new orleans bbq squid and grits

In recipe on April 12, 2015 at 2:41 pm

if you will indulge me, i’m going to start with a short rant about shrimp.

shrimp are yummy and they don’t really have faces. i love shrimp. but the shrimp market is almost entirely swamped by shrimp farmed in southeast asia and not only is this bad for the environment, it leads to polluted shrimp which is bad for you. there are also some serious human rights concerns in this industry.

so when i – very uncharacteristically – felt like making shrimp and grits out of the blue, i decided that if i couldn’t find domestic shrimp, i would use something else. squid seemed like a good alternative because of its texture and the fact that it’s a great vehicle to transport flavor to mouth. plus it’s a sort of down and dirty ingredient that sounded like the perfect match for a new orleans barbecue sauce.

don’t be scared of cooking squid. your fish counter will sell you cleaned squid, so you don’t have to worry about beaks or guts. i ask for lots of tentacles cuz we’re weird like that. but the bodies are “less scary” if you’d like. cut them cross-wise into rings that are about half an inch wide.

the recipe i used was from a cajun cooking class we took at the cambridge school of culinary arts. (thanks, grandma! side note: the class was great. if you’re in the area, i strongly recommend taking one. fun evening with tons o’ food.)

it was supposed to be a shrimp appetizer on french bread, but let me tell you, it was wicked good on grits, too. so let’s get it on!


squid and grits bbq sauce
1 pound squid, cleaned and cut
2 tablespoons creole seasoning*
10 garlic cloves, minced
2 bay leaves, crumbled**
2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, minced
3 tablespoons worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons hot sauce
1 lemon juiced and quartered
1/3 cup lager beer
2-3 tablespoons butter

* i couldn’t find any, so i made my own: 1 tbsp paprika, 1 tsp oregano, 1/2 tsp black pepper, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper, 1/4 tsp thyme, 1/2 tsp garlic powder

** weird, right?? try it!

toss the squid with half the seasoning mix.

saute garlic, bay leaves and rosemary over high heat. don’t let it burn!

add seasoned squid, worcestershire, hot sauce, lemons and lemon juice. i love that you add the lemons in. wow. flavor.


cook for a minute or two and then add the beer to deglaze the pan. let the sauce bubble until the squid are done. add the rest of the seasoning, plus salt and pepper.

remove the squid to a bowl. reduce heat under the pan and whisk in the butter. add the squid back and toss to coat.

pour over grits. hot damn, that’s good.



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