Lightly Breaded Calamari with a Garlic Basil Butter Sauce

I like a lightly breaded flavor without the heavy deep fried flavor that a deep fat fryer creates. So I chose to flash fry them in a skillet which is easier for the typical home cook to make not to mention that the home cook may not have a deep fat fryer. The key to cooking calamari is to cook it quickly over high heat to prevent them from having a rubbery, chewy texture. Don’t wait to enjoy calamari at a restaurant, make this easy and tasty recipe at home for a special treat.

Ingredients

3 oz. of squid cleaned, about 4 tubes and 3 tentacles
1/4 cup of pasta flour (semolina)
1/4 cup of olive oil
A sprinkle of kosher salt
1 tablespoon of butter
1 cube of Dorot band Basil or a teaspoon of dried basil
1 garlic clove minced
A sprinkle of kosher salt

Technique

Thoroughly rinse and drain squid under cold water. Using a sharp knife, slice the tubes of squid into thin rings discarding the pointed tip of each tube. Leave tentacles whole. Rinse and drain squid again. Once drained, toss into a mixture of pasta flour and a sprinkle of kosher salt. Toss until evenly coated. In a small pot over low heat add oil, butter, basil, garlic and a sprinkle of kosher salt whisk together until butter has melted and flavors have blended, about 5 minutes. Using a strainer, pour 2 to 3 tablespoons of the butter oil sauce into a medium sized skillet over high heat, being careful not to let any of the garlic pass into the skillet. This is to prevent the garlic from burning. When cooking squid, it is essential to cook it quickly over high heat to prevent it from becoming overcooked resulting in a very chewy, rubbery texture. Quickly add calamari to the skillet, turning as soon as it maintains its ringlet shape as opposed to the limp ringlet shape. Maneuver pan back and forth tossing every so often to make sure all sides of squid ringlets are cooked as well as all sides of the tentacles. Cooking time for squid is about 2 -3 minutes making sure it is done but not overcooked. Add remaining butter garlic oil mixture to the skillet. Toss to make sure all calamari is evenly coated and the aroma is infused into the squid, about 30 seconds. Remove and serve immediately. Serve with Artisan bread for dipping into the flavorful sauce.

Suggested Beverage

Try Ferrari Carano Chardonnay (Alexander Valley), Fontaleoni Vernaccia Di San Gimignano White Wine (Italy), Bellenive Avanzi Garda Pinot Bianco (Italy) or Peroni Nastro Azzurro® Birra – Italy.

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