A few years ago Calamari was another one of the things my son asked me to make that I had never made before. I am not sure if he is getting me back for making him try everything on his plate; which is still a rule in my house today. Or if he is testing to see if I can pull it off. Now that he is older I think he is having me test recipes to find the best one so he can make it someday. I’ve seen him more than once take my recipe binder and make a dish or two from my treasures.
While he is the first to order it if it is on the menu while eating out; we all really enjoy eating calamari. We have made it a couple of times at home, the first time my daughter bought and cleaned it; while it was totally doable; it was kind of a pain to clean out all the bones and pretty messy. A couple of weeks ago I noticed a frozen package of cleaned calamari I immediately picked it up I figured why not try it out, if it was terrible I have no problem not eating or serving it. I have said more than once that if what I made was inedible takeout is only a phone call away. Thankfully I had not had to make any calls to date. Though I will definitely admit, some recipes have never been repeated or we discuss how to change it and make it more to our liking.
Calamari can go from delicious to a rubbery mess in a matter of seconds. While it requires a little TLC to make it delicious it really isn’t too difficult. Make sure the frying oil is at 350’ Make sure to soak the cleaned calamari in milk for a couple of hours before you are ready to cook them and only fry them for 1 to 2 minutes.
If you are going to clean your own pick up 6 medium or 8 small quid
Or pick up a package of frozen cleaned calamari – must be entirely thawed
Milk to cover
Vegetable oil for frying
1½ cups AP flour
1 tsp dried oregano
Kosher salt & fresh cracked black pepper
Lemon wedges for serving
Roasted garlic aioli
Make sure to clean the squid thoroughly, cut the bodies into ½ inch pieces, and trim the long pieces of tentacles. Place in a bowl and cover with milk. Set in the fridge for a couple of hours – at this time you’ll want to roast the garlic for your dipping aioli.
If using a deep fryer heat to 350’ or place 2 to 3 inches in a heavy bottomed pan over medium high heat until it reaches 350’ using a deep fry thermometer.
In a shallow dish place flour, oregano, and season well with salt and pepper; drain squid and dredge it in the seasoned flour. Working in batches, fry the squid in the hot oil until golden brown 1 to 2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon; transfer fried squid to paper towels to drain. Serve with lemon wedges and aioli or whatever your favorite dipping sauce is.
Roasted garlic aioli
1 cup of your favorite mayonnaise
3 cloves roasted garlic
Squeeze garlic onto a cutting board; add a pinch of salt and using the side of a knife work the salt into the garlic which will turn into a nice paste. Add it to the mayo and voila – a delicious dip.
You can either roast a few pieces or a whole head. I suggest a whole head, if can be used to flavor many dishes. For one; roasted garlic mashed potatoes YUM! Clip off the top of the head of garlic leaving the head intact but remove some of the paper to expose the tip of the garlic, add a little olive oil 1-2 tablespoons and place in a tinfoil packet. In a 400’ oven place foil packet in a dish and roast for about an hour. Cooking time will depend on size of garlic so keep an eye on it.