Well, this was my very first attempt at making calamari from scratch and, while I was initially completely grossed out by the squid, I quickly got over it. Glad I did cause this was FANTASTIC!
My plan was to buy a bag frozen calamari, but Publix happened to be out of it, so my buddy at the seafood counter told me to just get some fresh squid and cut it into rings. When he showed me what exactly it was I needed to buy, I almost said screw it. It looked so slimy nasty. I really wanted that to try this though, so I went with it. Because my Publix is so awesome and I absolutely adore every single person who works there, he offered to cut the squid into rings for me so I didn't have to...I love them all so much. I'm gonna need therapy when we move and I have to leave my beloved Publix behind.
Anyway! These fry up super quick, just a couple minutes per side (you don't want to over cook them or they'll get rubbery...not good). Once they start turning a golden brown, set them on a paper towel to drain, and your good-to-go! Dip them in whatever sauce you prefer, but I really liked this lemon basil dip...I was sold once I saw it had both mayo AND sour cream :)
'Fried Calamari with Lemon Basil Sauce
Source: Adapted from Life's Ambrosia
1/2 pound calamari rings, thawed if frozen (or use fresh squid, sliced into rings)
1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh cracked pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
1 tablespoon cornstarch
Canola oil for frying
Lemon Basil Sauce:
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 tablespoons sour cream
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon dried basil (if using fresh basil, use 2 teaspoons)
1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
1. Combine all the ingredients for the lemon basil sauce in a small bowl. Mix until combined. Place in the fridge until serving time.
2. Pat the calamari rings dry with a paper towel.
3. In a bowl whisk together egg and milk to make an egg wash.
4. In a large plastic resealable bag combine flour, salt, pepper, garlic salt and cornstarch and shake to combine.
5. Dip the calamari rings into the egg and then put them in the bag with the flour. Shake bag to lightly coat calamari.
6. In a large skillet add oil until you have about 2 inches. Heat over medium heat until oil is hot. Once hot, remove the calamari from the bag and shake off any excess flour. Cook calamari in batches until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Do not overcook or calamari will become rubbery.
7. Remove from the oil, lay on a paper bag and sprinkle with a little kosher salt. Serve hot.