Grilled Calamari
Grilled Calamari

Got Bait? Grilled squid, y’all

For seafood fanatics, the bounty of the sea is like heaven for the taste buds. The bounty includes the chewy favorite of Italian restaurants around the U.S. — Calamari, or grilled squid.

Plain, uncooked calamari is exceptionally low in calories and fat. Sushi squid, without any additives, has a mere 26 calories per ounce, and less than half a gram of fat. Grilling it is the best way to hold on to the healthy factors of the squid, and it’s oh, so tasty.

Grilled squid is a good source of protein. An ounce of plain squid offers 4.4 grams of protein, or about 9 percent of the daily value. Calamari provides essential vitamins and minerals. A mere 1 ounce provides 9 percent of the daily value for calcium, 6.1 percent of the daily value for vitamin B12, 2.8 percent of the daily value for zinc, and 2 percent of the daily value for vitamin C. The Epicurious Food Dictionary also reports squid is a good source of phosphorus. The EPA reports that squid is one of the best fish to eat, since it tends to contain very low amounts of mercury.

Grilled Squid — Calamari

  • 1 pound cleaned squid (tubes and tentacles)
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp each salt and pepper
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne
  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed/minced
  • 1 large lime
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Bamboo skewers
  1. In a large bowl, stir together paprika, cumin, salt, pepper, cayenne and garlic, along with zest from the lime. Add 1/4 cup olive oil, stirring until you have a smooth paste.
  2. Juice the lime into a separate bowl. Spoon in 2 tablespoons of the paprika mixture and stir until combined. Set aside.
  3. Add the squid to the remaining paprika mixture, and toss to coat evenly with marinade. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour.
  4. While the squid is marinating, soak skewers in cold water to prevent them from charring, and get the grill started so that it has time to preheat.
  5. When ready to cook, gently thread the squid bodies and tentacles onto skewers.
  6. Place the skewers directly onto the preheated (medium high) grill, and cook for about 2-3 minutes per side or just until the squid turn opaque. Remove from heat right away, and top with the reserved marinade. Drizzle with lime juice.

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Lauren Cook

Eating together, and finding joy in cooking, is in our genes. It’s part of being human. I strive to keep the most basic, simple aspects of grilling and bring it to a modern setting.

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