Difficulty – So So
Squid is one of those wonderful texture foods. In and of itself the flavor is very mild, but the nature of this particular mollusk is that it absorbs sauces very well. I know that fried calamari, at least in the States, is possibly the most popular version of squid, and whereas that often hits the spot, squid without being deep fried is a much better use of the creature. Squid is easy to make even if that is not a common belief. Just don’t over-cook it or you’ll be having rubber bands for your meal. If you are going to buy the squid fresh, make sure that when you clean/rinse them that you remove and grains you feel or any cartilage that may have accidentally been left on. I find that the frozen packages rarely have that issue, and frankly I can’t tell the difference in taste.
1-1/2 lb. cleaned squid, cut into evenly sized rings and tentacles (rings ~ 1/3” wide, tentacles matching thickness, many tentacles can be left as is)
¾ -1 full med. size sweet red pepper, very thinly sliced
1/3 – ½ bunch fresh cilantro, cleaned, leaves only and chopped
3 TB fresh chives, chopped
Juice of 1-1/2 limes
1/3 Cup EVOO
2-1/2 tsp. Red Chili paste
Salt and pepper to taste
Heat a TBS or so of oil in a pan and, once heated, toss in the cut squid. Mix and watch the pieces. Once they go from translucent to opaque they are pretty much done and this takes only 2-4 minutes. You don’t ever want to overcook it, but underdone is less than ideal as well, so bite a piece. Once you make this a few times you’ll get the hang of it. Have a colander waiting in the sink. As soon as it’s done, put the squid in the colander and immediately rinse with cold water to stop the cooking. Once cooled and drained, add the peppers, cilantro and chives.
The dressing is, at least to me, the moodier part of the recipe. The problem is that the chili paste’s thickness makes it tough to blend. For this reason, after I pour the lime juice, EVOO and chili paste into the salad, I actually mix it with my very clean hands. It is the most effective way to get the best results. Well, why don’t you process the dressing in advance, you wonder? You can, and it’s still good, but something changes ever so slightly and I don’t like it as much.
Once mixed, cover and refrigerate for an hour or overnight.
Serves roughly four
Please excuse interim picture quality whilst I seek new equipment.