“The Call of Cthulhu” has never been made into a major motion picture, but a Lovecraft novella, The Shadow Over Innsmouth, was adapted into a monstrously (haw haw) crappy Spanish movie called Dagon in 2001. Dagon is about a fishing village that sells its soul, so to speak, to an evil sea-god in exchange for lots of fish and golden ingots. Again, Dagon sucks. Do not watch it. Rent a real movie like La Dolce Vita for a change and try this sophisticated and cosmopolitan Mario Batali recipe for stuffed and grilled mini-Dagons.
I was happy to learn that squid is cheap as hell—eight calamari, about a pound of squid, cost just seven bucks at Pagano’s Seafood in Norwalk. The squidmongers were friendly, courteous, and professional. They’d damn well better be—like a WalMart security camera, Dagon is always watching his minions.
This recipe reveals why recipes are often of little use to truly incompetent novice cooks. Mario says: “Remove the tentacles and clean the calamari, leaving the bodies whole.” What actually needs to happen, in Lovecraftian terms: “First, decapitate the Thing with an eldritch cleaver engraved with eldritch glyphs (like the Wüsthof logo). With thumb and forefinger, probe the briny, abysmal recesses of its mucilaginous form, relieving it of its pulpy polyps; its quill-like, translucent spine; its ink as Stygian as a thousand dead stars.” Then you peel it and wash it. Nasty. Not to mention, uh, eldritch.
Prepare the stuffing thusly: “Heat the olive oil in a 10- to 12-inch sauté pan until smoking. Add the garlic and sun-dried tomatoes and sauté until light golden brown, about 30 seconds. Add the bread crumbs and continue cooking until well mixed. Allow to cool then stir in the thyme, scallions and parsley.” Stuff ’em. Grill for about ten minutes, add to the pasta of your choice, and . . . pray for a swift death. Cthulhu fhtagn!