Grilled Colima Calamari

By • May 4, 2011 17 Comments

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Author Notes: We bought a bunch of lovely-looking small calamari home over the weekend and then spent a lot of time staring at them, wondering what to do next. Fueled by the Spouse's batch of free-flowing margaritas created in honor of the upcoming Cinco de Mayo holiday, this recipe was named after a small state in Mexico where we once drank many margaritas. We might have even eaten some calamari there; if we did, it may have tasted something like this. - wssmomwssmom

Food52 Review: What a lovely recipe! This earned a place on my summer meal rotation. The sweetness of the orange juice, the tart note of the lemon and the gentle heat of the ancho chili and cayenne pepper combined with the herbal cilantro make this a delicious dish. A brief stay on the grill produced tender calamari with a pleasant chew where the fire kissed the tentacles. Altogether, a winner in my book! - FrontalgirlFrontalgirl

Serves 4

  • 1 large garlic clove, smashed and minced
  • 1/4 cup fresh-squeezed orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ancho chili powder
  • generous pinch of cayenne
  • 1/4 cup olive oil, maybe a little more
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped cilantro leaves
  • 1 pound cleaned small squid (three inches or so)
  • Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
  1. Fire up your grill. Combine the garlic clove, orange juice, lemon juice, chili powder, cayenne and a pinch of salt in a small bowl. Whisk in 1/4 cup olive oil and toss in a small handful of the cilantro. Add the calamari and toss. Let set for 20 minutes or so or until the grill is super hot.
  2. Remove the calamari from the marinade. You can either use of those wire fish fillet basket contraptions for the grill, or you can double-skewer the squid bodies cross-wise, two or three at a time, so they don't curl up and fall into the fire. (If you decide to use wooden skewers, soak them first for 30 minutes). Either way, season the calamari with pepper and a bit more salt and grill them on one side for a couple of minutes, until some charring starts.
  3. Baste with some of the remaining marinade, flip over and grill another minute or so or until the second side looks as good as the first side. Pile onto a platter, spoon a bit of the marinade over if you like (we did) and sprinkle with the remaining cilantro.

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