Turning Fresh Squid into Calamari

In the complex of our summer-house, local fishermen walk through the houses and sell what they daily catch. This time with whiting fish, we also bought squid. Yep, that’s squid and not calamari! As yours truly loves a challenge, she set on cleaning them herself! I tried cleaning squid before, by watching a YouTube video but I had never came across squid this fresh and this big. I’m telling you they were huge and if my dad weren’t next to me as I did the cleaning I wouldn’t have made it through with only screaming 5 times.

calamari 1

I’m not going to go into too much detail because there are many approaches and I’m nowhere near an expert, but I can tell you that you should watch at least 2 or 3 different videos to get grasp on ho you’re going to do it.

But basically:

  • Sever the tail bit from the head
  • Clean the calamari bit’s insides
  • Cut the head from the tentacles
  • Clean the edible part
  • Skin every bit that is left
  • Skin them again (because there are at least 2 layers of skin)
  • and most importantly MARINATE!

If you don’t marinate the calamari the night before, you’re going to have a very rubbery texture in your dish.

Ingredients for marination:

  • Milk
  • Garlic
  • Salt & pepper

calamari 2calamari 3calamari  4

When you uncover the marinated calamari the next day you may find another layer of skin that has come off during its stay in the milk, skin it too.

I did several versions of preparing the calamari:

  • Classic rings
  • Crisscrossed large parts or small ears
  • Attached rings so they don’t splatter around (I did this for smaller ones)

calamari 5

As for the cooking that was the easiest part, just place the prepared calamari on top of a towel or newspaper, drain any juices left and coat them in salted flour before deep-frying them.

I also did some of them on a pan but they probably would have been better on a grill.

Either way they were moist and so soft with the marination. The longer they are in it, the better.

Use it as a side to your seafood dishes or make it a main course, that’s up to you. I even froze some of it so that they are ready to cook next time I crave them.

calamari 6 calamari 8 calamari 9 calamari 10

Additionally, when my dad cleaned the whitings I told him to cut off the mud sack in their mouths and give them to me. I put them in boiling water with

  • Onions
  • Tomatoes
  • Green peppers
  • Garlic
  • Salt & pepper

And prepared fish stock. When it was done, I drained them and served in small bowls with instructions to put fish bits in their own bowls. It’s not a looker but it was one of the best things I made myself and tasted. I urge you to try it. Enjoy.

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