When on holiday in the Mediterranean we all like to feast on deep fried squid rings; sweet and succulent to the bite with a lemon spritz. For those of us that live on the shores of the Med, we are fortunate enough to dine on this delicious cephalopod as often as the seas allow us. However, for those of you less fortunate, squid or as it is now trendily referred to on restaurant menus, calamari, is something you can only long for on your summer hols.
If you can’t wait for next year to enjoy delicious calamari rings and those you find in restaurants back home don’t quite measure up, then your only option is to purchase whole squid and turn them into calamari rings yourself.
“Can’t be bothered doing that,” I hear you say, “I’m too squeamish!” scream some, “I don’t want that mess in my kitchen,” justify the others BUT this is a work of mere moments.
All major supermarkets sell fresh squid and those that have a proper fishmongers onsite will clean and prep them for you, should you wish, however cleaning and preparing squid is not daunting. Follow these simple steps below:
1st: Hold the squid firmly above the eyes and pull the body away from the hood.
2nd: Cut the tentacles off by holding the squid below the eyes. Take care not to burst the ink sack as this will be very messy. Avoid the beak (mouth) as this will not be pleasant to eat, this can be found inside the head, near the eyes. Reserve the tentacles and discard the remainder of the body.
3rd: Remove the cartilage from the inside of the hood.
4th: Now thoroughly clean the hood, inside and outside.
Remove the pinkish layer of skin and wings. These come off easily.
Turn the hood inside out, I find this easiest to do by pushing a chopstick from the tip until the hood has turned inside out.
Give the inside a good scrape with a knife and rinse to get rid of any gritty, slimy traces.
5th: Turn the hood inside out again, taking care not to rupture it, this is now ready to cook.
Slice into rings and pass through seasoned flour before deep frying for delicious calamari rings. Wedge of lemon on the side.
Alternatively, open the calamari hood and score the flesh on both sides and grill over hot coals – for a true taste of summer. I love the way they curl as the heat hits them trapping any salsa / dressing juices that you drizzle over.