Calamari (Small Fried Squid)
In Greek: καλαμαράκια τηγανητά, pronounced kah-lah-mah-RAHK-yah tee-ghah-nee-TAH
Feel comfortable buying frozen whole squid or squid rings at the market to make this dish. If you love it, serve it as a main dish.
* 2 pounds of small squid
* flour for dredging
* olive oil or peanut oil for frying
* lemon wedges
* sea salt
* 1 teaspoon of fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped (optional)
Preheat a deep skillet or heavy-bottomed frying pan over low heat. (Alternatively, preheat a deep fat fryer.)
If working with frozen rings, defrost per package instructions. Otherwise, clean and prepare squid for frying (see complete instructions), keeping the tentacles in one piece. Season with salt (and pepper if desired).
Pour 1/2 to 3/4 inch of oil into the frying pan (it should not come up to over half the depth of the pan) and turn up the heat to high. Dredge the squid in flour and let sit for a few minutes. Gently shake off excess flour and, when the oil is hot, fry without crowding in the pan until crisp and golden brown on all sides. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.
Garnish with parsley and serve with lemon wedges.
About dredging: I find that putting the flour in a plastic bag, adding the squid, and shaking gently to coat does a better job than just rolling the pieces in the flour. Leaving the squid in the flour until slightly soggy, and then frying, produces a nice crisp result.
Cooking note: Frying each batch of squid lowers the heat of the oil. Allow the oil to get hot again before adding the next batch.
Serving suggestion: When preparing a table of appetizers or mezethes to serve a group of people, put the squid on two or three plates and place on the table with other dishes. Remember, half the fun of sharing appetizers and mezethes is reaching across the table to grab...