LOOKING for: How do you make your fried calmari???

eileenlaunonenDecember 18, 2007

I usually soak in milk but a friend whos a chef at a local italian restaurant tells me he soaks it in chicken broth...can you share your recipe. I always serve with a spicy marinara and we always eat it breaded and fried ..so tell me about your recipe..TIA

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This method I learned in a restaurant where I worked. It was one of our most popular appetizers because our calamari was always nice and crunchy, without being heavy, or glue-like from too much batter.

I use both the rings & tentacles of small squid. Set yourself up with a handled-sieve that fits nicely into three matching bowls.(The best thing is to get a restaurant-supply, rectangular fry-basket like they use for French fries in fast food restaurants...they fit into rectangular baking dishes very nicely.)

Dump the calamari into the sieve, place the sieve in the bowl, and cover with flour. Then shake the sieve, tumbling the calamari around so that all excess flour goes into the bowl and you end up with lightly and evenly dusted calamari.

The second bowl should contain your egg wash. You can use water or milk to thin the eggs, just slightly more than you would if you were making scrambled, or an omelet. Dunk the sieve containing the calamari into the egg wash bowl and shake it around for a bit so all the calamari gets coated with egg, then take the sieve out, and tumble the calamari around again, so that excess egg wash drips back into the bowl.

The third bowl is for your (plain Italian style) bread crumbs. Put the sieve with the calamari in the bowl, and pour the bread crumbs over it, tumbling and shaking as before, to evenly coat the calamari with crumbs while shaking off the excess.

Deep fry in the sieve, if possible, so that when it is done you can simply remove all the calamari at once when nice and crispy, but picking up the sieve. (Make sure you either shake or stir the calamari around occasionally so that it doesn't fry into a lump.) Let the excess oil drain off.

If you're serving it as an appetizer, melt butter in a pan and lightly saute lots of minced garlic in it until nicely fragrant but not browned. This is your dip for the calamari, and I like to have some cocktail sauce as well!

If you want it for pasta, I put the pasta on the plate, topped with a spicy marinara, and lay the calamari on top of that so it stays crunchy. A variation is to make a pasta with a very garlicky, white wine butter sauce which is very good too.

If you are a fan of clam rolls like they have back east, or fried fish sandwiches, the calamari is great for that too!

    Bookmark   December 18, 2007 at 7:31PM
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Having tried some elaborate recipes for fried calamari, and been disappointed, we are going back to basics this Christmas Eve.

We'll be giving the calamari a light coat of seasoned flour (flour, salt, and pepper) before frying it until golden and still tender. We'll see how it goes.


    Bookmark   December 18, 2007 at 10:35PM
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Ended up not making it as I wasnt crazy about the smell of the fish when I went to make it...i was very disappointed I always go to the same fish guy he was out so I went to someone else YUK!! Thank goodness the rest of the fish came from my regular guy!!

    Bookmark   December 27, 2007 at 9:27AM
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I make mine by making reservations! IMHO, some things are just not worth making at home.

    Bookmark   December 27, 2007 at 12:27PM
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We were quite successful with the mixture flour, salt/pepper and 375 degree oil (canola).

We fried them in batches for a few minutes until golden, then put on a paper towel and sprinkled with salt.

They were tender and the taste was good.

Next time, we will add corn meal to the mixture and see if the taste is improved.


    Bookmark   December 27, 2007 at 2:19PM
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I wish I could find a restaurant here in No. Virginia that serves a tzatziki-like dressing that a Greek restaurant in Durham NC serves with it's fried calamari - it's so delicious. I recently read that using cornstarch instead of flour makes a very light batter. I agree about making reservations 'cause I know I'd have a mess on my floury hands!

    Bookmark   January 8, 2008 at 11:35PM
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