Grilled Squid with Chamomayo
- 1 cup soybean, safflower or vegetable oil
- 1/4 cup dried chamomile flowers, pulverized in a spice grinder (you can get them from any place that sells loose-leaf tea, or rip open a couple of teabags)
- 2 tablespoons champagne or white wine vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- 1 egg yolk
- 4 pounds squid bodies, cleaned (any fishmonger that can't get you squids can't be trusted... they come frozen to a fishmonger and are CHEAP)
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- Lemon wedges, for garnish, optional
Preheat the grill to high heat.
For the chamomayo: Heat the oil and chamomile flowers over low heat until the chamomile aromatizes and turns golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Strain the oil, discarding the chamomile flowers, and let cool.
Combine the vinegar, mustard, salt, sugar and egg yolk in the bowl of a food processor and blend for about 30 seconds. Add the thoroughly cooled oil through the emulsion tube. Voila. Chamomayo. Imagine the possibilities! Darjeeling Mayo! Matcha mayo! Earl Grayo!
Now for the squids. Slice the squid bodies open lengthwise, and lay flat on a cutting board with the outsides facing up. Gently score the squid with the tip of your knife in a crosshatch pattern, then sprinkle each side with salt and pepper... say one sprinkled pinch per. Don't be shy.
Toss the squid in a large bowl with the olive oil, then grill these guys for 2 to 4 minutes per side. I like mine a little under-done, but I'm a weirdo like that.
Transfer all the squids to a cutting board. Cut them into 1/2-inch rings. You can serve them in a pile and with the mayo on the side. If you want to get fancy and plate these up, slide a chopstick or iced-tea spoon up the middle of the rings to plate them in a neater fashion. Serve with lemon wedges, if desired.
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