Salt & Pepper Squid

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Squid is the only fish I know how to catch or clean, and on our annual beach holiday I go squidding each day. Fresh squid is deliciously tender and sweet,  and over the course of two weeks it gets cooked lots of different ways.

Simple deep frying with a dusting of breadcrumbs and light salt & pepper seasoning is my favourite.

First – catch your squid:

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I have a small kayak and hand line. Paddling around the bay in the calm of the early morning and catching the evening meal is a rare privilege.

I clean the squid out on the kayak, just pulling the skin off the tubes and flaps, and keeping the tentacles as well.

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For this method the tubes are best; I slit them down the middle and cut those cute little criss-cross patterns on them that make them roll up when cooked. Then they are cut into strips big enough so they won’t slip out of my frying basket.

After that it’s just a matter of dusting them with breadcrumbs and a bit of salt and pepper. Not too much though, as the fresh squid has a delightful sweet subtlety to it that it’s important not to overpower. In a home kitchen it might be tempting to try something more fancy, but down at the beach I’m happy to keep things very simple.

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I have a little basket that sits in a pan for deep frying over the wok-burner of the gas barbeque.  I cook only a single serve at a time, as that’s all my basket will handle without overcrowding. I time the cooking at 30 seconds on my watch, drain and serve immediately with lemon wedges, salad, and perhaps a glass of white wine.

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