Though I moved to Chicago two weeks ago, I luckily found myself back in DC last weekend for new hire orientation. Having suffered goodbye tears, boxes upon boxes of moving supplies, and a day-long drive across the country, coming back to DC gave me the closure I needed. By closure, I do not in any way mean I am “over” the city or all the friends I’ve left behind. Rather, my closure encompassed comign to terms with a new chapter of my life. Just because a new chapter has begun does not mean the old chapter of my life has terminated. Just like reading a book, turning the page does not mean the previous one spontaneously combusted 🙂
For a moment let’s go back to my life in the District. After 7 years there I thought I knew every nook and cranyn of the city. I had especially visited almost every farmers market and had at least a cocktail in every notable restaurant. But the two things I never quite found were a local butcher and a quality fish monger. Oh boy was I apparently so dazed and confused. All it takes is a drive over I-395 Exit 4 with the windows down to realize DC has some of the freshest fish in town. You can smelly the briny, fishy goodness from your car as you drive over the DC SW Waterfront Fisherman’s Wharf. The Main Avenue Fish Market is a community of local fisherman who get together to sell the freshest fish at the cheapest prices. I’m talking a pound of Mahi Mahi for $5.99. Tiger prawns for $3.99/lb. Cleaned squid for $4.50/lb. Even a 2lb bag of fresh mussels for $5.00 flat! It’ll make you never want to shop a Whole Foods again (ok that’s a total lie….)
We purused the market for almost a half hour before deciding to make calamari and mahi mahi for dinnr that night. Why pay $30 at a restaurant when you can pay $5 at the market?! My momma would be so proud.
1 fresh squid steak (~1/5 lb), cleaned
2 tsp coconut oil
4 cups arugula
1/2 cup red onion, thinly sliced
1 avocado, sliced
1 ruby red grapefruit
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tsp dijon mustard
1/2 shallot, minced
2 Tbs olive oil
Salt and Pepper (I swear by fresh ground rainbow peppercorns) to taste
Cut squid into 1/2 inch thinck circles; pat dry. Season with salt and pepper. Heat coconut oil in skillet over medium-high. Add squid and cook, stirring occassionally, 5 minutes or until slightly firm and opaque. Remove from heat. DO NOT OVER COOK or they will get rubbery. Splash with lemon juice.
Whisk together remaining lemon juice, olive oil, mustard, shallots, salt, and pepper.
Peel and section grapefruit with a knife. Place arugula, onion, avocado, grapefruit, and squid in a serving bowl. Toss with dressing.