I saw calamari at the grocery store and suddenly needed to have fried calamari without delay(!) … of the gluten-free variety, of course.
I soaked a pound of thawed calamari in milk (enough to cover it) – plus the juice of 1/2 lemon – to tenderise the rings.
Then I made a simplified marinara sauce by puréeing a cup of my favourite spaghetti sauce (Basilica), along with 2 teaspoons of olive oil, 1/2 t oregano, 1/2 t garlic powder, plus 1/4 teaspoon each of white pepper and cayenne pepper.
I put that in the refrigerator.
After a half-hour of soaking the calamari in milk-lemon*, I heat up peanut oil (because it does well with deep-fried and we have no allergies in the family) in a skillet. Then I prepared a plate with two eggs, beaten, plus another plate with the breading mixture.
*I soaked the rest of the calamari longer – soak it for a couple hours if you can.
For the breading mix, I used 1 1/3 cups corn flour (not corn starch) plus 2/3 cup chick pea flour. To that I added 1/2 tablespoon salt, 1/4 t paprika, 1/2 t garlic powder, 1/2 t oregano, 1/4 t white pepper. (I made this in two separate batches).
I dipped the calamari in egg
then in the breading. I pinched the calamari rings together in the flour mix so the breading would also coat the inside as well.
I did have egg and flour left over when the calamari was gone, but not so much that I would reduce the amounts. It was just enough to properly coat everything.
When I thought the oil was hot enough, I tested it by putting one ring in to make sure it floated.
It did. After that I put the rest of the first batch in
and drained them when they were brown –
on paper towels to soak the excess oil.
And then I happily dipped the calamari in the marina sauce for a taste test
and went to town.
I mean … I waited for dinner hour and set the table with cloth napkins and crystal water glasses.
Yeah … that.
- 1 lb calamari rings
- peanut oil
- 2 eggs
- Breading Mixture:
- ⅔ cup chick pea flour
- 1⅓ cup corn flour
- ½ Tablespoon salt
- ½ teaspoon oregano
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ white pepper
- Marinara Sauce
- 1 cup basil spaghetti sauce
- ½ t garlic powder
- ½ t oregano
- ¼ cayenne pepper
- ¼ t white pepper
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- Tenderise the thawed calamari rings in the milk/lemon mix.
- Purée the ingredients for the marina sauce, then refrigerate.
- Beat two eggs in one bowl.
- Mix the breading ingredients in a separate bowl.
- Heat the oil until it starts to bubble a bit. Test by putting one ring in and if it floats, it's ready.
- Put the rings in one batch at a time and drain them on paper towels when they're brown.
- Let the oil reheat before you put in the second batch.
- Serve immediately.
My husband thought they tasted just like restaurant calamari rings, and we ate them accompanied with the alcohol-free, gluten-free British cider I found online. (Not sure if there’s the equivalent in the US). It would have tasted great with the alcohol-free, gluten-free beer too … in case you’re looking for ideas.
But we didn’t eat to our heart’s content. The kids devoured them before we had a chance.