It's Lent. What to eat?

>> Saturday, 8 March 2008

Well if you grew up in my home it would be lots of fish, and vegetarian dishes on Wednesdays and Fridays. If you have questions and want answers then read this week's column. My mom imposed (now I say this lovingly, not back then) her self-restrictions on the entire household during Lent - the 40 days leading up to the celebration of Easter.

This week, I want to share with you some seafood ideas that would be great at Lent and anytime.

First off are spicy seafood balls served with a sweet-chili dipping sauce. I used a seafood-medley: shrimp, calamari, fish, cooked mussel and octopus.

Seafood balls

Next we have smelts, any baby fish would be great this way, seasoned with cumin salt, lightly dusted in flour and fried until crisp. Eaten with a pickle or some hot pepper sauce, they make a great snack.


And finally, one of my absolute favourite seafood - squid/calamari. Everytime I go out to eat I always check the menu for calamari. A memorable calamari dining experience was at Mike Ditka's restaurant in Chicago. I had a plate full of fried calamari, lightly breaded and crisp on the outside and tender on the inside. I've never had fried calamari like that since then and trust me, I've had quite a few servings since. None compares. I hope to get to Blue Ginger, Ming Tsai's restaurant in Massachusetts on one of my trips to the US to try his Bue Ginger Crispy Calamari.

A few years ago, I saw one of my favourite ladies on PBS, Lydia Bastianich, make stuffed calarmi and I've been wanting to try my version ever since. This week I did. I really enjoyed making this dish - from making the sauce from scratch to stuffing and baking the calamari. The true joy came as I watched my mom and best gal, Susan reach for more :)

Stuff Calamari

Do email me if you want to try any of the recipes.

Today is International Women's Day and over at Forgive Me My Nonsense... a phenomenal woman, Bee has made a thought-provoking post with an excerpt from Karl Olsson.

Happy Women's Day!

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