August 14, 2012

Home-made Calamari with Panko

Many of us enjoy ordering an appetizer of calamari.  Some restaurants serve their calamari with
bell peppers often in colors of red and green and some even serve their calamari with fried broccoli.

The negatives of calamari is when the batter is soggy. It's a total FAIL when you bite
into the calamari and the batter just isn't crispy. 

SO, I decided to make some at home! Why not right? 
I started with the purchase of 2 calamari which come from the squid family.

Calamari comes from the Italian plural of "calamaro" and the late Latin  "calamarium" 
which means ink-horn, or pen case referring to the ink ejected by the squid. 

blah, blah blah right?.... 

First wash the squid really well. Make sure it isn't slimy.
As you wash it, you will notice that you can very easily pull off the brown texture looking skin.
I usually pull the head off and discard.
(If you are making a seafood broth... it would give it great flavor)
I usually cut the bottom end so that I can run the water through the whole calamari-
The inside "stuff" will be washed out and that's including the plastic tube like straw thingy.
After you've thoroughly washed the suckers, then you can cut them into rings.
I usually cut them into 1/2 inch pieces.

It's easy if you have 3 bowls or plates next to each other ready to go...
one with 2 eggs (well beaten), the cut and ready to go calamari itself and
the batter which is a mixture of Panko and corn starch. (equal parts)
The starch in corn starch helps to adhere the bread crumbs better
than flour which ultimately makes for that crispy golden batter.

Soak your calamari in the egg wash so that it is completely submerged and covered
in the eggs. Then cover the calamari (with egg) in the Panko-starch mixture.
After you fry them on medium or med-high heat, - they will quickly start to float to the top and
turn that golden color-- you can take them out, lay them on a paper towel to get the
excess oil off and sprinkle some salt and pepperon them while they are still hot.

The sauce on the side is sweet chili. Yes, these calamari pieces are as crispy as they look!
I like to drizzle a fresh lemon on them right before eating as well. The hint of lemon on calamari
or any seafood is wonderful.

You can make and eat calamari as an appetizer or snack or you can make a mini meal with
garlic mashed potatoes and flour coated -pan fried tofu. (The green garnish are chives)

This dinner was great. It was crispy with a great taste of sweet and spicy sauce along with
smooth garlic mashed potatoes and great texture and flavor from the soy sauce on the tofu.