I’m not going to sit here and lie to you. I used to hate calamari. Literally loathe the stuff. For good reasons though, I believe. Whenever someone ordered it in a restaurant, the batter was stodgy, the squid felt overcooked and for the life of me I couldn’t grasp why you’d ruin a perfectly good bit of squid by chucking it in a batter then deep frying it? I even went on my good friend and The Smallslice Head Honcho, Harleigh’s, brilliant podcast Table for Two and ranted all about it.
That was, however, until I went to Genoa last summer and had my mind irrevocably changed by some of the finest little deep fried seafood ‘cones’ you can get out there. As it’s so close to the sea, they literally put a sh*tload of different deep fried seafood into a cone, like we do with chips over here and it only costs like 8EUROS! I don’t know if everyone else knew that you can get stuff like this in Italy, but no one told me and not I’m blessing you with the knowledge. You’re welcome.
So with this in mind, I set out to cook up some banging calamari. But I didn’t want to cook up just any old calamari, I wanted to make it look fancy. You know, like I actually know what I’m doing as a food blogger and would make everyone sit up ad be like.. “JHEEZE MUNCH CLUB TV YOU DONE A MADNESS WITH THE CALAMARI OH GARSH!”
Once I realised that no one other than me talks like that and that I need to get out of my head, I thought it would be a cool idea to buy a newspaper from the shop and style the calamari in the style of an old school cone of fish and chips. You know the saying.. Today’s News, Tomorrow’s Chip Paper. Great idea, right. Wrong. WRONG.
So, first and foremost, f*ck the Express. They’ve got this big sticker on the front page with a massive 20p on it. So here’s me thinking, calm, I’ll buy this Tory rag for like 20p. Wrong. At the checkout it was closer to a quid. Turns out it’s 20p cheaper than fellow Tory scum rag, the Mail. Lol.
Anyway, I cook up this calamari. It tastes great. Like super great. I can’t believe I’ve cooked up this gorgeous little meal for myself. I munch all of it, fast. I’ve got people asking me.. “Did you actually eat that calamari out of the newspaper?” I’m like, yeah of course I did, casual. Wrong again. Did you know that they stopped serving chips in newspaper because of like some risk of ink poisining? And that now they serve it in newspaper style paper? I thought them sh*ts were real newspaper mayn!
Anyways, the food is peng, take my word for it. Try these out, let me know how it goes. May be, though, don’t whack them in some newspaper. Perhaps.
Let me show you how to make chef up the pengers.
Slice your squid into 1cm rings and keep the tentacles, they’re super buff too don’t you dare chuck them away!
Whack your panko breadcrumbs into a food processor and blitz them so that they’re a bit finer than how they are out of the packet. If the breadcrumbs are too chunky it’ll ruin the texture and flavour of the calamari. BLITZ IT UP!
Get your holy trinity of flour, egg and breadcrumbs in bowls in a row. This will be your calamari making factory. First coat your squid in flour, then into the egg, then into the breadcrumbs. You can go directly from here into the pot of hot oil or keep them on the side whilst you prepare the ting.
This is a picture of scrumptious, golden calamari taking form in a pot full of hot oil. Safe.
Pengers. Cut a lemon into quarters and squeeze half into a bit of mayo. Dip your calamari into there and you’re winning.
If you think this is sick, check out this other equally nang recipe! Bad boy French Toast Brunch ting oh garsh.