Squids or Calamari are such a nice light meal, so simple and fast to make. Just need to heat up a pan to high heat, add the squids, cook for 2 minutes… That’s all! Although, if is you cook them too long… they’ll get chewy… but you can save them by continuing cooking them into a nice fish, wine broth (you can filled them up with shrimp or else) for 15 minutes and they will get soft again. (15 min for medium size calamari of 10cm body length, longer if bigger)
Back in Canada, I wouldn’t enjoy eating them, because they would often be tough and chewy, but here in Spain, when you pass in front of those clear eyes fresh calamari at the market, you have to stop and buy. They are so delicious and tender, no need to fry them into that fatty batter, simply cook them, and maybe filled them with croutons, add a little salt, garlic, flat leaf parsley and olive oil on top and voilà! In Spain, they have those really small calamari, the size of a nickel, which make great tapas. If you ever visit Spain, I highly recommend the “Calamar”, “Sepia”(Cuttlefish) or “Chipironnes” (small ones), even if you’re not a fan of it back home… you’ll see, you might suddenly change idea trying those spanish calamari.
This recipe is so simple, the only difference here; with a traditional calamari dish, is the fried croutons. I love some crunch with my squids but not the fried batter. So… I do a kind of reversed batter, which is healthier. Those croutons are optional of course, I simply fried cubes of leftover bread in little olive oil, add salt to them. That’s it!
So let’s make those tender and tasty sea creatures.
Calamari a la plancha
Makes 2 portions
- 6 squids (medium sized; 10cm body)
- leftovers of bread *optional
- flat leave parsley
- olive oil
- 1 garlic clove finely chopped
- Clean up the fresh squids, pull out the inside, keep just the tentacles, take the skin off (the fresher the Calamari the harder it is to take off the skin), the spine, the mouth and fins off
- Wash the inside and tentacles well
- *Some people make shallow cuts with a knife before cooking them, I don’t… you decide
- Bring pan to high heat
- Add 4 tbsp olive oil (at that point you can do your croutons)
- Add the squids, not more than 3 at the time, otherwise it’s won’t cook fast enough.
- Cook at high heat about 1 minute each side, until light brown (if oil disappear add more, since they like oil)
- Cook the legs until light brown (less than 2 minutes)
- Add garlic to a mortar with salt and finely chopped parley, make into purée
- Add the 4 tbsp of olive oil and mix
- Add the croutons into the calamar, top with the parsley, garlic, olive oil sauce and voilà!
Serve with aïoli for extra smoothness and a lime, Enjoy!