I sometimes get lazy and prefer them eaten alone, without the hassle of having to peel, bone and pick through the small prawns, other assorted crustaceans and the (however tasty) bony reef mullet, typical frittura staple.
Here’s a recipe for a simple summer seafood frittura of calamari.
500 gr (1.1 lb) absolutely fresh baby squid, cuttlefish, or any small octopod mollusks
100 gr (1/2 cup) all purpose flour
100 gr (1/2 cup) polenta flour (cornmeal)
Extra virgin olive oil for frying
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 lemon for juice
Cut the squid in ringlets, leaving the tentacle clusters whole. If you’ve caught them yourself or the fishmonger didn't clean them, be sure to trim away ink sacs and remove the indigestible parts of the squid, eyes, innards, cartilage, beak and quill nestled in the center of the head.
There's a video HERE that can help you learn how.
Combine the polenta with the flour, a dash of salt and freshly ground black pepper in a gallon-size zipper seal freezer bag and add the squid pieces. Seal closed and give a vigorous shake to coat the pieces well.
Refrigerate for 20 minutes. Remember, temperature shock is key for proper frying.
Heat a generous amount of olive oil in a frying pan. When the oil is piping hot, but not quite smoking (that means its burning!), remove the dredged squid from refrigerator and plunge it in small batches at a time in the frying pan in order not to cool the oil down.
Fry small quantities for no more than a minute. The oil will bubble up and cook squid all over so there will be no need to turn. The result will be a lightweight crunchy crust and a tender, sweet fleshy inside.
Rest to dry briefly on a paper towel, dribble with lemon juice and eat with your hands, sensually burning fingers and tongue.
Image © gingerandtomato