(otherwise known as squid in a tomato and clove sauce, Indonesian style.)
West London really is the place to be at the moment. This morning I discovered that what appears to be the world’s biggest Waitrose has opened by Shepherd’s Bush Green along with 40 or so restaurants as part of the Westfield development.
This shopping centre is ludicrously large. I intended to ‘pop in’ today on my way into school to see what the fuss was about. Not only do you need a map for the development itself, individual shops are big enough to merit having their own complex floorplans. At one point I found myself looking diagonally across the centre so most of it was in my sight. It was so enormous, I had a slight attack of vertigo, felt a bit sick and had to leave. Then it took me 15 minutes to get to the exit.
Yes it is THAT big. So big that, if it wasn’t for Wholefoods, it would render Kensington High Street totally redundant. So here I am, nestled in between cheap restaurants, the best butcher in London and a gargantuan shopping centre. This is my smug face.
Goon has become a bit disconcerted at my sudden good mood. I suppose that from his point of view, his girlfriend has undergone a complete personality transformation, from grumbling and snarling to generally quite happy. If it wasn’t for BT, I would only have one other complaint: the seemingly endless stream of colds.
Colds are an occupational hazard for teachers, particularly when they’re new to a school. I can’t remember a day this term when we (the maths department, that is) were all sniffle free. Germs like children and children like giving their germs to teachers. Fortunately I know the best thing to treat a cold: a big bowl of curry.
I have more than made up for last year’s lack of curry making and have been trying to expand my repetoire. The dish below originates in Indonesia and is lightly spiced and not at all hot. It’s perfect if you want something pleasantly invigorating but aren’t in the mood for a chilli based assault on the senses. It’s so mild that you might not class it as a curry, but it hit the spot for me, especially after the burningly hot Thai curry I made the previous night. It’s quick to make too, so a perfect schoolnight dinner.
Cumi Cumi Smoor (for 2 big portions)
- 400g of squid, cleaned, hoods cut into strips,
- the juice of a lime
- 1 onion, peeled and finely diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 plum tomatoes, peeled and chopped
- 8 whole cloves
- 1 tsp nutmeg
- 150ml unherbed fish or vegetable stock or water
- plain boiled rice or saffron rice to serve
- chopped coriander/ sliced spring onion to garmish
- Get a large frying pan hot and stir fry the squid until it just curls up. Remove it from the pan, place it in a bowl, toss in the lime juice, cover and keep warm.
- Turn the heat down to low, add a little more oil, then add the onion and garlic to the pan and cook gently until soft.
- Add the tomato, stock, cloves and nutmeg. Stir well, ten allow to bubble gently until almost dry. Taste and season.
- Stir in the squid and warm through.
- Serve with saffron rice or plain boiled rice, garnished with chopped coriander and/or spring onion.