Char-Grilled Baby Squid

Chipirones a la Parrilla
Chef: Pedro Arregui
Country: España
City: 20808 Getaria (Guipúzcoa)
Address: C/ Herrerieta, 2
(+34) 943140614

The grill is not absent from the current boom in haute cuisine. In a clearly nonconformist gastronomic age, at the start of the third millennium in which innovation and perfectionism mark the difference between success and failure, the most archaic and primal of preparations—grilling over a flame—plays a part in the great beginnings of this golden age that we are enjoying, and of which we would never have dreamed.

Like an Adrià or a Berasategui, the names of Pedro Arregui and Victor Arguinzoniz are rising. They have been incorporating new delicacies to the grill. In the case of Elkano, in Getaria (Guipúzcoa), which is attaining a legendary career of more than 40 years, the turbot stands out for its virtuosity, followed by the collar of hake, the clams and, recently, the hake cheeks and baby squid.

Its evolution has brought with it the adaptation of tools that make possible the preparation of these ingredients over coals—“newly fashioned grilling pans”. In the case of cephalopods, this consists of two small, flat, parallel grills separated from one another by a centimeter and attached to the handle from the opposite side. The device is placed a short distance from the coals, about ten centimeters, and over high heat—since these are delicacies of limited volume, they need a blast of heat and exterior aromatization, with just the slightest penetration of heat on the interior of the meat.

The size of the baby squid depends on the season and the market. If you are able to choose, pick two bite specimens, six or seven centimeters in length. If not, you will have to try them a bit bigger, three to four bites, which are tastier and more consistent than the very small ones, infinitely more delicious and more ecologically sound—pieces that spend two minutes on each side over the heat of the embers for a total of four minutes, depending on the aforementioned factors. Served with a black sauce made with onions, garlic, large squid and their ink.

The Recipe