Calamari, also known as squid, can be fried, grilled or marinated for use in appetizers, main courses or salads, according to Food Network. Calamari can also be added as a protein to soups or seafood stews.
Following appropriate cooking times is the key to avoiding rubbery calamari. Since squid contain very little fat, they become tough when not prepared properly. The secret to tender calamari is to either cook the product very quickly or very slowly. Squid can be broiled in under a minute, deep fried in about two minutes or left to simmer or braise for more than 20 minutes. Intermediate cooking times produce tough calamari.
When purchasing squid, following a few pointers can help ensure a successful dish. At the fish market or grocer, look for squid that have a plump, shiny appearance. The squid should also have a clean, ocean smell.
Although squid are messy, they are easy to clean. Squid are covered in an outer membrane that can be removed by pressing down along the body of the squid with a knife. This technique also squeezes out the inner skeleton. Rinse the squid in running water, and cut the tentacles into rings. The body of the squid can be cut into strips or used whole.