Slow-cooking squid is a common technique in countries like Spain, Portugal and Italy where the white flesh is often braised for up to two hours. Usually the recipes start by frying shallots and garlic, then briefly tossing the squid in the pan before covering everything with stock or wine and adding other ingredients – often tomatoes and peppers. The temperature is set to a gentle simmer until the squid is beautifully tender. Slow-braised squid dishes like this are usually served with a hunk of bread.
For a twist on this technique, Pierre Koffman has developed a recipe for Squid bolognese using squid mince, while Martin Wishart follows a more conventional method in his recipe for Squid braised in red wine and tomato, cooking the squid tubes under a cartouche for 90 minutes.
At the other end of the scale is squid sashimi which doesn't require any cooking at all or squid ceviche in which the flesh is ‘cooked’ by the acidity of lemon or lime. Another quick method for cooking squid is simply to char-grill it or sautéed in olive oil. Very quickly, the squid will turn an opaque, brilliant white which means that it is cooked.
As squid is prized for its distinctive texture and delicate taste, chefs have started sneaking it in more and more recipes. Shaun Rankin adds squid to a potato salad, while Simon Hulstone mixes strips of squid into his mackerel burger mix and Martin Wishart uses the delicate flavour to accompany his oriental pork.
The simplest serving is a lone segment of lemon, though sauces like aioli or tartare are also great additions to a plate of squid. Simon Hulstone stirs a dash of smoked paprika through the mayonnaise he adds to his mackerel and squid burger, and Adam Stokes uses a rosemary mayonnaise to serve alongside his squid cornets.
Chinese 'salt and pepper squid' is one of the most popular squid recipes. Louder flavours like chilli and 'nduja also bring a welcoming kick to a bowl of pan-fried or battered squid. For more inspiration, look to the Mediterranean pantry; oven-dried tomatoes, chorizo or a bouillabaisse sauce all enhance the delicate flavour of squid.