Monday, August 14, 2006

Calamari Appetizers

We Italians love calamari (squid). So many people get turned off at the thought of eating a squid, but you really need to try it before making a decision. Many of the finer restaurants offer this succulent appetizer on their menus.


2 tablespoons finely chopped ginger
2 tablespoons finely chopped shallots
2 tablespoons finely chopped garlic
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 cup white wine vinegar
1 cup rice vinegar
1/2 cup tomato paste
1 cup water
2 tablespoons Sriracha chili sauce (This is hot)
2 teaspoons cornstarch mixed with 2 teaspoon water
Chopped fresh basil leaves

Or you can use the standard shrimp sauce = Ketchup, horse radish, and lemon juice.


1 1/2 pounds squid cleaned tubes
2 cups buttermilk
2 cups of self-rising flour), seasoned to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper Vegetable oil, for deep-frying

Sauce Instructions

Combine the ginger, shallots and garlic together in a saucepan. Add the sugar, white wine and rice vinegars, tomato paste, water and Sriracha sauce. Stir to blend and bring the mixture to a simmer. Cook gently, stirring frequently, for about 8 minutes. Whisk cornstarch mixture into the sauce. Add a few chopped leaves of the basil, cook for a minute or two more, remove from heat and let cool. Refrigerate until serving time.

Calamari Instructions

Rinse the squid well and cut the tubes into rings. Pat dry thoroughly with paper towels. Pour the buttermilk into a wide bowl, and put the seasoned flour in a second wide bowl. Pour oil into a deep pan (or covered fryer) to a depth of 3 to 4 inches. Heat the oil to 350F.

Dip a handful or so of the squid into the buttermilk, let drain, then toss into the flour. Coat well, then place squid in a strainer, hold it over the sink and shake off the excess flour. Place the squid into the hot oil and carefully separate the pieces, taking care to avoid any spattering oil. Cook briefly, about 1 minute for the rings. The coating should be golden brown. Remove and drain on paper towels.

Serve immediately along with the sauce.

Makes about 6 appetizer servings.