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Fried Calamari

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So there are two schools of thought when cooking squid.  You either want to cook it for just a moment or long enough so that it has plenty of time to return to "tender".  You want to shoot for 60 seconds, *or* 30 minutes.... and anything in between is ill advised unless you're wanting a jaw workout.  When making fried calamari you're after that 60 second (or less) sweet spot where the squid and coating is just cooked and not overcooked.  It can take a little practice, but it's fairly simple so give it a shot!   serves 2-4 for appetizerscooking in the oil ½ pound calamari ½ cup flour or batter mix Salt, pepper, seasonings 1" deep vegetable oil in a pan   Put your pan on the stove and make a mental note that a grease fire is put out with baking soda, NOT water.  (Safety first!)  Add enough vegetable oil so that you have it about an inch deep, and turn on your burner medium highish (you're shooting for 350 degrees or so).  While your oil is heating, slice the squid tubes into rings and tip the flour onto a plate.  Sprinkle salt, pepper and any other seasoning you like (we use a smoked paprika/cumin/cayenne/garlic powder mix most often) on your flour and stir to combine.  With clean fingers, toss your squid in the seasoned flour to coat.  In small batches, gently add your squid tofried calamari the oil and cook until golden, about 45- 60 seconds depending on how many you put in at once and how hot your oil is.  With a slotted spoon, rescue your now perky squid from the oil and tip onto a paper towel covered plate to drain.  Serve with lemon and aioli sauce for dipping!           Easy Aioli 2 big spoonfuls of mayoaioli The juice of half a lemon + the zest from the whole thing 2 T finely chopped parsley Stir it all together!

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  • Made this with seasoned gluten free flour. Perfect and incredibly tender. Didn’t need anything but a squirt of lemon juice!

    Carolyn on

  • I used two different gluten-free flours with this recipe: one batch was was with sorghum flour, and the second batch was with a Bisquick baking/pancake mix.

    The sorghum flour was the best for remaining intact on the calamari, and it imparted a nice crunch. I imagine the sorghum would be excellent for making crispy fried chicken, but the “crackle” texture was a bit odd for calamari, and the taste was a little bland. Amping up the spice blend (I used the recommended spices, minus the paprika) might help with that issue.

    The Bisquick flour did not cling to the calamari very well and the finished product ended up being too mealy and limp as a result, but it had a good flavor. I think that perhaps the heat dropped down a little too much on that second batch and was partly to blame for the flour not sticking, but I also suspect that a beaten egg coating (similar to that used with pan-fried oysters) would help with this particular batter.

    Jason on

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