Posted May 13, 2013
Oh Calamari how I love thee. Tender, crispy and crunchy you make my heart melt. When I first heard of Calamari I was working at a seafood restaurant and all of the other servers would eat it pretty often, but I would always shy away. Finally one day, on a dare, I tried some and thank god I did. Now when ever Ryan and I dine out I usually have to order calamari as an appetizer, it is the perfect way to start a meal. For those of you that don’t know, it is squid and while that may not sound appetizing, when it is battered and fried it is delicious. I recently bought calamari rings so I could give this a shot at home and it was surprisingly easy. For this recipe, I toss some calamari rings with seasoned flour and fry them until they are golden. While they are tasty on their own, I also served them with a Lemon-Basil dipping sauce.
Calamari with Lemon-Basil Sauce Recipe
Tender calamari coated and fried until golden. Served with a lemon basil dipping sauce.
- 1/2 pound calamari rings, thawed if frozen (If you buy it frozen it will usually be cut into rings for you, which is what I prefer)
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1/2 cup all purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh cracked pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- Canola oil for frying
- 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons sour cream
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon dried basil (you can also use fresh basil, it would be about 2 teaspoons)
- 1/4 teaspoon granulated garlic.
- Pat the calamari rings dry with a paper towel.
- In a bowl whisk together egg and milk to make an egg wash.
- In a large plastic resealable bag combine flour, salt, pepper, granulated garlic and cornstarch and shake to combine.
- Dip the calamari rings into the egg and then put them in the bag with the flour. Shake bag to lightly coat calamari.
- In a large sauce pan add oil until you have about 2 inches. Heat over medium heat until oil is hot. (Note: I don't have a thermometer to check the temperature of the oil so when I think its hot I just sprinkle in a little flour and if it sizzles I start frying.) Once the oil is hot, remove the calamari from the bag and shake off any excess flour. Cook calamari in batches until golden brown, about 3 minutes. It is very important not to overcook calamari or it will become rubbery. Remove from the oil, lay on a paper bag and sprinkle with a little kosher salt. Serve hot.
- To make the sauce combine mayonnaise, sour cream, lemon juice, basil and garlic and mix well.
A Note: When I first tried to make calamari at home, mine did not get as golden brown as I would like because I was afraid of over cooking it so I cooked it only about 2 minutes at medium-high. I have found that if I cook it at a lower heat for a little longer, 3 minutes or so, it gets golden brown and is still tender on the inside. So there it is, calamari, perhaps my favorite appetizer ever. Give it a try if you haven't and I'm sure you'll like it. Hey it's fried, everything is good fried right? :) Enjoy!