Grilled squid with olive oil and lemon juice is one of those incredibly simple dishes that captures all the best of coastal Mediterranean cooking—it's economical, uncomplicated, and pristine (assuming your squid is pristine...and it should be). One bite and you'll be transported to a beach in Portugal, drinking cold vinho verde from the bottle and spearing juicy grilled squid bodies with your fork.
'squid' on Serious Eats
Grilled Squid With Arugula and Grapefruit Vinaigrette From 'Extra Virgin: Recipes and Love From Our Tuscan Kitchen'
I love the idea of this salad from Debi Mazar and Gabriele Corcos' new cookbook, Extra Virgin: Recipes and Love from our Tuscan Kitchen. Charred calamari, grapefruit, fennel, and arugula—how can you go wrong?
Crispy and a little saucy, egg noodles pan-fried until they form a crispy-on-the-outside, tender-in-the-middle cake is a classic Hong Kong and Guangzhou dish. A nest of egg noodles are fried in a wok until golden brown and topped with a combination of stir-fried meat, seafood, or vegetables. Here's how to make my favorite version, topped with seafood in a light gravy.
Jeff Koehler wrote the cookbook on paella. Literally. So I was keen to try out the paella recipes in his new cookbook, Spain. His shellfish paella is based on a recipe from his mother-in-law, who has been making this particular pan of rice every weekend for close to 50 years; for a paella newbie like myself, it seemed like a well-tested place to start.
This stir-fry of pork belly, dried squid, celery, and carrot is exemplary of Hakka cuisine.
This hot and fragrant masala is easy to make and a wonderfully unique preparation of squid.
Like stuffed mushrooms, seafood salad isn't a terribly common dish in the US these days. Sure, you'll see ceviche on every other "Latin-inspired" menu, but other than this raw preparation, chilled seafood lovers are often left salad-less. This version from Ottolenghi combines raw fennel and red onion with barely-seared squid and tail-on prawns for an even balance of crunch and chew. To brighten it up, they add a generous squeeze of time, a flurry of its zest, and a spoonful of citrusy sumac. Dill, cilantro, and parsley give the salad an herbaceous finish.
There is something so satisfying about a farro salad, especially when it's a complete meal. All you have to do is toss some in a big bowl, grab a fork, and dig in.
Squid are kind of a gateway shellfish. They're not terribly fishy and they're relatively easy to clean and prepare.
I first encountered the combination of squid and white beans in the famous tapas bar Bar Pintxo in the Boqueria market of Barcelona. There, tiny white runner beans are the bed for squid seared on a screaming hot flattop; a sauce of olive oil and the squid's ink gives the whole plate a round, salty tang. In a country of incredible food, it remains one of the best things I've eaten.
As great as white bean salads are, they need a partner to make a full dinner. I've seen a few variations over the years, but I was particularly interested in this recipe from Leslie Glover Pendleton's Simply Shellfish, because it pairs the beans with squid.
Sausage and cephalopods are two ingredients that, to me, always work together. And if you use your imagination it's not a far leap to think of a cleaned squid body as the ocean's sausage casing. Squid are creatures that need to be cooked hot and quick, or low and slow to get the best results, so once you add the squid to the tomato sauce, make sure to give it the time it needs. The best test of when the squid is done cooking is taking it out of the pan and giving it a try. To me, fork-poking a slow cooked squid doesn't give an accurate portrayal of its state.
Usually when I find myself frying up pieces of squid it's for some kind of Mediterranean dish. (Not that there's anything wrong with that.) But this stunning sandwich from Tom Colicchio's 'wichcraft instead looks to New Orleans and Mexico for inspiration. The po' boy is drizzled with black chile oil and layered with avocado slices before being topped with handfuls of crispy squid.
Cooking squid requires some special patience, as it needs to be cooked until white, but if you wait too long it'll turn into a rubbery little monster. But in this recipe from Jonathon Waxman's A Great American Cook, the squid just needs a few seconds in the scorching skillet, so it's easy to whip up. The sauce is made from rice wine vinegar, oil, and a whole bunch of aïoli, which gives each bite a garlic kick. Everything is then tossed with crisp greens. I found some amazing mizuna at the market, which worked perfectly.
The rounds don't come out stunningly golden-brown, but the squid is so tender and light that it's really not an issue. They tasted like no squid I've ever had. In fact, they're so good, the marinara isn't really needed even if it does work. I chose to use it simply because it's how I grew up eating the dish. Some aioli wouldn't be bad. But honestly, with a nice squeeze of lemon and a sprinkling of salt, these are set.
This fast and inexpensive seafood salad combines calamari with the common partners of tomato and lemon, but also with the unusual sweetness of tarragon and mint, the robust kick of hot pepper, and the oaky, salty crunch of roasted almonds. It's light, bright, and perfect for the hot weather.
Squid is one of the cheapest and easiest things to cook. Luckily it's also really tasty. This recipe puts a Korean twist on the squid with soy sauce, garlic, hot pepper powder, and sugar. It comes out spicy and aromatic. Less squid squeamish now?
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