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Squid has gained popularity in the US since bars and restaurants boldly started adding deep-fried calamari to their appetizer menus. A long time Italian and Asian favorite, squid really hasn't taken off otherwise here in the US. It's a strange looking saltwater creature (a mollusk, actually) with tentacles and a beak. Yes, it has a beak.
The meat itself is firm and chewy and slightly sweet in flavor. You can purchase full squid tentacles (tubes) that can be stuffed, or get it pre-sliced in rings that work in stir fry dishes or that can be battered and deep-fried.
Squid will be tough if you cook it improperly. You must, and I mean MUST, cook it one of two ways: either fast with high heat such as in deep-frying or stir-frying; or, it must be cooked low and slow, at least an hour in liquid over very low heat (braising). Anything else will turn that lovely squid into a rubber-band like texture.
You can purchase squid fresh, frozen or canned. When buying it fresh, expect about 3 squid per pound. Squid are rich in protein and phosphorus.
Squid can sometimes be hard to find in your typical supermarket. You can substitute cuttlefish or baby octopus in place of it in most recipes that call for the sliced rings.
Braised Veal-Stuffed Calamari
photo: CDKitchen Made with squid tubes, bread crumbs, heavy cream, ground veal, shallot, fresh parsley, parsley stems, lemon zest, kosher salt, black pepper stovetop Calamari Piccata Made with calamari steaks, onion, garlic, green onions, olive oil, flour, salt and pepper, capers, butter, lime juice stovetop
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Arros Negre (Rice With Squid Ink) Made with squid ink, salt, Spanish paella rice or short-grain Italian rice, olive oil, squid, tomatoes, yellow onion, garlic, fish stock, sweet paprika stovetop Calamari Calabrese Made with sage, butter, white wine, flour, milk, salt and freshly pepper, onion, red pepper flakes stovetop Spaghetti con Calamari Made with salt and pepper, spaghetti or perciatelli, butter or virgin olive oil, Italian plum tomatoes, onion, squid, fresh thyme, fresh oregano, fresh marjoram, basil stovetop Mediterranean Squid Stew Made with baby artichokes, white wine, Canned imported tomatoes; coarsely chopped and drained, fresh thyme, Garlic; cut into very thin slices, onion, olive oil, Cleaned squid; bodies cut into Saute of Squid, Shrimp and Eggplant Made with chili powder, eggplants, salt, squid, shrimp, red bell pepper, green bell pepper, tomatoes, olive oil, garlic stovetop Oriental Squid Stir-Fry Made with sesame oil, lemongrass, fresh squid, baby corn, shiitake mushrooms, coconut milk, mild red chili, garlic, fresh coriander stovetop Squid Meatballs Made with olive oil, breadcrumbs, squid, olive oil -- for the sheet, eggs, onion, garlic, dried oregano, fresh parsley, grated romano or parmesan Spicy Calamari - Brazilian Style Made with fresh parsley, green bell pepper, red bell pepper, tomatoes, fish bouillon, water, black pepper, onion, bay leaves, squid rings Calamari In Tomato Sauce Made with red wine, salt, parsley, tomato sauce, red chili peppers crushed, garlic, oil, frozen calamari (squid) thawed and cleaned