Monday, July 15, 2013

Fried Calamari

Recently, my husband went to an Asian store near New Orleans.  He picked up the ingredients for a Japanese dinner.  We brought out our rice cooker purchased specifically for Nishiki Rice.  He rolled some California Rolls and we cooked potstickers (which they sell frozen) and taste nothing like the ones I make from scratch.  While he was at the store, he asked about buying squid.  They carry Frozen Squid, 3 to the package, for about $10.  He brought them home, watched some videos over the past few days, and yesterday he prepped them.  He gave one to me for making fried calamari.

Over the years, I have said to get good at making something, you have to prepare it at least three times.  I was out on a limb, venturing into this, so I'd say for a first time go, I'd give myself a B- but we both learned a lot.

He wanted to make calamari salad, so he cooked 2 of the squid, cleaned, but with the skin on.  After two minutes in a rolling boil, he cooled them in an ice bath.  The skin came off easily and the calamari was quite tender, more so than mine.  

For mine, he did the cleaning.  There's the whole bit about removing the head; though he removed the ink sac (for lack of a better word), we didn't extract the ink for use, though you can.  Then it was skinned and the teeth removed from the tentacles.  Pictured is his handy work after the fact.

I read not to cook them more than 2 minutes or they will be tough.  I think for frying, it's more like 45-60 seconds.  That means the oil really needs to be at  360-375 for "flash frying" purposes.  Next time I will measure the temperature because they were not as tender as I would like.  Also, based on the size of the tentacles, we need smaller squid.

While I heated oil for frying, I prepped Panko Bread Crumbs by crushing them further using my meat tenderizer.  To them I added, Parsley, Paprika, S&P.  Working in small batches, I pressed the calamari rings into the crumbs and then placed them in the hot oil and cooked until golden brown.  I added additional salt as I pulled each batch out.

I think they should be eaten as they are cooked.  I put them on a cooling rack lined sheet pan in the oven heated to 250...wrong thing to do.  Just eat them while hot with zesty marinara for dipping.

Be sure to dispose of the oil right away, in fact, I encourage you to make these on a night the trash is going out.  All in all, I look forward to trying this again.

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