Friday, 12 February 2010

Crispy Squid!

Squid is one of those ingredients you either love or hate. There seems to be no middle ground. Enthusiasts are only too happy to polish off vast platefuls of this slippery cephalopod, while those who are in the hate camp lambaste it as being chewy or like eating rubber bands. Well I say to those that aren't in love with squid that they simply haven't eaten them cooked properly. Chargrilled over coals and served with a chilli sauce, deep fried till crisp with a squeeze of lemon are the fast cooking methods most suited to smaller, younger squid. While a long slow bubble with tomato, garlic, herbs and wine is best for anything larger than your hand. I usually go for the smaller squids and recently decided to deep fry some.

After being opened out and cleaned, I score the inside of the squid in a criss cross fashion. This helps to both tenderise the squid and help it curl and crisp up during cooking. The squid is then sliced up in any old style and dredged with fine semolina flour, salt and pepper. Get a deep fat fryer heated to maximum and drop the squid in, being careful not to overfill the pan. A few minutes should be sufficient to achieve tender squid surrounded by  a crispy armour. Drain, season, dump on a plate and drip over some fresh lemon. Eat quickly with as much gusto as possible. And don't be squeamish about the tentacles.

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