Calamari Fritti

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 38 min
  • Prep: 20 min
  • Inactive: 15 min
  • Cook: 3 min
  • Yield: 4 to 6 servings
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Ingredients

1 pound whole squid, cleaned

1 cup milk

1 large egg

6 fresh basil leaves, chopped

Canola oil, for frying

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons paprika

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Lemon wedges, for serving

Smoked jalapeno aioli, for dipping, recipe follows

Tomato-basil sauce, for dipping, recipe follows

Directions

  1. Rinse the squid under cool water and pat dry with paper towels. Cut the body of the squid into 1/2-inch rings and trim the tentacles as necessary. Combine the milk, egg, and basil leaves in a bowl; mix with a fork until lightly beaten. Put the prepared calamari in the milk mixture and stick it in the refrigerator while getting everything else set up; it fries better if marinated and chilled for about 15 minutes.
  2. Pour about 2 inches of oil in a fryer or large, heavy pot and heat to 375 degrees F. Mix the flour and paprika in a pie dish or plate; season with a fair amount of salt and pepper. Toss the calamari in the seasoned flour to coat. Fry for 1 to 3 minutes or until golden brown. Drain on paper towels and salt, to taste. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the fried calamari to paper towels to drain. Serve immediately with lemon wedges and dipping sauces.
  1. Smoked Jalapeno Aioli:
  2. 1 cup mayonnaise
  3. 1 to 2 canned chipotle chile in adobo
  4. 1 garlic clove, coarsely chopped
  5. 1/2 lemon, juiced
  6. 1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley
  7. Pinch salt
  1. Combine all ingredients in a food processor and blend for 1 minute to combine. Set aside to allow the flavors to marry. Serve as a dipping sauce with fried calamari.
  2. Yield: 1 cup
  1. Tomato-Basil Sauce:
  2. 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  3. 2 garlic cloves, minced
  4. 4 fresh basil leaves, hand-torn
  5. 1 (16-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  6. Pinch sugar
  7. Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  1. Coat a saucepan with 2 tablespoons of the oil and warm over medium heat. Add the garlic and basil; cook, stirring, until soft. Add the crushed tomatoes and sugar; season with salt and pepper. Simmer the sauce for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the remaining olive oil. Serve as a dipping sauce with fried calamari.
  2. Yield: 2 cups