I dropped in to the butcher this morning to buy a steak for Horatio to cook for his supper while we're out dancing at a party. They had lovely whole squid, and I couldn't resist buying one for my lunch.
For years, I've used a Nigella method of cooking squid: you just dust the rings and tentacles in a mixture of cornflour and pepper (lots of it), then shallow fry in hot oil, and eat with lemon juice. Quick and easy, even when you're buying whole squid rather than prepared rings.
Nigella's just started a new series on television, rather irritating, but, even so, I can't seem to bear to miss it. Television, of course, devours ideas, and so the squid recipe has had to move on. Last week she rolled out her squid, as if new, using the same method, but, crucially, one more ingredient: semolina "for essential crunch" (2tbsp cornflour to 4tbsp semolina, plus pepper). Result? Something pretty soggy; delicious but soggy. Stick to the first, crisp, recipe ... here it is:
Salt and Pepper Squid for
from Nigella Bites
Oil - 1 cm in your pan
2tbsp Maldon salt
2tbsp black peppercorns
500g squid, cut into rings + tentacles
Bash the peppercorns with the salt, add the cornflour, mix in the squid. Heat the oil until it's nearly smoking, then add the squid in a single layer, in batches if necessary. They take a minute or so, and probably won't need turning. Drain them on some kitchen roll before serving.
I don't generally bother with the salt, and I eat this on a bed of torn lettuce. Just don't bother with the semolina.
Spurs require the wearer to go sideways down the stairs - Mess dress. Son-of-Cornflower is off to a regimental ball tonight. (Spurs will not be worn for the dancing.)
2 days ago