I have a weakness for fried seafood.
When I was in school, my dad and I used to have a quarterly competition: my grades versus his sales record. The loser had to treat the winner to dinner, and the quality of the dinner (fast food versus mid-level sit-down restaurant) was based on how well the winner actually did.
If I won, but didn’t score the sit-down restaurant, then I always had the same request: an “All-You-Can-Eat” fried fish lunch at Skipper’s. In retrospect, I’m somewhat horrified and impressed at the sheer quantity of food I could pack away at one of those meals.
I recently purchased some frozen calamari at an Ocean Beauty dock sale.
Fried calamari, in my opinion, ranks right up there in the world’s 100 most delectable dishes.
This recipe fries up well either gluten-free or regular. I made it both ways so that the Moose could indulge. Mr. Caffeinated is in charge of the frying.
My current fryer is my grandmother’s old Saladmaster electric skillet. It works great, and it doesn’t take a ton of oil to fry up dinner, either.
My batter recipe is a variation on a recipe taken from Cook’s Country’s Aug/Sep 2009 issue. It was originally used there for “Batter-Fried Chicken”, but it’s my breading-of-choice for all things fried.
1 c. flour (regular or gluten-free blend)
1 c. cornstarch
2 t. pepper
1 t. paprika
Pinch cayenne pepper
2 t. baking powder
2 t. salt
1 ¾ c. cold water
To make batter: whisk dry ingredients together. Add water and whisk till smooth. Refrigerate if not using immediately.
Pat dry calamari and dip in batter. Fry in 350° peanut oil until golden. Drain on paper towels and serve.
Regular (wheat) flour batter calamari:
(Just don’t check your cholesterol level the next day. Or week.)