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Giant Squid

My fish store has these frozen calamari that are huge - almost a half inch thick. I tried to cook them last night, real simply by scoring and frying in seasoned olive oil.

This didn't work so well. The outside ended up overcooked even with the inside still being raw. Some of them curled up even though I scored them.

I am thinking next time I will try cooking them an hour - either as stew or stuffed in the oven. Is this a good idea? Can calamari this big be cooked well over high heat quickly? Should I just buy the tiny ones and put the added money towards fresh fish?

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  1. I've always heard that calamari and scunguilli should be cooked either quickly or a long simmer. I love to stuff calamari with lobster, shrimp and etc, very little bread crumb, and bake gently for a half hour to an hour. Serve with homemade tomato sauce. When I want to cook quickly, I deep fry. But these monsters don't sound like they would be very conducive to that.

    4 Replies
    1. re: coll

      "stuff calamari with lobster, shrimp and etc, very little bread crumb, and bake gently for a half hour to an hour"

      Wouldn't the stuffing be way overcooked and the calamari way under?

      1. re: bvbellomo

        No it's as moist as can be. Maybe some of the tomato sauce went inside, I haven't made it in a few years now (it's a Christmas Eve only dish to me). The friend who told me how to do it (and usually gave me some already made) is now departed; I hope I wrote it down exactly. Just remembered scallops go with the lobster and shrimp stuffing. If I can find it, I will give you the exact ingredients...or maybe his wife knows. Just decided I will make it this season in his honor.

        1. re: coll

          I would probably tenderize it overnight in milk/lemon juice or buttermilk first, then clean it off well. It's so easy to overcook squid too, which makes it like rubber.

          1. re: Tudor_rose

            That's good advice, I am going to start a tentative recipe and hopefully will run into his wife at the Fall Festival this weekend to get more info.

    2. What kind of "giant squid"? I have seen some very large squid, but not giant...I cook them for a long time, but 45 minutes is usually enough to tenderize them. Then again, could they be cuttlefish? I've seen cuttlefish as long as 2 feet, but even the smaller ones have a mantle about half an inch thick and are usually a foot long. Cuttlefish look like very wide squid, with relatively short, stubby tentacles. It has a very different consistency from squid....it doesn't seem to get tough, whether long or short cooked, but due to it's thickness, they need a decent time to cook, but they can be very thinly sliced and are great in stir-fry's. Then there are the "giant" Humboldt squid. These are the ones caught off of Mexico and southern Ca. They can reach 5 feet long, and sportfisherman go after them....supposedly they give a really great fight. These are cut into calamari "steaks", big squares of mantle that can be slapped on a grill. They are easily half an inch thick, but I've never seen it raw to cook myself. The very few times I've seen it, they have been pre-cooked. Not bad...definitely squid, but very meaty.

      4 Replies
      1. re: EricMM

        I totally pictured this when I read Giant Squid. Lol i'm sorry i'm no help here!

         
        1. re: EricMM

          Not relevant, but I recently read an article that profiled one of the men involved in searching full-time for live giant squid (true giant squid, architeuthis dux, the ones that are 20' long and live way deep in the ocean). He claims that he once cut a piece out of a dead one and ate it. "Bitter."

          1. re: lamb_da_calculus

            Architeuthis is inedible.....loaded with ammonia.

            1. re: EricMM

              Yeah, that's why it was so bitter. He didn't say how big the piece was.

        2. once, when my local grocer had thick squid steaks and I was bored, I pounded it and made 'calamari parmesan' over capellini, like one would eggplant but without the soak and a lot less parmesan. and it was really good, but I received so much derision for that story I have never tried it again. maybe someday.

          1. I suspect you probably have Cuttlefish which should be braised...

            1. Squid that large would be excellent in a long cooking method.

              2 Replies
              1. I bought a very large squid yesterday and am thinking of chopping the tentacles and stuffing the tube with them along with spinach, rice, pine nuts, and currants and braising it in a light tomato sauce

                1 Reply