Squid has a wonderful sweet flavor, and when properly cooked, a delicate texture. It must either be cooked very quickly over very high heat or simmered for a long period in an aromatic sauce to achieve its best texture. Large squid always require a long cooking period to be tenderized.
Before using, squid must be cleaned. To do so, pull on the head and innards as gently as possible. If the quill remains, pull it out. Scrape any remaining interior matter out with a small, sharp knife. Cut the tentacles just above the hard ball on the squid’s head. Squeeze on the tentacles, pushing until the hard ball, known as the “beak,” pops out. Discard everything but the body and the tentacles. Using your fingertips, pull the outer skin (it is usually almost purple) from the body and tentacles. It should come off with a couple of tugs. Rinse the body and tentacles under cold running water and pat dry. Depending upon the size and the preparation, the body and tentacles can either be sliced crosswise into bite-sized rings or left whole.