Squid, or calamari, is the perfect summer food: it's light and tasty, cooks in minutes, and tastes faintly of the sea, which is probably where you wish you could be in the kind of weather we've been enjoying this week. It's also the perfect winter food: stuffed and braised, it makes a warm, hearty dish. Look for winter squid if the weather changes; for now, enjoy this recipe, which can be made with any marinade (olive oil, garlic, and salt would be delicious), and can be cooked on an outdoor barbecue (like we did) or in your griddle pan or cast-iron skillet. It can even be broiled. And the best part is that squid is incredibly cheap.
1/2 lb cleaned squid bodies per person*
2T sambal (chili-garlic paste)-- or less if you can't handle the heat
1.5T rice vinegar
1T low-sodium soy sauce
juice of 1/2 lime + more limes for serving
2-3 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
2 inch piece ginger, minced-- or, better yet, press in a garlic press!
*You can buy pre-cleaned squid; if it's not, squeeze out the guts and remove the cartilage.
Mix all sauce ingredients. Set aside.
Slice squid bodies open lengthwise into two pieces (they'll look vaguely triangular). Wash and dry well. Using a sharp knife, score the squid on what used to be the inside (softer) side on the diagonal, both ways, so you have diamond-shaped cross-hatching.
Toss the squid with half the sauce. Save the rest of the sauce for dipping. Marinate 20 minutes.
Light the barbecue. While it's heating up, skewer each piece of calamari lengthwise so it lies flat. Place it on the hot grill and cook 2 minutes/side, until light char marks show.
And as long as you're barbecuing, throw some corn on too...
...and drink some beer...
... and cheese (Basque Ixtara and the Cheeseboard's own Hot Cheddar Spread) and baguette are a must...
...enjoy the view!