Squid or cuttlefish (which we catch more commonly in the shallow waters of Lyme Bay) is delicious and a fantastically fast bit of cookery. For best results when searing, look for small to medium size squid. The key to success is speed, with high heat and fast moving tongs the order of the day.
1) Buy a cleaned squid/cuttlefish from the Fish Store. Set aside the trimmed tentacles.
2) Cut open the squid pouches and butterfly them, making sure not to cut right through the flesh. Now cut each body into 2 or 3 smaller pieces.
3) Combine the squid pieces, along with the tentacles, in a bowl with garlic, olive oil, paprika or sumac, and salt and pepper. Toss them together with your hands, making sure lots of flavourings get trapped in the diamond cuts.
4) Heat a barbecue/griddle/heavy-ridged pan until really hot.
5) Lay the pieces of squid diamond side up, and the tentacles as they fall. Allow to cook for 1 minute and turn over. Cook for 1 minute more.
6) The butterflied pieces will want to curl up – allow them to do so, tossing for a further 2 minutes. Max cooking time: 4 minutes
7) Serve immediately with a few more pinches of paprika or sumac. The best sides are peppery salad leaves, such as rocket, mustard and baby kale.
[Variation: swap the paprika for chilli, lemon zest and garlic]