Grilled Squid for Christmas


Not very traditional, I know, but long ago I renounced eating turkey out of ethical and health considerations. Plus, grilled squid tastes a lot better than the bird. The slippery creatures live free in the oceans and with increasing water temperatures, there is a cephalopod bonanza all over the world. In fact, in some areas, like off the coast of California, the large Humboldt squid are becoming a problem due to their abundance. In today’s vulnerable seas, the squid fisheries is one of the sustainable ones.

The recipe offered here  is a mix of what I tasted in Piran, a lovely town on the Adriatic shores of Slovenia and my father’s own, which he borrowed -and bettered- from Japanese immigrants in the Peruvian port of El Callao.  The original Mediterranean and Adriatic recipe includes garlic, lemon and parsley. The soy sauce and ginger additions are definitely Asian. This  is a very simple and simply delicious meal.

Grab a 2 pound pack of frozen squid tubes and tentacles, thaw, wash with fresh water, rinse and pat dry. Marinate in a bowl with crushed garlic (2 cloves), chili flakes (to taste), chopped fresh ginger (a thimble full), white wine (I used half a cup of inexpensive Australian Chardonnay) and a few dashes of soy sauce. For this latter ingredient, I used the light version. Marinate in fridge for 6 hours.

Heat a cast iron skillet and brush it with cooking oil Iif you have a bbq all the better). Take the squid marinade, pat dry on a t-towel and grill on cast iron skillet over high heat. Don’t overcrowd the skillet; you should have about half of the surface covered with tubes and tentacles. You will need a couple of minutes until brown. Set aside in warm oven and continue until all squid is grilled.

Serve immediately on warm platter. Pour plenty of your favorite olive oil (when I say plenty I mean swimming in oil) and squirt a lemon on the dish. Sprinkle with a handful of finely chopped parsley and eat with Portuguese buns or Parisian Baguette.

Wine choices: Albarino from Northern Spain, Burgans is a good option. Raimat Chardonnay Albarino would also accompany this plate with elan. Chablis and Falanghina would also enhance this dish.

Merry Christmas to all!

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