First of all, it’s my husband who cooked this platter of calamares. I helped, but he did the actual cooking. We have a new agreement–he does the cooking on Sundays. We had been talking about calamares for days when last week’s episode of Nigella Bites on the Discovery Travel and Living Channel featured how to cook the very dish that we had been talking about. calamares

In the Philippines, when we say calamares, we refer to a dish of crisp, flour-coated squid rings. It is actually more popular as a pulutan (finger food that accompanies beer or other alcoholic beverage) rather than a main dish. Served with rice, the experience is similar to eating squid tempura.

Ingredients :

1 kilo of lumot (large squids)
2-3 c. of flour
salt (herbed, preferably)
2-3 c. of vegetable cooking oil

Cooking procedure :

Clean the squids. Pull out the tentacles with the intestines, ink sac, etc. Feel inside the cavity and locate the spine. Pull it out. Peel off the skin. Cut off the intestines from the tentacles. Wash well and rinse. Cut the squids’ bodies into rings about one-fourth inch thick. Lay the rings, and the tentacles, on a plate covered with several layers of absorbent paper towels. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cover and let sit in the fridge for about 15 minutes.

Some cooks prefer to season the flour instead of the squids. We prefer to season the squids. They taste better.

Heat the cooking oil in a frying pan.

Place about a cup of flour in a resealable plastic bag. Add about a third of the squid rings and tentacles and shake well. Pour the contents of the bag into a plate or bowl. Test the temperature of the cooking oil by dropping a squid ring into the frying pan. If it sinks and takes too long to brown, the oil isn’t hot enough. If it browns in 2-3 seconds, the oil is too hot. Ideally, the squid should cook in 30-40 seconds with the flour coating turning crisp.

Cook only a few pieces at a time, shaking off the excess flour before putting them into the oil. As the pieces brown, lift them off the oil with a slotted spoon and drain on absorbent paper towels. Do not overcook the squids or they will turn tough as rubber. When the first batch is done, put more flour into the resealable plastic bag and repeat until all the squids are cooked.

There are a lot of dipping sauces that can go with your calamares. Personally, I prefer sour cream with lots of finely minced garlic stirred in.

[tags]calamari, calamares, squid, seafood, Food+and+Drink, cooking, cooking+blog[/tags]