oz flaked almonds

 

Rightio: splash a little oil in a heavy bottomed pan. Bring to a good heat and throw in the shallots, move them around for a coupla minutes until they’ve started to brown in places. Add the aubergine – shake it around for a coupla mins again. Add the squid, garlic, cumin & chilli. Give it another 4 mins of moving around.

Throw in the olives, soy & sugar, stir till dissolved, add the water & whack a lid on it. Bring it to a simmer and leave it for half an hour. The squid will have turned all lovely and tender. Take the lid off, twonk the heat up and add the ketchup, stir in and reduce until the stew is er, ‘stew like’, taste and add some sea salt if you think it needs it. Chuck the almonds in, take off the heat and get ready to serve it.

This makes a fab meal in itself or just as a starter. Add some rice to the bowl if you need the carbs. I like to serve it with a rolled up khubz (Arabian for bread but generally means a pita like bread). The version I like with this is a batter-like bread spread onto a non stick pan with a spatula and cooked like a crepe, but that’s for another recipe…

Dig Deep

Dig Deep

Dig Deep Ultra Sept 2014
Dig Deep Ultra Sept 2014

 

Haha. This is me doing my first Ultra marathon – the Dig Deep Suffolk Tour 2014 back in September. Not being the skinniest runner around I, unsurprisingly, found walking pretty hard after the terribly slow 12 & a half hours it took me to complete the 50 miles. Instead of the usual ‘never bloody again’ stage I instead skipped straight to the ‘why don’t I do some more’ stage. Met some fab people and found out there’s a whole social calendar full of ridiculously long runs. SO will try and bash out some better times next year. Nipguards are a wondrous invention.

The Magnificent Turin Brakes

The Magnificent Turin Brakes

2010-07-28 13.37.52Bloody hell. (I like to get a good swear to start me off). Turin Brakes. They’ve provided a soundtrack to my working life since the turn of the century – they’ve played at me on cd’s & MP3s in tiny restaurant kitchens to tiny cruise ship cabins from Essex to the South China Sea. And now I’ve had them play at Cult Cafe, Ipswich. That’s a big one ticked off the list.

Since taking over Cult on the Waterfront in Ipswich we’ve put on music every Friday night, mostly free – picking up the not inconsiderable costs of techy stuff, soundy man & the costs of the bands ourselves. We’ve had a coupla bands who are not quite mainstream but expensive enough to have to ticket on the door, which didn’t work out. I will no doubt be bringing this subject up again. Unless they’re a recognized band with the longevity to have built up a considerable fan base there’s just not enough bods out there willing to drag themselves away from Strictly. And I think that with the sheer amount of platforms that bands can use now to showcase means it so much harder to get to that critical mass stage.
I’ve been trying to tempt big name bands in for a while with my Twittery fishing rod, using (crap) humour & audaciousness as my maggoty bait. And only went & hooked Turin Brakes. The expense involved was enough to warrant an £18 ticket price (working on our capacity of 250) which I filed away under ‘Optimist’. Got tickets printed, set up an account on wegottickets.com. Sat back & waited for them to fly off the shelves. That or a grim bugger-all. Thankfully we sold out by June. Got in the magical James Gillespie as the support & lovely local chap Charlie Law & his band in to open & waited trepidatiously for the 5th September.
Everything that could’ve gone wrong didn’t. They turned up. The equipment turned up and worked. The lorry turned up and we emptied most of the bar into it (furniture, sofas etc). There was no fire alarm halfway through. The ticket system worked. Wow.
No ‘sonic cathedrals of sound’ reviews here ‘cept to say that they were everything I’d expected and hoped for, right through to the opening of Underdog as their final song. Bloody bloody marvellous.