I’ve recently realized that The Twine has another serious content gap—seafood. I was fortunate enough to grow up in the Florida Keys and live the first 13 years of my life eating the freshest fish the ocean and Gulf have to offer. It’s actually been a serious challenge to find anything comparable ever since we moved north in 2004.
Since then, I’ve pretty much begged any friends or family still in the keys to freeze some of their extra catch for me, but it’s also been a learning curve to figure out how to satiate my seafood tooth with the sad frozen and ‘fresh’ offerings that are available at the local supermarket.
One of the best things I have discovered is calamari. It comes frozen, withstands the cold temperatures far better than delicate fish, and cooks up almost immediately. As much as I love fried calamari, my mom and I have discovered a less fattening and labor intensive method of cooking this mollusk: squid salad! All it takes is a bit of vegetable chopping and a quick blanch before you’re chomping down on a healthy, delicious meal.
Here’s the recipe:
- ½ jalapeno, ribs and seeds removed, small dice
- ½ red bell pepper, ribs and seeds removed, small dice
- 2 celery stalks, peeled, small dice
- ½ yellow onion, small dice
- 4 scallions, small dice
- 1 large garlic clove, minced
- 2 lb. thawed calamari (tubes and tentacles)
- Juice of 4 ripe limes
- Juice of ½ orange
- Generous pinch kosher salt
- Crushed red pepper to taste
- Fresh cilantro leaves
Cut tubes crosswise into about ½-inch strips. Leave tentacles whole unless they are very large, then cut them in half.
In boiling, salted water, cook calamari for 3 minutes. Remove from pot with spider or slotted spoon and immediately drop into ice water bath to stop cooking. Cool for about three minutes, then drain onto paper towels. Remove as much water as possible.
Add the cooled squid to the vegetables in a large bowl and add the lime and orange juice, salt, red pepper, and cilantro. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving in order to let the flavors develop fully.
That’s all for The Dish this week. I hope you all have a fantastic holiday weekend!