Slow-cooked squid June 20, 2012Posted by inspiredbywolfe in Seafood.
While I’ve cooked squid many times, I’ve never cleaned and prepared them myself. So recently, when I saw some fresh squid at the fishmongers, I decided I’d better give it a go.
I started by soaking the squid in cold water before I started cleaning them. There are lots of instructions online about how to clean a squid, but I used the description in Stephanie Alexander’s Cook’s Companion as I was also intending to use her recipe. Now, there are no photos of the cleaning process as I was almost up to my elbows in squid. I separated the tentacles, cleaned out the innards and beak, pulled off the skin and collected the ink. I found the whole thing quite straightforward – provided I followed the steps in the correct order!
I chopped up garlic, tomatoes, onions, celery, basil and thyme and cooked them together briefly.
I chopped the squid and tentacles into bite-sized pieces and added them to the vegetables. I also added the squid ink and a bit of red wine. I found that while the ink was black in the bowl, when I added it to the pot it turned a purply colour and mixed in with the wine. Maybe I didn’t have enough ink for the amount of liquid I’d already added.
Once everything was combined, I just had to let it slowly cook for about an hour. When it was ready, I added some fresh basil on top and it was ready to serve.
The end result was fantastic. While I do like squid that has only been cooked for a couple of minutes, I enjoyed this dish even more. It was very rich, with the squid completely soft. The squid flavour had permeated into the vegetables but at the same time, the squid had also absorbed a lot of flavours making it very interesting to eat. I did think that the squid ink got lost and I did not think it had added much to the dish (although it was fun to extract the ink from the ink sacs!). While it takes a lot longer than just quickly cooking some squid, I’ll definitely be making this dish again – once I’ve cleaned the squid, of course.