Calamari with Caper & Herb Sauce

2 Jan

This year we spend New Year’s Eve at home.  Martin had to work very early on New Year’s Day and we had the little one to think of, she doesn’t do very well past 7:00pm.  After spending the morning with friends, we headed to Reading Terminal Market to find some inspiration for dinner.

It didn’t take long.  John Yi Fish Market, who’s slogan is Eat Fish, Live Longer (fitting for a New Year’s Eve meal, no?), provided all of  the inspiration needed.   Halibut, clams, squid and giant prawns would become a seafood stew with capers, tomatoes and herbs.  I knew I could make it quickly, serve it in one huge bowl with crusty bread and Martin and I could feast on it together.

At home I began cleaning the seafood. It quickly became apparent that we had a lot of squid, too much for the stew.  So, I decided to make a plate of fried calamari to start the meal.

Martin and I have a history with calamari.  We met in college and started the process of getting to know each other, mostly over red Solo cups filled with mystery punch and walks to class. Sometimes we managed to go out to dinner, at an actual restaurant, with actual menus.  And when we did we almost always split an order of calamari, ordered a bottle of wine and prayed that we didn’t get carded.

So, on December 31, 2011, we sat down and shared another plate of calamari, this time in our home. We talked about how incredible it has been to watch Isabella grow and change, we talked about our hopes for 2012 and the things that we want to accomplish.  We talked and we ate, like we always have, and we welcomed 2012 with full bellies and open arms.

Calamari with Caper and Herb Sauce

1/2 cup mayonaise

1 tablespoon red wine vinager

1 tablespoon capers, roughly chopped

Mixed Herbs finely chopped – I used thyme, cilantro, parsley and scallions

1/2 lb of squid, rinsed, cleaned and any cartilage removed.  Slice the bodies into 1/2 inch rings, leave the heads in tact

1 cup milk

1 cup Wondra Flour

Salt & Pepper

Vegetable Oil

In a deep sided pot, heat 3 inches of vegetable oil to 350º.

Make the Sauce:

In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise, herbs, capers, red wine vinegar and black pepper.  Whisk to combine, taste and adjust seasonings.  Refrigerate.

Prepare the Calamari:

Pour the milk into a medium bowl.  In a second bowl combine Wondra, salt and black pepper, mix well.

Soak the calamari in the milk.  Working in small batches toss the calamari in the flour mixture.  Shake in a mesh strainer to remove excess flour.  Fry until golden brown. Be careful, the calamari is cool and the oil very hot.  When they meet the oil will jump and sputter, stand back.  Using tongs, move the squid around to help it brown evenly.

Remove from the oil to a plate lined with paper towel, sprinkle with salt and herbs.

Enjoy while hot!


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