A dear friend whom I had not seen in years was in my area for a short visit. We did not have much time together, but we did find time for leisurely lunch at my favorite Spanish resturant. I ordered fried calamari for our appetizer. The little rings were a beautiful golden brown and the dipping sauce was nice and spicy. I brought the leftover calamari home and found they not so good reheated, they became a tad chewy.
Do you love fried calamari but have never cooked it? It's easy to do, the trick is not to over-cook the little tubes. It's o.k. to use the tenticles also. See the easy dipping sauce below.
Fried Calamari with Spicy Dipping Sauce
3 pound package cleaned calamari tubes (with or without tenticles)
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon paprika
Salt and black pepper to taste
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
Enough oil to deep fry the calimari
Rinse and cut calamari into 1/4-inch-thick rings. Soak calamari in cold water at least 45 minutes, then drain and pat dry.
Combine all dry ingredients, put into paper bag and shake to mix. Drop small handfuls of dry calamari in paper bag and shake until covered with flour mixture. Take out of bag, separate and place on paper towel.
Fry calamari in hot oil (fry quickly and carefully 1 to 2 mins. in small batches). The calamari should be golden brown. Place on paper towels to remove excess oil before serving.
Makes about 4 to 6 servings.
*Open 8 oz. jar of marinara sauce and heat. Divide sauce into two 4 oz. servings. Add hot sauce* to taste (1 to 2 teaspoons) to one serving. This size jar makes two dipping sauces, one hot, one mild. I always use Franks Red Hot Cayenne Pepper Sauce* for this. It seems to give the best flavor to the marinara sauce.
*While you are at the market buying calamari, pick up some ready-made cole slaw and some crusty bread to be warmed and dipped in your marinara sauce.
*Calamari is also good served with tarter sauce served with sliced tomatoes on the side.