Saturday, 18 July 2009

Ring me!

MAYBE it's the woman in me, but I've always liked foods that come in the shape of a ring.
Golden rings of pineapple. Yes please!
Glistening onion rings (au naturel, deep fried or the onion-flavoured maize snacks). Delicious!
Apple rings, ring donuts, Hula Hoops, spaghetti hoops, polo mints. You name it, if it's edible, circular and comes with a whole in the middle, I am on it.
But squid rings?
I've always been lead to believe that eating squid was the culinary equivalent to chewing a rubber band.
Besides, I couldn't get over the fact that it started life as something which looks like an ancient form of contraception.
Until about six month ago, when a friend ordered a pile of calamaris to share in a tapas restaurant, unaware of my aversion to the breaded rings of knicker elastic.
My first thought was 'great, that's one less plate to eat from', until she started to tuck into 'my' goats' cheese salad (can you tell I am not quite au fait with the idea of tapas?).
I lunged my fork into her crispy calamari, via the garlic mayonnaise, taking more than my fair share. I'd munch through these suckers... even if it takes all night.
However, it was a revelation. So good were they, we had to order another plate to sate my newly-found appetite.
And the love affair did not stop there. In fact, since then I've gone calamari crazy, I ate copious amount during a recent holiday in the Dominican Republic, and I even had some excellent crispy squid as a starter in the Barton Arms last night.
But I am yet to cook it myself.
I am frightened of buying it, chopping it up, cooking it
So I am asking for your help. I need recipes, tips... it's a love affair that I don't want to be responsible for ending in my own kitchen!
You could ring me... or just leave me a tip at the end of this post...


Nora said...

Oooh, can't offer any tips I'm afraid but if you find out the secret, you must post it! I was always a squid sceptic - just like you I thought it was ugly, chewy and tasteless. And then I had one plate of deep fried squid in a tapas bar in Spain and it was delicious - they melted in my mouth! But I've never have such good squid again in my life, so maybe it's time I had a go. I shall be watching your blog for instructions!! :D

Emily said...

Thanks Nora! I will let you know how it goes. I don't know if I will get round to cooking it myself, probably just continue to binge on it when I am out and about

fran39 said...

Good luck, Emily (and that was such a great post)! I find the best way with the tentacled ones (I'm including the divine octopus here) is cook very very quick or very very slow. Anything in between and you're in rubber country.

Emily said...

Thanks Fran, that's what I've heard via cookery TV too. I think I'd probably go for the speedy method first. I'll let you know how I get on...

Heavenly Housewife said...

u forgot to mention my favorite "rings" donuts, bagels, and ... DIAMONDS!
Sorry, have no clue about squid though. I heard carluccios does nice calamari too.

s_wacko said...

Hooray for your love of squid!

I like to add it to a Thai curry right before serving. Yummy!

Anonymous said...

OOohhh nice to see you back writing. That was a funny post esp when referring to the contraception bit.

The simple truth is though that squid is very tricky to cook - overcook it by 5 seconds and you are chewing on a rubberband. It is really a true test of a kitchen because even in glitzy starred ones they do turn up overcooked from time to time because it has been left on the pass too long.

Anonymous said...

As for tips, and because I am an absolute idiot who clicked post comment before I had finished typing (or more likely enter) as Fran said, you either cook them very quickly (30 secs max) or very very slowly (2-3 hrs min).

If flash frying them, make sure you heat the skillet/ pan up very hot and then drop them in. They should take no more than 30 secs to turn opaque by which time you should flip them over to quickly 'kiss' the other side and take them out immediately. With experience, you will learn when the squid is just about to turn opaque and take them off the heat because they will continue to cook. Squid also makes good vehicles to stuff er... stuff in... but make sure the stuffing is pre-cooked so you don't massacre the squid.

Emily said...

Thanks for your help and tips. If I do decide to ring the changes and cook some squid, I'll let you know how it goes!