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 Slim Man Cooks Fried Calamari with a Baltimore Twist

 

I’d never cooked fried calamari before. I order it in restaurants all the time. I figured, why bother make it at home?

I’ll tell you why…it’s really good when you make it yourself—especially my SlimTastic recipe! It’s a lot less greasy, too. Those deep fryers in restaurants are…funky.

And this dish is really quick. I was done in 15 minutes. Seriously.

The problem with fried calamari? They’re sometimes too chewy. And sometimes too fishy.

I solved that problem. Ain’t I great?

When I was trying to come up with this incredibly edible SlimSational calamari recipe, I remembered what my Uncle Oscar used to do when he made his seafood salad.

He would cut up the calamari and soak them in milk. It made the calamari more tender, and less fishy. So that’s what I did when I came up with this recipe. And the calamari were tender and not fishy at all.

But something was missing. I mean, they were good, but the recipe needed a little zip. A little zing. A little kick in the pants. So what was A MAN to do?

I thought of my hometown, Baltimore, Maryland. As in Bawlmer, Merlin. That’s the way we Baltimorons pronounce it. Now before you start with all the hate mail, I’m a proud Baltimoron. I like Baltimore. My Hollywood friend calls it the “Hey Hon” town, because that’s the way the women folk address you. When they do, it sounds like this…

“Hey who-won!”

It’s a quirky town. Unique.

So when I was looking for a unique flavor for my fried calamari, I decided to use a Baltimore spice called Old Bay. Old Bay was named after a passenger ship called the Old Bay Line that used to cruise the Chesapeake Bay.

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The spice was created by a German guy named Gustav Brunn, and he sold the company to McCormick, a spice company that used to make its spices right there in downtown Baltimore. Bawlmer, Hon!

Old Bay is what the Baltimore folks use when they steam their crabs and shrimp. I use it in my crab soup and crab cakes.

So I added some Old Bay to my calamari and wow. Zip! Zing! Pow! It had a little kick to it. The calamari was really good.

So here it is, Uncle Slimmy’s Fried Calamari with a Baltimore Twist.

Before you get started…

 Calamari is the Italian word for squid. Leave it to the Italians to come up with such a beautiful word for such an ugly sea creature.

When you cut up the calamari, make sure it’s cleaned. Calamari has some stuff that looks like plastic (it’s called the quill) on the inside, and when you buy it, it’s usually already removed. But check for it, and if you find any, toss it.

The tops of the tentacles sometimes have a tiny piece of this quill right at the top. Cut it off, and toss it. Also cut off any tentacles that are drooping way down. They’re fine to eat, but hard to handle when you’re cooking.

And finally! You need to fry the calamari right after you flour them. If they sit around, they get gooey and don’t fry right. And you know what Nat King Cole said…

Straighten Up and Fry Right!

Ingredients

1 pound of cleaned calamari, the bodies cut into ½ inch rings, the tentacles trimmed

Milk (about 3 cups, enough to cover the calamari)

1 ¼ cups of flour

1 generous tablespoon of Old Bay seasoning

Salt and fresh cracked black pepper

1 ½ cups olive oil

2 lemons, cut into wedges

2 cups warm tomato sauce (make your own, my recipe is excellent and quick!)

HERE WE GO!

Cut up the calamari bodies into ½ inch rings, and trim the tentacles.

Put it in a container and cover with milk.

Cover the container and put it in the fridg for a few hours, or overnight.

Drain the milk from the calamari.

Put the soaked calamari on a platter.

Put the flour, the Old Bay, and the salt and pepper in a bowl and whisk. Mick ‘em up!

Put the oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat for 2 minutes.

Take half the calamari and put them in the bowl with the flour.

Mix ‘em up, get them coated.

Grab a few in your hands, toss them back and forth to shake off the excess flour.

Put them in the olive oil.

Do this with all the floured calamari.

Cook for 2 minutes, or until golden, and turn over.

Cook on the other side for 2 minutes.

Put them on a platter that’s been lined with a double layer of paper towels.

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Go back, Jack, do it again.

Put the rest of the calamari in the bowl with the flour.

Mix ‘em up, get them coated.

Grab a few in your hands, toss them back and forth to shake off the excess flour.

Put them in the olive oil.

Do this with the rest of the floured calamari.

Cook for 2 minutes, or until golden, and turn over.

Cook on the other side for 2 minutes.

Put them on the platter that’s been lined with paper towels.

DONE! Let’s dish ‘em up…

Put the calamari on one of them good-looking large plates.

Garnish with lemon wedges.

Put the warm tomato sauce in a bowl.

Squeeze the lemon over the calamari.

Use the tomato sauce for dipping.

She’s a-so nice!

MANGIAMO!