Thursday, December 25, 2008

Fried Calamari

Let's start with the Fried Calamari. It's a very easy appetizer to make. This recipe was given to me by Tom DeSimone who ran a wonderful catering house in our town called Alfredos. I changed it slightly over the years, but the basic recipe is his.


1 large bag of frozen calamari rings, thawed and drained
Flour (I use Wondra)
Panko Crumbs (this is my addition)
Salt and Pepper
Symeon's spices or Seasoned salt
Garlic salt
Parmesan cheese

Season the flour (and panko crumbs if you decide to add them) with salt and pepper, and the Symeons spices to taste. Place the drained, thawed, calamari rings in the flour mixture. Place in a strainer to shake off excess flour. Deep fry but don't over fry or they will be tough. Season with parmesan cheese, garlic salt and parsley when done. Do not overcook the rings. Serve with cocktail sauce or a little marinara sauce. For a different twist, mix equal amounts of flour and graham cracker or panko crumbs.

Ingredients and equipment (deep Fryer) for the Fried Calamari:

Defrost the frozen calamari rings and place them into a strainer to drain off any excess liquid

Take the flour, again, ( I prefer Wondra so that you don't have a very thick mixture on the calamari) and place it into a bowl. The amount of flour will depend on how much calamari you make. I made one bag and used about 1 cup of flour.

Then add the panko crumbs (or graham cracker crumbs) if you are using them to the flour (again about 3/4 to 1 cup)

Add the pepper and salt to the flour/crumb mix

Blend the flour mix well. You can add the Symeons spices (this is a mix from a local Greek restaurant, that is a fabulous addition to any food and makes a great salad dressing as well) or Seasoned Salt now, but I like to wait until I add the calamari to the flour to make sure it really adheres.

Toss the calamari rings gently in the flour mixture

I like to add my Symeon's Spices at this point and toss again

Wash out your strainer and dry it well, and then add the breaded rings to the strainer and shake to remove all the excess breading

Place some vegetable oil into a Fry Daddy, deep fryer, frying pan, whatever you want to us is fine, and let the oil heat up. In the meantime, place a sheet of paper toweling on a dish to absorb the grease when you remove the calamari from the fryer.

Test the oil to make sure it is hot enough by dropping a little of the flour mix into it. If it starts to bubble immediatley, it is read to begin frying the calamari

Fry the calamari, stirring frequently with a slotted spoon or whatever you prefer. Do not over cook the calamari or they will be rubbery. While the calamari is frying, have your garlic salt, dried parsley, and grating cheese ready to sprinkle when they come out of the fryer so you don't waste time. The will adhere to the calamari if you sprinkle them as soon as you remove them from the oil.

They are done when they reach a beautiful golden brown

Immediately sprinkle with garlic salt

Dried Parsley

Grated cheese (Parmesan, pecorino-romano, whatever you like it fine)

Place on a platter and serve with either cocktail sauce or marinara sauce. Enjoy!

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