Fried Calamari with Chile-Garlic Salt and Lemon
Provided by: Gail Simmons
- FOR THE CALAMARI:
- 1 pound small squid tubes, cleaned, cut into 1/4-inch thick rounds
- 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
- 2 cups toasted Italian breadcrumbs
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Vegetable oil, for deep frying
- 1 lemon cut into wedges
- FOR CHILE-GARLIC SALT:
- 2 tablespoons flakey sea salt
- 1 heaping teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely sliced
- Place the squid in a medium bowl and cover with buttermilk. In a separate large bowl add breadcrumbs and season with salt and pepper. Lightly dredge the squid rings in breadcrumbs and lay out on a lined tray. Place in the fridge to allow the crumb coating to firm up for 10 minutes.
- Place vegetable oil in a large heavy pot. Add garlic slices and begin to heat oil. As it heats up the garlic will slowly turn brown and infuse the oil. Remove garlic when golden and crispy and set aside to drain on paper towels. When oil reaches 375 degrees F begin frying calamari in batches. Cook for 1-2 minutes until golden brown. Drain on a wire rack over a tray so they stay extra crispy.
- Make salt: Combine reserved fried garlic chips, sea salt, and red pepper flakes in a mortar and pestle. Gently crush until salt takes on a beige color. Season calamari with chile-garlic salt and serve with fresh lemon wedges.