My friend Paisha and I made these the other day for our day of eating. Also on the menu were the Dolmas and Potatoes Daphinois that recently went up. I’ve been talking about her a lot on this blog, so it only makes sense that I should give you a link to her blog. Either way, I’m a big fan of calamari, but most of the time I don’t bother ordering it in restaurants because it’s boring. Some restaurants manage to do well with it, but boring calamari is always a big let down. This recipe is perfect because it still has all the comforts of a fried piece of squid, just with some extra kick and a nice roundness that you don’t get at restaurants.
- 1 lb calamari (cut the tubes into rings if you’re buying tubes. I like to do this with the tentacles) - 1 egg - 1/2 cup milk - 2 1/2 cups corn starch - 1 tablespoon kosher salt - 1 tablespoon freshly ground pepper - 1 1/2 or 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper (depending on your spice tolerance) - canola oil
Whisk the milk and egg together in one bowl and combine the corn starch, salt, pepper, and cayenne in another, larger bowl. Let about a dozen pieces soak in the wet mixture for about a minute. Then move them to the bowl with the dry mixture. Make sure they are completely coated.
Meanwhile, heat about 1/2 inch of canola oil in a cast iron skillet or dutch oven over medium high heat. Be patient, this may take a while. If you want to check, do a single test piece. They should be frying with a steady amount of bubbles.
Once your oil is ready, gently place the squid in the oil. Don’t overcrowd the pan; do no more than a dozen at a time. Move them around with a spider. Once they are done (about 2 1/2 minutes), pull them out and set them on a plate lined with paper towels to catch the excess oil. Keep doing batches like this until you have fried all the squid.
It is imperative to serve while hot, or else they will lose all the wonderful crispyness and spiciness you worked so hard for. To keep them hot while frying the others, simply place the plate of calamari in a low oven, around 200 degrees.