Something for the weekend….Crispy Calamari with Avocado and Tomato

by grainnep

The best things about a long weekend usually involve lots of family time, time outside and maybe even a trip to the beach. Who says it needs to be sunny to enjoy these things? …. This recipe is usually associated with great holidays, somewhere near a beach, usually involving sunshine,(not usually Ireland!). Sadly, mention the word Calamari and you often hear a lot of people talk about pieces of rubber, dripping in grease. I love it it done right and have learnt a few tips to make sure it’s delicious crispy and full of flavour. The first trick is to make sure you get the membrane off – ask your fish monger to do it if you don’t fancy preparing it yourself and double check that they have got it off – I bought some recently and it was still there even though I was assured it wasn’t. If you aren’t sure then gently scrape the outer surface of the squid with a sharp knife. If there is any membrane there it should peel off in a cellophane-like sheet, leaving behind slick white meat. Also make sure you oil is really hot, if it’s not the crumb will absorb grease, use a cooking thermometer to be sure (about 170C) and each piece should cook in about 2 minutes.

They are delicious served with a simple aioli or sauce gribiche, for this one I just prepared a simple avocado puree and tomato.

Serves 4
14oz squid cleaned and sliced into rings
1 cup egg wash (2 eggs beaten with 100ml milk)
1 cup panko or plain breadcrumbs
1 cup gram flour mixed with 2 tbsp of poppy seeds
Juice of half a lemon
salt & pepper

Season the squid rings with salt and pepper
Place each ring through the flour mix, egg and finally into the breadcrumbs, coating each ring
Deep fry the squid a few at a time until golden brown (turn them over to evenly cook both sides) about 2 minutes per ring in total
Drain on a piece of kitchen paper and move onto a sheet of parchment
Add a squeeze of lemon and keep warm while you cook the rest of the rings
Serve with your choice of aoili, sauce gribiche or avocado pureed with some lime juice.

Aoili
2 egg yolks
1 tsp Dijon Mustard
1 tsp white wine vinegar
Squeeze of lemon juice
1 clove garlic minced
320ml good quality plain oil (rape seed)
Whisk together the eggs, vinegar, garlic and mustard. While whisking, carefully pour in the oil until it emulsifies and thickens, Season with a pinch of salt and a squeeze of lemon juice. Place in a squeezy bottle if you have it to keep in the fridge.