Today is May the fourth, which to many of my fellow nerds is Star Wars Day. Some argue it should be celebrated on May 25th, because that is the day the first film was released in 1977, but I prefer a fake holiday with a pun to one without. In honor of Star Wars Day, I have come up with a recipe for fried (Mon) Calamari, and as Admiral Ackbar famously exclaimed, “IT’S A SNACK!”
Okay, so he actually said “It’s a trap,” and this recipe makes a lot, so it’s either a meal, or a snack for like, ten people. Ian, our roommate and I were barely able to put a dent in the pile, so I’m going to figure out what to do with the leftovers! You could absolutely cut it, and I recommend that you do, because unless you want to be standing over a frying pan for an hour, browning delicious rings of squid, or you have a roomful of people noshing on them, two pounds is way too much. I would wager that a typical restaurant appetizer portion is probably only a half pound, if that.
Anyway, nerdy justifications aside, it’s a delicious dish, and though it was a little time-consuming to make, it was (like many things) easier to make than I expected it to be.
- 2 lbs cleaned squid
- 2 c baking mix (Bisquick, or similar)
- 1 tbsp garlic powder
- 1 tbsp chili powder
- 1 tbsp parsley flakes, crushed
- 1 tsp each salt and pepper (plus more salt to finish)
- canola oil (to fry)
Cut the cleaned squid mantles into slices, leaving the tentacle parts (if you choose to buy them — some places let you buy just the mantles) intact. Mix all dry ingredients together and toss squid pieces in the mixture. Heat 1 inch of oil in a frying pan until it reaches about 360°F. Drop the squid pieces in individually, frying until golden brown, then placing on a paper towel-covered rack and salting before serving. Serve hot with bowls of lemon garlic aioli and ketchup for dipping, or on top of pasta with marinara sauce.