Sunday, December 19, 2010

Fried Calamari

I went to The Olive Garden once with a friend and ordered the fried calamari. She had never had it before, but loved it and started munching with vigor. At some point, she asked what it was and I told her it was squid. That was the last bite of it she took. More for me.

Like my friend, I'm a hypocrite of a carnivore. I like my meat and fish properly butchered so it no longer resembles the original animal. You can't really do that with calamari unless you buy frozen, pre-made rings. I did manage to find pre-cleaned ones (99 Ranch). I do know how to clean a squid, but I'd rather not do it.

Squid, octopus, abalone, and most mollusks are best cooked one of two ways: quickly with high heat, or stewed for a long time. Otherwise, they get tough.

And, yes, I did serve this with macaroni. Half-gallon mason jar full of it...I'm getting desperate for ideas.

4 medium squid (about 1-1/2 lbs), cleaned
1/2 C flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp pepper
oil for frying

1. Rinse squids thoroughly and make sure they are fully cleaned. Check for plastic-like spine and any stray guts.

2. Slice bodies crosswise to form rings, and tentacle head in half (uniform size with rings, so it cooks in the same amount of time).

3. In saucepan or deep frying pan, heat 1" of vegetable oil until water drops dance, about 350º. You might want to turn on the fan and open a window.

4. Stir together flour and spices. Dredge moistened rings in flour until thoroughly coated. In batches, drop rings into oil and take a couple of steps back. Fry for about 1 minute, until crispy and slightly golden, then scoop out with a slotted spoon and place on paper towels to drain. Allow oil to reheat for a minute or two between batches.

5. Serve hot, accompanied by lemon wedges and/or marinara sauce.

Difficulty rating  π

1 comment:

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