In American cuisine, squid and octopus are not what you'd call popular ingredients. Many of us have had fried calamari (squid) before, some of us have ventured on to grilled octopus, but few have gone further than that. This is not okay. There's so much more you can do with these ingredients from the sea.
If you don't know how to handle squid or octopus, they can be challenging to prepare -- with the result being chewy seafood. Since they don't have skeletons, their muscles are supported by connective tissue which toughen when cooked. To tenderize squid, quickly pound it before cooking. To most easily tenderize octopus, slowly braise it.
While you can get octopus and squid whole, we recommend opting for them already portioned (that way you don't have to deal with cleaning it). Try them in the recipes below -- they just might make squid and octopus common ingredients in your kitchen.