seafood

fried calamari

Lightly breaded, crispy calamari fried to golden perfection. Ready in 25 minutes served with a side of cocktail sauce is an easy go-to appetizer that can be made at home!

Calamari is often our appetizer of choice when eating out. If we see it on the menu you can almost guarantee we’re going to order it. I think a lot of people feel this way too.  Naturally, we wanted to create our own version so we could easily enjoy it at home.

Here we chose to use frozen calamari as they are sometimes easier to source and more readily available. Plus you don’t have to worry about cleaning the squid, small bones, and cutting the perfect pieces. Everything is already taken care of. As long as you’ve taken the proper steps in preparing the calamari and cooking, there isn’t much of a difference using fresh or frozen. Of course that doesn’t mean we only use frozen. It varies depending on what the purpose is. For instance if were looking to make quick calamari frozen makes things easier. From frozen we recommend defrosting  in the fridge overnight and let sit in cold water a few minutes before you start preparing.

Tips for cooking
Pre-soaking the calamari before coating helps tenderize it. In our case we opted for beaten eggs but have come across many variations that use buttermilk instead. It’s a great way to ensure you don’t have that rubbery texture.
Be sure to use a thermometer to verify that the oil has reach the desired frying temperature of 350 degrees F. Frying in oil that is too hot can leave you with burnt tasting calamari and when too cold it will absorb excess oil which will leave it greasy.
When the oil is the perfect temperature, cook the calamari for about 3 minutes or so until it reaches a beautiful golden colour. Be sure not to overcrowd when frying. It’s best to do it in batches and run a test piece first to make sure everything is in fact set up properly.

A little tip we like to do it season immediately with a pinch of salt when removed from the oil.

What to serve it with
We decided to go with store bought cocktail sauce, some lemon wedges, diced red onions, fresh parsley and a few slices of jalapenos. We do like some sort of spicy mayo as another great option but honestly when you taste it you’ll realize it doesn’t even need any sauce to accompany it.

We hope you enjoyed this recipe! If you make this please tag us @thecommunalfeast and #thecommunalfeast as we would love to hear from you!

calamari

calamari

Yield: 4
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes

quickly fried lemon pepper seasoned calamari rings.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound frozen calamari rings, rinsed and patted dry
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • ½ cup all purpose flour
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • 1 TBS lemon pepper seasoning
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne
  • salt and pepper
  • vegetable oil for frying
  • To serve: cocktail sauce, fresh parsley, red onions, jalapenos

Instructions

    1. Place the dried calamari in the egg mixture, using your hands ensure the each piece is soaked with egg.

    2. In a shallow bowl combine flour, cornstarch, seasonings and salt and pepper, mix to combine.

    3. Dredge each piece of calamari in the flour mixture and set aside.Heat vegetable oil in a deep pot, enough to cover the calamari. Ensure the temperature reaches 350 degrees F for frying.

    4. Fry a few pieces at a time ensuring not to overcrowd, about 3 minutes until golden. Repeat until all the calamari is cooked.

    5. Sprinkle a bit of salt once remove from the oil, serve immediately

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