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Friday, October 14, 2011

Fried Calamari

There's no way around.  This is an ugly dish.  Of course I could've garnished it with parsley and some lemon wedges, but frankly, this is not something pleasing to look at.  Fried calamari.  Something you go to restaurants and pay $8 for... yet something so cheap and easy to make at home!  Never again...  (okay, maybe just not as often.)

So basically calamari means squid.  Where to get the squid and what forms you want is up to you.  I got mine in a package at an Asian grocer... I purposely got the tentacle parts only... because that's my favorite.  Some people prefer the top cap.  It's up to you.  It works great either way.

And there's no substitute for this.  It's deep fryin' time!  Yes, get your peanut oil and get it to 350F degrees.  No, you're not baking this or anything else, it's called FRIED calamari!  So get that oil (or deep fryer) out.  If you're worried about health... well... press the back button now.

The ingredients list is simple:
1 lb calamari, cleaned and dry
2 cups flour
Lemon, parsley or whatever garnish you want to use ( I used cayenne)
Dip of choice (marinara, or in my case, garlic aioli)

To start, make sure you start preheating your oil to 350F degrees.

Okay, go ahead and clean, rinse, pat dry, then salt and pepper your calamari.  You know the drill.  Touch those squirmy squids.

In a ziploc bag or just a large bowl, mix that flour with the calamari.  Get your hands in there, it's getting messy.

Very messy.

Toss them into the pot of oil or the deep fryer one by one.  If you toss a huge clump in at a time... well... it'll turn out as a huge clump as well.  So make sure you do it one by one.

Fry until your desired doneness.  I prefer it to be just barely golden.  It should only take a minute.  Make sure you don't overcrowd your oil otherwise the oil temperature will drop... and you'll end up with soggy and overly greasy calamari.

Place on a cooling rack to let the excess oil off.  Garnish with lemon, parsley, cayenne, or whatever you want, and serve with your favorite dip!