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Fried Calamari

May 11, 2011

If you don’t have allergies to squid, which is actually a quite common phenomenon these days, you may want to try having some fried calamari this summer.  In the previous post, I had mentioned that you can make tarator in its denser form – no addition of water – and use it as a dip for calamari.  Well, here it is.  Either battered and dipped in Andalusian sauce or tarator salad, or any other sauce for that matter, OR served with rice on the side, this would be a delightful gustatory experience.

Ingredients:

  • 500g frozen calamari
  • 1.5 cup all-purpose flour
  • spices
  • oil

Defrost calamari.  Coat in flour and spice mixture.  Fry.

These are probably the shortest instructions after the ‘recipe for cutting bread’ as our friend Nachko jokes but let me expound a bit on it by giving you some tips.  Thawing the calamari is important not just for the sake of frying them and preventing extra water from getting into the hot oil but also for making the coating stick better to the squid surface.  A useful way to coat the calamari is to mix the flour and spices in a plastic bag, put all your calamari in the bag and shake the bag.  Alternatively, you can toss them in a bowl with the batter.  For spices, I use salt, pepper, a bit of cayenne pepper or chilly powder, and occasionally some garlic powder.  This post is about pan-fried calamari so I fry them in a non-stick pan in some but not too much oil.  However, if you have one of those special machines for frying potatoes or onion rings, you can deep-fry them.  The coating will be flawless.  In the pan-fried method, be prepared for rough and unpredictable coating patterns.

To serve with rice instead of the tarator salad mentioned in the beginning of the post, boil some rice according to your rice package instructions.  In a separate pan, cook a finely chopped onion in some butter and a drop of oil.  5 mins before rice is done, stir in some frozen peas or green beans, add cooked onion and some salt, stir everything well and let cook completely. Serve as a side dish to the calamari with a wedge of lemon.  A tip for shaping the rice: Take a ladle and stack rice into it.  Push on top of rice with a large spoon until rice is well compressed.  Level rice-filled ladle with the spoon.  Invert onto plate.

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