How to Cook Calamari

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 236,366
    This video will show how to cook calamari.

    Barton Seaver: Hey, I am Barton Seaver and we are finishing off our dish of calamari. We are using fresh calamari. We have just cleaned up our products, that's sitting here on the cutting board, ready to saut. Now my favorite way to prepare this is on a grill. Calamari, and specially when it has this light purplish skin to it, picks up so much of that seductive rich smoky flavor that I love so much. Now I don't have to grill inside. So we are going to be sauting it today which is absolutely great as well.

    Now what you want to do is, get a pan super super hot. You are going to be doing this in small batches. What we are going to do, is just to make it fit into the pan a little bit better here. Let's just cut these right in half. Now we have got the heads what's also known as the tents, and then we have got the body, and this is my favorite here, especially these long segments with the fins. They are so pretty once they are done up.

    So I am going to take a little bit of cooking oil. Throw that in our pan. You really don't need a whole lot, probably about just one teaspoon in there, because again, you really want the pan to be doing a lot of the work with the direct contact of the heat. The oil is just sort of facilitating it not to stick. So you want to wait until this gets really to the smoking point, which will be there just in a second.

    Now as this is sauting, we have our vegetables over here. Now these vegetables have just come out of the water, just a few minutes ago before we started this, so they are little bit warm, which is how you want them. If you cook them ahead of time, just throw them in the microwave, just to put a little heat on them, because what happens, is once you put the basil on to the warm potatoes and green beans, the flavor and the aromas of the basil just completely bloom. Fills the room, it's absolutely essential to the sort of the perfection of the dish.

    So we are going to get our calamari started here. You can see that oil is very very hot, and we are going to do this in some smaller batches, not all at the same time. Now when I am doing this, I am going to lay the calamari away from me. So that I don't splatter myself with oil here. Be very careful. Now this is going to splatter a little bit, so we are just going to have to take our time with it. We are also throwing one of our tent's heads, and we will season up the other side of it as well. Don't be afraid of the salt. Salt is very good and the calamari is going to take a little bit more of the salt than you would expect.

    So while that's going, we are going to finish up our salad over here. So in a bowl I have got our furze. Now we have got our potatoes here. I am going to mix a few of these warm potatoes in there, we have our green beans. Then we are going to take a spoonful of this brilliantly green basil walnut pesto here, and you want to season this pretty generously, because the potatoes need a lot of salt, green beans as well need a lot of salt, and then the furze, bitterness can also take a lot of the salt.

    So you want to mix this up pretty well, wow, this calamari is sauting smells fantastic. Now calamari, people are often lot of afraid of cooking, because it ends up being very rubbery and hard to eat, but with this fresh calamari like this, it doesn't end up being rubbery and you cook it very quickly.

    Now as you see, we are finished mixing our salad, isn't that just beautiful? So we are going to go ahead and plate this up. Then when we got that plated, the calamari is probably ready to flip over here. You see that beautiful purplish color, this is great. You want them sort of push down the tentacles a little bit as well. Make sure they get some of this crispy, crunchy texture right on the edges there.

    Now the calamari will roll over, and you can see that these fin areas are difficult to get cooked. So you got to sort of cook them in turn. So this dish is almost done. The calamari really only takes a minute or two to cook. So it's great for a weeknight dinner, or a quick lunch, and also this travels pretty well. If you make the whole salad and you take this sauted calamari and you slice it up, it's a good picnic lunch as well.

    So we will just press that down to really make sure we get that cooked all the way throughout, inside of the head here is the densest area of the calamari. So that's going to need the most heat. Wow! This is really good. So I am just going to flip the calamari over one more time to get that presentation side extra extra crispy, and a little bit extra charred. so we are going to turn our heat off here. Now when you go to plate them, this little bits of juice inside of it is going to come out, so gently put that there.

    Now we have got that on top of the pesto salad, and that salad is just blooming with the aroma of the basil, just absolutely gorgeous. So we are going to take a little bit more of the basil right on top of that hot calamari, just a couple little drops of it. There you go.

    Now I like to serve this with a little bit of lemon, so squeeze just a few drops of lemon over the top of it. I think lemon and seafood, it's hard to imagine any kind of seafood that's not made better by lemon. Well, in fact, it's hard to imagine any food that's not made better by lemon. So just a few drops of that over the top of it. Here is your fancier calamari with a basil walnut pesto salad with green beans and potatoes over furze. Enjoy!