Calamari and Tapas Platter

Calamari and sides

Freshly fried calamari with tangy cucumber and slightly spicy smoky dip might be my new favorite thing. I mean, I've always loved calamari, but I never knew how easy it was to make at home! I was concerned at first because it feels like a bit of a splurge if you might not get it right, but it turns out to be simple and easily comes out delicious the first time around! 

Try it with the quick pickled cucumbers and smoked paprika dip and you'll be sold too. 


Calamari with Tangy Cucumbers and Smoked Paprika Mayonnaise

Adapted from Delicious Magazine

For the Calamari
Vegetable oil for frying
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup plain cornmeal
salt and pepper
1 lb fresh squid, cleaned (ask your fishmonger to do this), body sliced into rings

For the Quick pickled cucumbers
½ cup white wine vinegar
½  tbsp sea salt
1 tbsp caster sugar to taste
5 small or 3 medium cucumbers, cut into wedges
Handful fresh dill, roughly chopped

For the Smoked Paprika mayonnaise

1 garlic clove, crushed
½ cup good quality mayonnaise
1 tsp smoked paprika

1. To make the quick pickled cucumbers, combine the vinegar, sea salt and sugar in a bowl. Add the cucumber and dill, then cover with cling film and chill for at least 3 hours or until crunchy and tangy

2. For the smoked paprika mayonnaise, whisk all the ingredients in a mixing bowl. Season to taste.

3. To fry the calamari, heat about 3-4 inches oil in a large pan until it reaches 375F.

4. Combine the flour and cornmeal in a large bowl and season well. Drop in the squid a handful at a time and coat with the flour.

5. Fry, in batches so as not to crowd the pan, for 2-3 minutes until pale golden, then drain briefly on paper towels.

6.Serve with the pickled beans and mayonnaise for dipping.

Tapas Platter

A Spanish dinner party is never completed without an all out tapas platter. Bites to savor while drinking and talking with friends. I made the Smoked Paprika Almonds I discovered during Pre-Season Testing, and includes the necessaries: jamon iberico and manchego. In addition we had some fresh fruit, marinated olives, goats cheese, and tangy sweety drop pickled peppers! 

Where there are tapas... there must also be drinks. Try a super simple 5 ingredient Sangria, or a Vermouth Cocktail, or if you're feeling adventurous check out this year's addition to the repertoire a Mediterranean Sauco Cocktail. And, in the end, if you're not feeling adventurous at all, you are welcome to stick with the classics and have a nice glass of Tempranillo or Verdejo.