Calamari, or squid, has a problem: You need to either cook it very quickly, or for a long, long time. There is no happy middle.
While I like long-simmered calamari dishes, now that the weather is warming, I prefer the flash-cooking method. It is easy and surprising: All you do is plunge the cleaned squid rings into salty boiling water for 30-45 seconds -- that's all. No more than that.
The result is meltingly tender, fully cooked, delicious calamari. It's awesomely easy. Toss the now-cooked squid with your favorite sauce and you are good to go. Here are a few recipes that use this method:
- Spanish Squid with Saffron-Almond-Sherry Sauce
- Sardinian Calamari Salad
- Vietnamese Squid Salad with ginger and lime
Photo copyright 2009 Holly A. Heyser