Rhode Island Calamari
2/21/2013 12:12:00 PM
Really. I have no problem with calamari. My parents raised me to be an adventurous eater – so I have been for my whole life.
My father gave me spicy egg rolls at 6 months old…this was hardly fare for babies.
Our friend Richard gave me a bowl of fish lips when I was 6 years old. I don’t remember much about the taste…just the way they looked. They must have been awfully expensive cuz the place to get that many lips off of that many fish.
I’ve had a fish eyeball, jellyfish and I’ll eat sushi for days. So squid is no big deal.
I’ve had Guy Fieri’s “Rhode Island Calamari” at his restaurants. It’s excellent…some of the best you’ll ever have. It’s crispy on the outside, tender on the inside and the pepperoncinis (sp?) MAKE the dish. So I figured it would be no thing at all to duplicate this at home. And honestly, the recipe is easy. You just have to know what you’re doing…which apparently…I didn’t.
First thing was to figure out where to buy squid. With the help of our listeners, I picked some at Oliver’s Market in Santa Rosa. Perfect. I got tentacles, tubes – the whole 9.
THEN it was a matter of taking it home. The recipe said to cut it to a ¼ inch thickness. Well it already looked about that thick…so I didn’t cut it. AND I figured… what difference does it make? The bigger the better…right? Not right. CUT your squid. Please.
Here’s what happened – because the pieces were SO BIG, they didn’t hold the batter. Because the batter fell off…the calamari was plain, not crispy and rather rubbery (this is also a result of my overcooking it…I think my oil got too hot) Also – I poured on too much of the sauce – so it was a big, slippery, buttery…thing.
Next, because I didn’t cut the squid – the tentacles were too long. So they would come STRETCHING out of the bread bowl…which was actually kind of disgusting. You want short little tentacles. AND you want to cut the little heads off…because eating heads kinda freaked me out.
So, I am sorry to the squid that died in vain. I am sorry to the bread bowl that ended up in the trash. I am sorry to Guy Fieri for not paying enough attention to his instructions and messing up an otherwise excellent recipe. And I am sorry to you – reader –for the visual.
But, I am not sorry for trying…and learning, because now I know better.
Next up – another shrimp dish. My dad is coming to visit this weekend and his favorite food is shrimp. He’s like Bubba Gump. He’ll name off every kind of shrimp dish for you. Not sure which one I’m gonna pick…but I know I’ll pay rapt attention to the directions.
Here’s the recipe for “Rhode Island Calamari”