Wednesday, July 7, 2010

The Word Cup, A Psychic Octopus and Calamari

From the NY Daily News:

CAPE TOWN, South Africa - All of Germany is in an uproar about what an octopus picked for dinner, and that does not bode well for the country's national team.
Paul the octopus selected the container that had the flag of Spain on it Tuesday, picking the Spaniards over the Germans in Wednesday's semifinal encounter in Durban.
Paul has been on target in his previous five choices for Germany. The selection was considered so important that two German TV networks interrupted regular programming to televise his decision.
"We were all a little bit shocked when Paul picked Spain," said Tanja Munzig, a spokeswoman for Sea Life in Oberhausen told Reuters. "To err is not only human; animals can also make mistakes. Let's hope Paul got this one wrong."

Read more:

I'm thinking that if Paul doesn't change his pick he could end up as tonight's special pick. If you know what I mean. 

Calamari with Pineapple and Peanut Dipping Sauce: serves 4 as an appetizer

1 pound fresh calamari, cleaned, in rings and tentacles
flour for dredging (about 1/4 cup)
2 eggs, beaten slightly, seasoned with salt and pepper
corn meal for dredging (about 1 cup)
oil for frying (I like peanut oil for this recipe but feel free to use canola or vegetable)

One four ounce can pineapple tidbits, drained and chopped (reserve juice)
1/4 cup unsalted peanuts, roasted* and chopped slightly
1 jar your favorite salsa

*To roast peanuts, place in a small fry pan over medium heat. Toss and turn until slightly browned and fragrant. 

Place salsa in a shallow bowl and add chopped pineapple and peanuts. Add some pineapple juice a tablespoon at a time until dipping consistency. You want a slightly 'wetter' salsa than what you would use for chips. Keep at room temperature until ready to serve. If not using within an hour or so, refrigerate and bring to room temperature before serving. 

Pour flour in a sealable plastic bag and season with salt and pepper. Toss in the calamari and shake to coat the calamari evenly.

Working in small batches, shake excess flour off calamari and dip in egg, then in cornmeal. 

Fry in batches, removing golden calamari to drain on a rack placed over a rimmed cookie sheet. Serve hot with the pineapple / peanut salsa on the side. 

Leftovers? All bets are off when you serve your guests this. 

A Cook's Notes: If you want to ensure your calamari is tender, not chewy or rubber band-like, buy only fresh calamari from a reputable fish monger. Don't freeze it and use it within 1 day of purchasing. Make sure your oil is very hot (375 degrees) and fry quickly. 


  1. I've read where octopus are incredibly intelligent. Maybe psychic, too!

  2. Pigs are smart too, but I eat them!

  3. I'm going to have to kidnap that octopus! He's a hero in Spain right now!


  4. Thanks for the notes at the end. I was thinking it would be chewy but I guess not if you make sure it's fresh and use right away.

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Wow. Thank you so much for taking the time to comment. I love feedback... what with being a cook and all. I will respond to your comments via email (if you do not have a "noreply" address or here, below your comment) As always, Bon Appetite!

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