This dish I call Calamares Saltear or Sautéed Squid. It came about when we visited our local supermarket and discovered they had frozen cleaned squid available. In Nuyorican culture, squid is a favorite. From infancy, we are taught to appreciate it. I guess it goes back to life on the island when squid was, and is, a reliable inexpensive way to feed the family. Problem was, once you obtained the squid, you had to rinse it, cut the tentacles, remove and discard the mouth, rub off the purplish outer skin, squish out the innards, wash the inside of the body; discard the viscera, then cut into bite-sized pieces or strips. Admittedly, this is a time consuming process. Cleaned and prepared squid makes it far easier to cook the suckers.

Now, in our canon we have stewed squid (calamares guisado), stuffed squid (calamares relleno), even squid salad and sandwiches. This time I decided to prepare a simple squid sauté, easy and delicious. Served over Spanish yellow rice, it makes for a great criollo dinner.

(Sautéed Squid)


2 (10.6 oz.) cleaned and prepared frozen squid, thawed
2 cups fresh mushrooms, washed and chopped
2/3 cup cup bread crumbs
2 cloves garlic peeled and minced
½ teaspoon dried oregano
¼ teaspoon dried tarragon
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons butter
½ cup olive oil
1 cup dry white wine
1 bay leaf
Salt and ground black pepper to taste
¼ cup water


  1. Wash squid under cold running water and pat dry with paper towels. Note that that the squid, though cleaned, will come with the tentacles.  Cut the squid, inclusive of the tentacles, into  bite-sized pieces.
  2. In a large bowls, combine mushrooms, bread crumbs, garlic, oregano, tarragon, egg and butter.
  3.  Heat oil in a large saucepan or skillet. Add contents of bowl and stir fry for about 3 minutes. Add squid and sauté about 3 minutes more.
  4.  Add wine, bay leaf, salt and pepper.  Stir everything over high heat. Add water, and cook, uncovered on moderately-low heat for 5 minutes. Serve over white or Spanish yellow rice.
    Yield: 4 servings.