Grilled Calamari recipes?
Thinking about switching from fried to grilled this Christmas Eve, I never grilled calamari though. I am mostly concerned with not over or under-cooking. it Any ideas, insight, recipes, etc.? I'll be using a Weber if it matters.
I've grilled stuffed calamari before. It doesn't take very long, maybe a few minutes each side. You can stuff them with just about anything. Some things I've tried and liked are feta and sun-dried tomatoes, ricotta and spinach, Couscous, even chopped clams, or scallops.
Use tooth picks to close them up. Brush with a little olive oil and grill.
There's only two ways to cook calamari - quick and very, very well done. Anything in between is like rubber bands.
I sometimes stuff it with a precooked shrimp "paste" (shrimp, scallions, garlic and ginger) and then grill it quickly. The other way is the usual 'rings' and tenacles. just enough to get grill marks.
Cleaning calamari yourself is a nighmare from hell. If you want tubes and the squiggly bits, it's well worth paying someone else for that part.
To keep them from being tough, sear them on high heat QUICKLY - not much more than a minute on each surface. To keep the tubes from getting too curly, gently score them. They're delightful, particularly over a salad of mixed baby greens, lightly dressed. Jamie Oliver uses them a lot - check out his recipes, for example:
Marinated Squid with Chickpeas and Chilli
6 medium-sized squid, gutted and cleaned 1 (14-ounce) can of chickpeas or use 6 ounces dried ones, soaked and cooked until tender
1 small knob of fresh ginger, peeled and finely sliced
About 4 glugs of extra-virgin olive oil
Juice of 2 lemons
2 fresh red chillies, seeded and finely sliced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 handful of fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
1 handful of fresh cilantro, torn
You can ask your fishmonger to clean the squid for you and score it in a crisscross pattern. This will allow your marinade to get right in there. In a hot griddle or frying pan, or over the grill, sear and char the squid. It should take about a minute for the white flesh and a little longer for the tentacles. Remove and slice the white flesh of each squid into 3 or 4 pieces, leaving the tentacles whole. Put the rest of the ingredients, except the herbs, into a bowl, then add your squid while still hot and toss everything together. Just before serving, throw in your herbs and check again for seasoning.
Yield: 6 to 8 servings