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We’re Crazy for Calamari! Fresh from the Docks: A Healthy, Delicious, Thrifty Hero

We’re onto you! You order calamari in restaurants often, but you’re intimidated to pick up some squid from your Fairway Seafood counter and try your hand at cooking up the tasty mollusks (that’s the family which includes calamari, clams, and oysters).

Fear no more. Squid is so easy to cook, so ridiculously well-priced, so tasty, and healthy to boot. It’s a versatile protein that can be grilled up outside, stuffed (try ground pork, cheese, bread crumbs!) and roasted, breaded and fried, or cooked slowly in a stew. “We carry some of the best squid known to man (or woman),” says Dennis Bland, the Director of Fairway’s Meat & Seafood. “Fresh never frozen and always tender and delicious!”

Squid is almost pure muscle, with little fat. That means it cooks very quickly, and overcooks fast, too. If you’ve ever had calamari reminiscent of rubber bands, it was the sad result of overcooking–perhaps for only a few crucial moments. Don’t despair, just avoid the cooked-to-death trap and keep an eye on your straight-from-the-sea goodness and they’ll come out tender and perfect.

Pick up an already cleaned squid–all you have to do is slice it into rings, if you so choose. The tentacles are my favorite part, and best left whole (slice ‘em in half if they’re really giant).

Here’s a stupid-simple recipe for quick, flavorful calamari tossed in the pan with some basil and good olive oil. You’ll look like a pro, and you’ll show this mighty mollusk who’s boss.

Simple Pan-Seared Calamari

Serves: 4 for appetizers, 2 for entrée

3 tablespoons Fairway extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for finishing

1 pound fresh squid, cleaned

2 cloves garlic, chopped

6 to 8 basil leaves, chopped

1 tablespoon soy sauce

Salt to taste

Lemon wedges and chopped parsley, for garnish

Heat olive oil in a pan or wok over medium-high heat. When hot, add squid. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring, then add the garlic, basil, soy sauce, and salt. Cook for a few moments, allowing garlic to turn golden-brown. Serve with lemon wedges and parsley, drizzle with olive oil.

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