Squid is one of those things that you either love, or not. My family happens to love it, but that was not always the case. I eased them into the process by serving calamari – fried with a side of lemon slice and marinara. Although delicious, this same technique got old and boring (for me, not for them).
My recipe for tomato and garlic stewed squid is not only easy, but it’s also incredibly flexible. It can be transformed into squid linguini or a quick squid paella.
I buy my squid whole, and clean it myself. It’s less expensive this way, which enables me to serve generous portions, and leaves a little left over for experimentation. I also like the process of cleaning squid, its therapeutic – I get my favorite beverage, music and maybe Netflix and have a squid cleaning party!
In the next few weeks, I will post my own how to video for cleaning squid, but for now, I found a good one on YouTube that gives instruction. Just a heads up the process is messy.
Seafood Allergy? Squid is Shellfish!
In case you didn’t know, squid are shellfish. Shellfish include marine animals with shells, such as shrimp, crab, oysters and lobster, as well as octopus, scallops and squid. So if you or someone in your family has a shellfish allergy, squid or calamari should be avoided.
Approximately 60 percent of people with shellfish allergy experienced their first allergic reaction as adults. People with shellfish allergy react to all shellfish; others react to only certain kinds. Reactions range from mild symptoms — such as hives or a stuffy nose — to severe and even life-threatening.
If you think you have a shellfish allergy, talk to your doctor. Tests can help confirm a shellfish allergy, so you can take steps to avoid future reactions.
Visit the Food Allergy Reseach & Education website for more info.
4½ lb cleaned calamari fresh or frozen, thawed and drained
2 cups of chopped canned tomatoes, with liquid
½ cup of white wine
1 Spanish onion, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 bunch cilantro, chopped
2 cups of water
1 pinch red pepper flake
1 lemon, sliced into quarters
Sea salt & fresh cracked black pepper
In a heavy-bottomed stew pot add enough olive oil to coat the bottom along with the garlic, red pepper flake pepper, onion and anchovies. Turn the flame on low and with the top off sauté for about 3 minutes.
Add the calamari and cook for 5 minutes. Add the wine, tomatoes, water, sea salt and pepper to taste, and half of the chopped cilantro.
Turn the heat to medium and cook the squid for 15-20 minutes then check the squid for doneness – it should be tender and not chewy. If it’s not perfect, give it another 5 minutes on the stove. This is also a good time to adjust the seasoning if needed.
Serve with lemon slices, a splash of olive oil and cilantro.