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Fried Calamari - Summer

This dish has become so popular, so much so that you can order it in nearly every restaurant in London. The problem with this is that you can become a food snob and begin to tell if it’s fresh or frozen, marinated or not, was the oil temperature right?


Either way, this brings back fond memories for me of when I was young and carefree ….holidaying for six weeks at a time in the summer. Those were the days ….



Ingredients

Marinade

1kg Calamari

1/2 Cup Milk

1/2 Tsp Salt


The Flour

1 1/2 Cups of Plain Flour

1/3 Cup Cornstarch

1/2 Tsp Baking Powder

1 Tsp Dry Oregano

1/2 Tsp Black Pepper

1/2 Tsp Salt


1 Litre Sunflower Oil


Method

Slice the calamari into 3/4 inch thickness keeping the legs intact.


Dilute the salt in the milk and marinade the calamari for at least 30 minutes. Cover with cling film and place in the fridge.


In the meantime, mix all the dry ingredients into a large bowl and set aside.


Pre heat the oven on 170 degrees or gas mark 4.


In a large saucepan, heat the sunflower oil maintaining a temperature of 170 degrees.


Before you begin frying large quantities, test one or two pieces. Taste them! It’s here you are able to add any dry ingredients to the flour if something is ‘missing’ for you.


Gently place 10 pieces of calamari, at a time, into the oil. Deep fry for 5-6 minutes, no longer!


With a draining spoon, remove the fried calamari and place on a kitchen roll lined plate to drain away any excess oil.


Place the cooked and drained calamari into an over proof dish and place in the oven, to keep warm, until all pieces of calamari have been fried and drained.


Once all done, remove from the oven, squeeze lemon all over!



Tips

It’s best to marinade the calamari, for minimum 30 minutes, in milk and salt as this will help tenderise the calamari. This will also help the flour ‘stick’ to the calamari preventing the crispy bits from falling off.


You can add spices like, cayenne pepper, paprika or dried chillies to the flour mix for a more kicking taste!


Get yourselves a food thermometer! I’m obsessed with mine and helped maintain the correct cooking temperature of the oil.


If the oil is not hot enough, the calamari soaks in the oil making this dish sickly and oily. If the oil is too hot, the calamari will look over cooked and burnt.


This is a great starter dish served along with tzatziki, tartar sauce, mayonnaise or ketchup.


Serves well as a main dish, together with a Greek salad and a portion of???? Cyprus potato chips!


Cost

£20 for 4-5 persons as a starter portion or for 2-3 persons as a main.

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