INGREDIENTS
by Jo' Pratt

Homemade crispy calamari is quick, easy and definitely worth the effort. Dip into creamy garlicky mayonnaise.

Main course

Buyer's guide

Squid or calamari is available most of the year fresh or frozen. It varies in size, from small specimens 5-7cm/2-3in in length, to larger ones of about 25cm/10in. Few shellfish fare so well when frozen.

Preparation

Preparing squid is easy once you know how: cut off the tentacles, then feel around on the inside of the squid's body for a long, plastic-like shard called the 'quill' and pull it out. Reserve the silvery ink-sac from the innards to colour the dish later. Peel the purple and white skin from the squid meat. Remove the 'beak' from the tentacles - it resembles a small white piece of bone with a hole in the middle. The tentacles and squid body can both be used in cooking.

Squid must either be cooked very quickly or for a very long time, otherwise it will be tough. Cooked properly, it will be sweet and tender. Simply grill whole squid quickly or slice it into rings, dip in batter and deep-fry. Larger squid can be stewed with tomatoes, red wine and olive oil. Squid is delicious stuffed, and can be used in paella.