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thank you!

lestblight Oct 1, 2009 01:40 PM

so the dinner was a success..

the lasagna was a hit.. just labor intensive .. made 10 individual trays.. 7 x 1.75

roasted tom sauce. fresh pasta. ricotta. and mozz.

with a touch of buchamel and some ground beast from a premium japanese butcher shop here in nyc.

some even finished the entire trey.. i couldmnt have more then 2 bites. i was disgusted by lasagna at that point.

the calimari was good tooo.. though a lil chewy

i was multi tasking between the cake frosting and cleaning the calimari . sorta of a health hazard but dont worry i kept it clean.

any hints on how to make it less chewy?

i made a roasted red pepper sauce for it which was delicious though.

the salad was a hit.. pomegranate seeds. argula. .. balsamic vinegrette..toasted pine nuts.. prosciutto.

and the cake.. well that was a mess.. just ran out of time.. to frost 10 individual mini wedding cakes.. not to mention my frosting skills are weak..

i piped more butter cream to hide the bald spots.. used a herat cookie cutter to cute strawberry hearts and layed it on its lil green stem on top of eac h cake.

but yes.. no more baking for me.

thanks again everyone for your help and input!

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  1. Full tummy RE: lestblight Oct 1, 2009 04:00 PM

    Hey, you might want to attach this to the original thread, so that everyone sees it!

    1. coll RE: lestblight Oct 2, 2009 02:40 AM

      So did she say yes?

      Calamari gets overcooked really quick. No more than a minute. But also make sure to get domestic, and not Chinese or other Asian, the stuff they get off Long Island is the best (and most expensive of course).

      3 Replies
      1. re: coll
        Soop RE: coll Oct 2, 2009 04:50 AM

        Yeah. I heard you can cook it for a long time too.

        1. re: Soop
          coll RE: Soop Oct 2, 2009 05:05 AM

          Yes, if you saute or simmer, then either very quick or about 20 minutes, everything in between will be tough. Same with squnguilli.

          1. re: Soop
            c oliver RE: Soop Oct 2, 2009 02:24 PM

            Batali says a minute or an hour.

        2. lestblight RE: lestblight Oct 2, 2009 07:14 AM

          she did say yes!

          so the calimari....what temp would you fry it at?

          when i put it in for a minute.. it didnt turn a light golden brown.. i pulled it out.. when the flour turned a light veige /brown which was defnitely more then a minute.

          im guessing thats not the point here? but im wondering why its golden brown at restaraunts and not so chewy..? frying longer would just burn it... whats the secret!

          7 Replies
          1. re: lestblight
            greygarious RE: lestblight Oct 2, 2009 07:27 AM

            The fryalators in a restaurant hold so much oil that its temperature does not drop as much when breaded foods are introduced. Deep-frying in the home is always a challenge as it is very hard to maintain the heat. It helps if the food is close to room temp before it hits the oil - fine for potatoes or onions, but risky for fish and chicken.

            1. re: greygarious
              Gail RE: greygarious Oct 3, 2009 09:30 AM

              I have some calamari steaks in the freezer. I want to use them for sandwiches. I'm planning on pan frying them. Any suggestions as to breading or not, amount of butter or oil and timing...one minute per side? A new "try" for me.

              1. re: Gail
                greygarious RE: Gail Oct 3, 2009 10:12 AM

                They are very likely to be too chewy if you pan-fry them as is and want them for sandwiches. I would slice them into short, narrow (like quarter inch) strips and stirfry for less than a minute. Otherwise, a long, low braise of the whole ones in a tomato sauce or fish stock, then reduce the sauce and spoon onto the rolls.

            2. re: lestblight
              Soop RE: lestblight Oct 2, 2009 07:45 AM

              Also, calamari doesn't always have to be battered; I've had a great one which was served in a tomato sauce.

              1. re: lestblight
                alanbarnes RE: lestblight Oct 2, 2009 08:00 AM

                As greygarious noted, the problem with the calamari is probably that the oil temp dropped precipitously when you added the food. You want to fry warm ingredients in high heat (350-375), but more importantly, you have to work in small batches. Take the amount you think will be about right, then halve it. Then maybe halve it again. Let the oil come back up to temp between batches, and keep what's already cooked in a warm oven on a draining rack so it doesn't get sodden.

                1. re: alanbarnes
                  Soop RE: alanbarnes Oct 2, 2009 08:22 AM

                  Maybe cast iron will help?

                  1. re: Soop
                    alanbarnes RE: Soop Oct 2, 2009 09:40 AM

                    Extra thermal mass helps, no matter whether it comes from a heavier pan or more oil. Being able to quickly dump more heat into the oil is also helpful; I like to deep-fry using a 60,000 BTU outdoor burner. Regardless of how you do it, the trick is to make sure the oil temp doesn't drop very far, or for very long.

              2. lestblight RE: lestblight Oct 2, 2009 09:11 AM

                i used my 12" inch cast iron! maybe i need to jiust practice more in small batches.

                would you recommend the frozen kind from whole foods or trader joes? or just fresh?

                1. lestblight RE: lestblight Oct 3, 2009 09:10 AM

                  thanks for the pointers i will try for a minute..

                  has anyone cooked frozen calimari succesfully? or should i buy it alive and whole? or TJ or wholefoods is doable?

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: lestblight
                    coll RE: lestblight Oct 3, 2009 09:22 AM

                    Even though I live close to the source, I always get frozen, nothing wrong about it. If whole, you have some cleaning to do, I like to get packaged tubes and tentacles. Like I said, try to get USA and not Asian, and you should have no problem. I make it fried and also in frutta di mare and scunguilli salad, and never a problem.

                    1. re: lestblight
                      alanbarnes RE: lestblight Oct 3, 2009 09:31 AM

                      TJs calamari - already cleaned, cut into rings, and frozen - is very good.

                    2. lollya RE: lestblight Oct 4, 2009 06:08 AM

                      can i just say that i was following your thread and think it's just the sweetest thing to undertake a huge task for love. love of your bro, and theirs. i couldn't comment, as i was on the ipod touch and chowhound doesn't support comments through the touch. anyways, i'm glad it was an overall success. i just love pulling off a grandiose meal/event.

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