Calamari need to be either cooked quickly on high heat, or cooked for a long period on a slow simmer. Anything in between can lead to a chewy result. Fried for just under a minute in hot oil as in this recipe results in tender, crispy rings of calamari. Use your favorite dipping sauce to serve, although I like to use a simple tomato sauce spiced up with a pinch of red pepper flakes. If you have never cleaned squid before, you might find their appearance a bit intimidating, however they are actually quite easy to clean.
2 Pounds Cleaned Squid (Instructions Below)
1 Cup Flour
1 Cup Cornmeal
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
1/2 Teaspoon Pepper
Vegetable Oil For Frying
Suggestions For Dipping Sauce:
Quick Tomato Sauce, Or Garlic Mayonnaise
Cleaning Squid: To clean the squid, first pull out the tentacles and head. Set these aside. Remove the cartilage that runs down the back, and anything that is inside the tube. Run under cold water. Pull off the two wing pieces, and remove the skin. Slice the cleaned tube into 1 inch rings. Take the tentacles and cut off the head just below the eyes, and discard this. Remove the hard beak inside.
Place the cleaned calamari in the freezer for 5 minutes before cooking. Put 2 inches of oil into a pot, and heat to 375 degrees F. Mix the flour, cornmeal and spices together in a plastic bag. Drop in the calamari and shake well to cover with the coating. Drop the calamari into the hot oil, and cook for just under a minute, until they are golden brown. Drain on paper towels. Serve with your favorite dipping sauces.
A great way to serve fried calamari, is to put a handful on top of a dish of spaghetti already dressed with a good spicy tomato sauce. If you prefer a crispier crust to your calamari, dip them in beaten egg before dropping them into the coating.