This is one our favorite snack meals, and I think many people would agree. Fried calamari is a very popular appetizer menu items at restaurants, and the vast majority of it is really, really bad. Most restaurants, especially casual ones, overcook their squid, and most of the cocktail sauce is rather bland. Matt and I got to work in our own kitchen and the results have been spectacular. These calamari are so addicting, and everyone whose tried them has raved. This recipe takes this casual snack to a new level and shows how delicious it really can be. Enjoy!
1 lb. squid, cleaned and cut into rings and tentacles
1 1/2 cup buttermilk
1 tsp hot sauce
Salt and pepper
3/4 cup flour
3/4 cup cornstarch
2 tsp Emeril’s Essence
4 tbs ketchup
4 tbs chili sauce
2 tsp hot sauce
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
Juice of half a lemon
3 heaping tbs horseradish, well drained
1 tbs plus 1 tsp tequila
In one bowl, combine buttermilk, salt, pepper and hot sauce. In a second bowl, combine the flour, cornstarch, and Essence.
Heat the oil in a deep fryer. Drop the squid pieces in the buttermilk and leave for about five minutes. Pull them out, shaking off the excess. Place them in the flour mixture and leave them there for another five or so minutes. Working in batches, shake off the excess flour and drop them into the hot oil. Fry for about two minutes, that’s all. They are done when they turn a little golden in color. Remove and drain on a paper towel lined plate. Sprinkle with a little more Essence.
In a serving bowl, combine all cocktail sauce ingredients and stir. This can be made ahead of time and refrigerated. Dip the fried calamari in the sauce and enjoy!!