Salt and Pepper Squid recipe
I am fed up with our lockdown weekly takeaway. It’s all well and good not cooking for one night, but the arguing over which food choice is getting so dull, I can’t face the drama. So, this week I treated us to a seafood delivery from The Fish Society. Amongst other deliciousness I ordered some of their lovely squid rings to fashion this family holiday favourite, Salt and Pepper Squid.
This brilliant Nigella modified recipe is so simple and quick, it’s quicker than a takeaway and you don’t have to tip the delivery driver. On holiday we love a plate of calamari sat at a sun drenched beach bar and this recipe is full of tempting summer feels. The Fish Society has a fab range of seafood, and I chose pre prepared squid rings but this recipe would work just as well with their baby squid. The crisp coating is just a mixture of cornflour and salt and pepper. Nigella suggests grinding your own black peppercorns for added flavour, I couldn’t be arsed but did have some pretty lively organic ground black pepper. You can serve this crisp, tender Salt and Pepper Squid as a lovely nibble, first course *post lockdown, of course, I for one don’t do family first courses* or as we did, holiday style, with chips and a salad.
I’ve come to the conclusion that a simple, delicious, easy to cook meal is just as much of a treat as a takeaway. Especially one that reminds you of being on holiday and happier, simpler times.
So few ingredients for something quite so crisp and delicious. The Fish Society are fantastic suppliers of all fish and seafood. Their products are frozen and arrive brilliantly packaged ready to be defrosted or popped into the freezer for later. I also ordered some baby squid and beautiful plaice fillets for treat-like suppers on another occasion.
Make a start on this by pre heating your oven on low to keep your cooked squid warm and by heating 500ml of vegetable or sunflower oil in a high sided pan over a medium high heat. It goes without saying to keep an eye on this whilst it heats.
To check the oil’s at the right temperature, drop in a small piece of bread and it should sizzle and brown within 20 seconds.
While this heats up, take a large food bag and measure in the cornflour and salt and pepper. If your sea salt is flaky, give it a bit of a crush first so you don’t get big lumps of salt. I have reduced the quantities suggested originally by quite a bit as I found it was way too salty, but adjust to your taste.
Squidge the bag around to give it a good mix. Drop in the squid and shake around to ensure it’s all coated.
When the oil is up to temperature, carefully drop in the squid, avoiding any splashes, and cook for around 2 minutes. Keep the squid moving in the oil so it cooks evenly.
The squid is ready when it’s crisp and just turning golden. Place on a wire rack over a baking tray and pop in the oven while you finish cooking the rest of the batch.
I could have eaten the whole lot straight from tray, but didn’t because I would have been lynched by my family for not sharing.
Once you’ve finished frying off your squid, serve with some lemon for squeezing, an extra sprinkle of sea salt as needed and Sriracha or garlic mayo for dipping. Or go with chips and some salad, full beach bar style.
Beer almost essential, but optional.
This Salt and Pepper Squid is crisp, tender and thoroughly addictive. While Greek island holidays are, at the moment, just a memory, at least you can misery eat your way through this whole batch with a half smile on your face.
I received a discount code from The Fish Society, however, all thoughts and opinions are, as always, my own.
Salt and Pepper Squid recipe
You will just need a food bag and a high sided pan for frying
Serves 2 as a main course, or 3 to 4 as a first course or nibble
500ml vegetable or sunflower oil for frying
400g squid rings, or baby squid or any other prepared squid
1 teaspoon ground black pepper, if you can be arsed to grind peppercorns in the pestle and mortar then please do
1 teaspoon sea salt, if it’s flaky then crush it up a bit first
Lemon wedges to serve, and some Sriracha or garlic mayo to serve
Take a large high sided pan and pour in the 500ml of vegetable oil. Heat over a medium high heat until a small piece of bread turns golden when dropped in.
In a large food bag measure in the cornflour, ground black pepper and sea salt and mix well.
Drop in your chosen squid and shake the bag to ensure all the pieces are well covered in the seasoned cornflour. Cook the squid in batches for around 2 minutes, keeping it moving until it’s crisp and just turning a tiny bit golden.
Pop the cooked squid into a warm oven on a wire rack to keep warm whilst you finish the batch. Serve piping hot, sprinkled with some extra sea salt as needed, as a first course or nibble with some Sriracha or garlic mayo or as a main course with some chips and a salad. Fresh lemon for squeezing is a must.
You can make this a couple of hours in advance and reheat briefly in a hot oven for a couple of minutes before serving.