Mini Calamari with Garlic Mayo

I’m sure you are all sick of hearing about how great everyone’s Valentine’s Day feasts were but ours was definitely up there with the best. We decided that we would cook a meal together and enjoy a night in. Yes you did hear that right, we cooked a meal ‘together’; and I actually let Sam into my kitchen and I shared it without any shouting, screaming or crying. I have to say Sam also put me to shame on the tidy front and managed to tidy and wipe as he went (my corner was covered in flour, egg and other bits of food). As we are both obsessed with good food then we wanted to make sure we had lots to nibble on, and so Tapas was the answer. The menu for the occasion was;

–          Mini Calamari with Garlic Mayo

–          Runny Scotch Quail Eggs

–          Paprika Roasted Sweet Potato, Chorizo and Peppers

–          Caramelised Onion Houmous with Pittas and Crudités

–          Sticky Thai Style Pork Ribs

–          Herby Breaded Chicken Strips with a Nutty Hoisin Dip

–          Chocolate Mousse – for afters

I have to say all of it was awesome!

I chose calamari because I had never actually cooked with squid before and figured it was about time I did. We headed to the supermarket in search of the biggest and juiciest squid, but as the fishmongers was closed we had to settle for the bagged frozen kind, which is why these are so mini. That being said they were still tasty, tender and deliciously crispy so my disappointment disappeared as soon as I tasted these. Calamari is easy, quick and amazingly moreish and luckily there is still three quarters of a bag left in the freezer so I will be making this again and again and again.

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For the calamari

–          400g cleaned squid, tentacles and all

–          Milk – enough to cover the squid

–          4 tbsp cornflour

–          4 tbsp plain flour

–          Salt and pepper

–          Sunflower or vegetable oil for frying

For the Garlic Mayo

–          2 heap tbsp. light mayonnaise

–          1 small clove garlic – crushed and finely minced

–          Juice 1 lemon

Remove the tentacles from the squid and cut the bodies rings about 1cm thick

Cover the squid with milk, cover and chill for a couple of hours to soften the squid

While the squid is chilling, mix the ingredients together for the garlic mayo until well combined

Once you are ready to cook, drain the squid and dry off with some kitchen paper

Mix the flour together with the salt and pepper and heat the oil in a large saucepan over a medium – high heat. You will want your pan about half full of oil so there is no risk of it over flowing when you add the squid – you can test the squid with a small pinch of flour and if it sizzles when it hits the oil then it’s ready

Toss the squid in the flour and shake off any excess before frying in batches for 1 minute; until crisp and slightly golden

Drain the squid on some kitchen paper before serving with a twist of salt and the garlic dip.

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