A staple in Italy and now is so many American restaurants is fried Calamari. The biggest difference is in Italy we are using fresh Calamari and in America you may only find frozen. Freshly fried, both are still delicious!! Calamari are so versatile, they can be dipped, but they really shine served alongside or on top of a big mixed baby green salad with just a squeeze of lemon. So, however you serve them…..this is the basic recipe for a favorite of many!!
Freshly Fried Calamari
-2 pound of fresh or frozen calamari (defrosted) and cleaned, cut into 1/4″ rings
-flour as needed
-sea salt fine grain
-Clean the calamari, take off the tentacles save and cut them into pieces, pull out the spine cartilage and rinse the insides well….cut into 1/4 in rings. Dry the calamari as best you can
-With a colander place a plate underneath, put a handful of calamari in and pour flour liberally on the calamari. Use your fingers to mix the flour and calamari… the goal is to coat the inside and outside of the rings and tentacles well. Reuse the flour the passes the onto the plate.
-Place the floured calamari on a plate.
-In a deep bottom pot or a deep wok style pot…heat enough vegetable oil (about 5 or 6 inches of oil) you can test the oil by dropping a tiny piece of calamari inside (note-if it does not deep fry the tiny piece the oil is not ready)
-When the oil is hot, drop the pieces in separating then as you drop them and not over filling….give the calamari space to fry freely
-with a large draining spoon, turn them lightly in the oil , then wait until the calamari become a golden brown, remove from oil carefully and place the calamari on a plate lined with a paper towel. Repeat process until all calamari is fried