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Fried Calamari's Face-Lift

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A cuttle-fish craving has cast its spell. From Rowley Leigh's Sunday column in the Financial Times of squid and polenta to Nigel Slater's stuffed iteration in The Guardian last week, calamari is having a moment. 


Nigel and Rowley's dishes are the exception -- they're fresh not fried. In the past, squid often fell prey to the deep fryer, a consequence of the UK's customary approach to fruits des mer. Think fish and chips and a geographic location which doesm't exactly lend itself to being a squid basin. A common menu item of red and white checker-clad table Italian-style restaurants, fried calamari usually precedes entrées of unimaginative spaghetti and meatballs and overzealous garlic bread. 

Now, the torpedo-shaped cephalopod is getting a makeover. Chefs are reinventing squid-cooking methods for grilling, searing, stuffing, and serving. Variety is always welcome, but what if you want some fried squid -- just for old times' sake? Can you successfully fry squid without losing its flavor and turning it into a rubber band? 

Fortunately for squid lovers and fried calamari fans, Felicity Cloake has solved the fried dilemma and concocted a recipe that fries without compromising the squid's flavor or hiding its distinct texture. Check out her recent post and warm up your vegetable oil. But be careful. Cloake warns, "there is none more addicting than the deep fried version." We think she's right. 


How to cook perfect calamari from The Guardian