CALAMARI COOKBOOK by Joseph & Beth Regardz Schultz


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For verve and originality, this puts most single-subject cookbooks to shame. For reliable recipes, the story is a bit different. Schultz and Regardz, who run a Santa Cruz restaurant called India Joze, have managed to ransack the comers of the globe for squid recipes without producing simply a lot of denatured exotica. Their borrowings from various Southeast Asian cuisines (Thai, Malay, Indonesian) are especially striking, but there's plenty else. Anyone with the least liking for squid will have his or her imagination fired by things like mee krub (Thai rice sticks deep-fried and tossed with squid and other ingredients), squid tempura, West African groundnut stew, and homemade black pasta (colored with the ink). The joker is the recipes, however, which require experienced cooks willing to read through them several times and construct their own mental scenario--quite worthwhile, for the best of them, but a chore. Many people will find the proportions idiosyncratic (one cup of cooking fat is mind-boggling in a risotto with two cups of rice). The directions suggest the elliptical shorthand practiced cooks jot down for their own use. Regardz's lovely line drawings clear up some mysteries, but not all. On the plus side, the fine background information and spirited setting forth of culinary opinions will give good cooks much food for thought. The recipe-writing minuses rule this one out for beginners.

Pub Date: Oct. 16th, 1987
Publisher: Celestial Arts