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One of the best ways to serve squid is as a salad. This is sort of that, although it really fits into the same part of the culinary universe as shrimp remoulade and crabmeat ravigote. The best squid are the small ones, about three to four inches long.

Squid

  • 2 lbs. small squid
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. cracked black peppercorns
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 Tbs. Creole mustard
  • 1 1/2 Tbs. lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. chopped garlic
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced white onion
  • 1 tsp. chopped fresh oregano
  • 3 Tbs. small capers
  • 1/2 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley, leaves and stems
  • 1 rib celery, chopped

1. The only difficulty with squid is cleaning it, and even that is easy if you remember that the undesirable parts are where the tentacles meet the body. Cut out the quarter-inch section that includes the beak and the eyes. Then carefully remove the ink sac and the cartilage “pen” from the body, and rub off the dark, thin skin. On the tentacle part, make sure there is a clear ring you can see through, and remove any thin skin that may be there. Then slice the body into rings about 1/2 inch thick.

2. Poach the squid in a saucepan with half the vinegar, wine, 1/3 cup water, crushed red pepper, pepper, and thyme. Cook for about three minutes, then remove from the heat and allow to cool for about two more minutes.

3. While waiting, combine the rest of the vinegar and the olive oil, mustard, lemon juice, salt, and 2 Tbs. water in a large bowl. Whisk to blend. Add the squid and all the other ingredients, and toss to combine.

4. Chill until serving time, but serve at cool room temperature. This is best made about four hours before you serve it.

Serves four.


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