I Cook Calamari

I occasionally try new recipes, but the old stand-bys that I have in my head are now pared down to feed 4-6 so that there are leftovers. (When I was cooking for four hungry teens, I made lasagna in restaurant sized pans.) And the tried and true recipes have been modified for food sensitivities we have. I have several friends whose husbands won’t eat leftovers. If my husband ever started down that road, he’d have to fix himself a bowl of gluten-free cereal for dinner.

My writing partner, Laura Ambler, is an inventive cook and recently told me that she frequently makes Calamari. I often order calamari in restaurants, but didn’t even know where to find it in my supermarket. But recently, on a foray to our local big box store, BJ’s, I found it next to the frozen salmon. Turns out calamari is a fairly inexpensive protein. Be adventuresome, I told myself as I bought a box.


I went on line to see how to fix it and was glad I did. High heat and short cooking times keep calamari from overcooking which leads to a rubber tire result. This recipe, which  I found on Chowhound.com) made a quick and tasty dinner. Cooking the jasmine rice for 18 minutes took the longest. This recipe will go into my rotation. And since what I usually order in a restaurant is fried calamari, I need to try that, too.


Calamari with garlic and parsley

  • 1 lb squid, cleaned (it came that way in the package but I rinsed it), cut into 3/4″ thick rings, tentacles left whole
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter (1/4 stick)
  • 2 tsp finely chopped garlic
  • 1 tbsp coarsely chopped parsley (I still had some in the garden)
  • salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 1 lemon, cut into wedges


  • pat squid dry with paper towel
  • heat oil in a large frying pan over high heat until smoking. Carefully add squid in a single layer, then add butter, garlic, and parsley. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Cook, tossing frequently, until squid is opaque and cooked through – about 1 to 2 minutes (do not overcook). Season with additional salt and pepper and serve over rice.
  • garnish with lemon wedges

Have you pursued any cooking adventures recently? Successes or epic fails?





2 thoughts on “I Cook Calamari

  1. Hi Mala, I’m planning seafood for Christmas Day here in Sydney, I hadn’t considered calamari… until now! Here’s the recipe I promised for pumpkin jam, hope you get chance to make a batch, I ended up cooking it for longer than suggested because I had very big chunks of pumpkin. ‘Smooshing’ it at the end helps, so it turns into more of paste.

    Merry Christmas to you and your loved ones.

    Sil’s ‘Taste of Christmas’ Pumpkin Jam
    (max sized batch; don’t increase proportions)

    2kg peeled pumpkin, diced (weighed after peeling) – a variety that’s fresh, crisp, a good deep yellow and not overripe
    ½ cup water
    Fine zest and juice of 3 lemons
    Cook gently until soft – cover only for first 5 mins to get it going

    1 heaped tablespoon grated fresh ginger
    2 tablespoons finely chopped glace ginger (Buderim brand in the orange pack)
    1 heaped teaspoon each of ground cinnamon, cardamom, coriander
    1 level teaspoon ground allspice
    1 ½ whole star anise
    Stir well and cook through for a minute or so over medium heat

    500g brown sugar and 1.5kg white sugar
    Stir until dissolved thoroughly without boiling

    Turn up heat and boil hard until thick and glossy, about 20 mins +or-

    Stir occasionally to stop it burning to bottom of the pan

    Take it off the heat and bottle, while hot, into hot sterilised jars at very least halfway up the neck of the jar

    If it cools too much while bottling, with air pockets forming in the jar, warm it gently to help loosen the jam

    Liked by 1 person

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