← Back to Search Results
frying, sauteeing American, New England
Spicy and Greasy Rhode Island Calamari

Photo by: Kate Sears/Sublime
Comments: 0
 

Recipe

If you think tossing crispy fried squid in a mixture of garlic butter and slices of hot cherry peppers is strange, welcome to Rhode Island! It’s unusual but addictively delicious. In recent years, Rhode Island-style squid has gained popularity as a regional favorite all over New England. When I first started serving this dish at Summer Shack, we would hear complaints once in awhile that it was “spicy” or “greasy”—which it was. So I changed the menu and called it just that, “Spicy and Greasy Rhode Island Calamari,” and I’ve never had a complaint since.

Point Judith, Rhode Island, has the largest squid-fishing fleet on the East Coast; it is the hub of the squid business in the United States. The fleet follows the huge schools of squid all over the Atlantic, bringing them home to Point Judith for processing. The longest and best season is summer, but we see fresh squid periodically in the spring and fall too.

When fresh squid is available, it is often reasonably priced, even when already cleaned. Frozen squid is available throughout the year, and its quality varies according to the packer and its place of origin. The most dependable brands are packed in Point Judith; you probably won’t ever see the brand in a retail market, but you can ask your retailer. A lot of squid is imported from China, some of it good, some of it tasteless and rubbery. If you have a good fish market, it will most likely sell you domestic squid. If you run across fresh domestic squid, I highly recommend you buy it. Look for medium-sized squid (about 8 to a pound) for frying. Smaller squid are good for stuffing, larger ones for grilling.

Yield: Serves 4 as an appetizer

Ingredients

  • 1 pound cleaned medium squid (4- to 5-inch), with tentacles

For the fry mix:

  • ¾ cup cornstarch
  • ¾ cup all purpose flour
  • ½ cup yellow cornmeal
  • 2 teaspoons table salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper

  • About 6 cups peanut, canola, or other vegetable oil for deep frying
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 4 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 cup sliced hot cherry peppers in vinegar, drained
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley

Equipment:

  • A baking sheet
  • 4-quart Dutch oven
  • Deep-frying thermometer or an electric deep fryer
  • Chinese wire-mesh skimmer
  • 10- to 12-inch sauté pan
  • A pair of tongs

Directions

1. Cut the squid bodies into ½ -inch rings and put in a colander set over a bowl; add the whole tentacles. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use (up to 6 hours).

2. To make the fry mix: Combine the cornstarch, flour, cornmeal, salt, and both peppers in a large bowl and whisk well. Refrigerate if not using within an hour or two, to prevent humidity from changing the mixture.

3. Line a baking sheet with paper towels. Heat 3 inches of oil to 360°F in a 4-quart Dutch oven over medium heat or in a deep fryer.

4. While the oil is heating, pour the buttermilk into a large bowl and drop the squid into it. Stir with a Chinese wire-mesh skimmer to coat, then lift about half the squid from the buttermilk, allowing the excess buttermilk to drip back into bowl, and drop then into the dry mix. Rinse and dry the wire skimmer. Toss the squid to coat evenly with the mix, then lift them out with the skimmer, gently shake off excess fry mix, and transfer to a plate. Bread the other half of the squid. Rinse and dry the skimmer.

5. Heat a 10- to 12-inch sauté pan over medium heat and add the butter. Once it melts, add the garlic and sauté until golden. Add the drained cherry peppers and toss to combine. Turn the heat down to low to keep warm when you fry the squid.

6. When the oil is hot, carefully drop half of the squid into the oil. If any of the squid sticks to the bottom of the pot, loosen the pieces with tongs. Turn the squid occasionally so they cook evenly: it will only take about 1 ½ minutes until they are crisp and golden. Transfer the squid from the hot oil to the lined baking sheet. Fry the other half of the squid and drain them.

7. Add all of the fried squid to the hot pan with the garlic and sliced peppers, sprinkle with the chopped parsley, and quickly and gently toss (only twice) the squid. Divide among four small plates and serve immediately.

Notes

Working Ahead:

This squid can be cleaned if necessary and cut in the morning, covered, and refrigerated. The fry mix can also be made early in the day.


© 2007 Jasper White
 

Nutritional Information

Nutrients per serving (% daily value)

440kcal (22%)
75mg (8%)
12mg (21%)
148mcg RAE (5%)
432mg
58mg
20g
2g
2g
19g
295mg (98%)
929mg (39%)
9g (45%)
32g (49%)
2mg (12%)
 

Would you like to leave a comment about this recipe?

Notify me of new comments on this recipe. Add comment

We'd love to hear what you think!

Please or to add a comment to this recipe.
 

Sign up for
The Cookstr Weekly

Free handpicked cookbook recipes delivered straight to your inbox

Explore Cookbooks on Cookstr

the-provence-cookbook The Provence Cookbook
by Patricia Wells
the-sushi-experience The Sushi Experience
by Hiroko Shimbo
food-to-live-by Food to Live By
by Myra Goodman
amor-y-tacos Amor Y Tacos
by Deborah Schneider
david-burkes-new-american-classics David Burke's New American ...
by David Burke, Judith Choate
urban-italian-simple-recipes-and-true-stories-from-a-life-in-food Urban Italian: Simple Recip...
by Andrew Carmellini
david-rosengarten-entertains-fabulous-parties-for-food-lovers David Rosengarten Entertain...
by David Rosengarten
the-vegetable-dishes-i-cant-live-without The Vegetable Dishes I Can'...
by Mollie Katzen, Greg Atkinson
mom-a-licious Mom-a-Licious
by Domenica Catelli
125-best-vegan-recipes 125 Best Vegan Recipes
by Maxine Effenson Chuck, Beth Gurney
antipasti-fabulous-appetizers-and-small-plates Antipasti: Fabulous Appetiz...
by Joyce Goldstein
the-bread-bible The Bread Bible
by Rose Levy Beranbaum
the-asian-grandmothers-cookbook The Asian Grandmothers Cook...
by Patricia Tanumihardja
sunday-suppers-at-lucques Sunday Suppers at Lucques
by Suzanne Goin
mexican-everyday Mexican Everyday
by Rick Bayless
Already a member? Click here to Log In
close

Sign up to Cookstr!

  • Receive a free, handpicked selection of recipes in your inbox weekly
  • Save, share and comment on your favorite recipes in My Cookstr
  • Get updates on new Cookstr features and tools







By signing up you accept the
Terms of Use and Privacy Policy
Spinner
New to Cookstr? Click here to Sign Up
close


Forgot your password? Click here
close
Thanks for commenting!
Would you like to share your comment on Facebook or Twitter?