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Crispy Calamari with Pickled Jalapeno Dipping Sauce

Claire fries up a light and crisp calamari served with pickled jalapeno sauce. Don’t forget to toast your team with Claire’s custom, red hot shot.

Yield: 6 to 8 servings.

BYOC: Don’t love the heat?  Try substituting your favorite pickled item for the jalapenos.

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup drained and chopped pickled jalapenos, reserving liquid
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 pound cleaned squid, preferably small
  • 6 to 7 cups vegetable oil
  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper

Method

  1. Whisk together the chopped jalapenos, mayonnaise and 1 teaspoon of reserved liquid. Season with salt and set aside.
  2. Rinse squid under cold running water and lightly pat dry, leaving it slightly damp. Leave tentacles whole and cut bodies crosswise into 1/4-inch-wide rings, then reserve separately.
  3. Heat oil in a heavy pot over high heat until it registers 375°F on thermometer.
  4. Place panko in a shallow bowl and season with salt and pepper. Dredge a small handful of squid rings in panko, tossing to coat well. Shaking off excess and with a slotted spoon add rings to oil and using spoon separate and cook until golden, about 1 to 2 minutes. Using the slotted spoon, transfer ring to paper towels to drain. Repeat with remaining ingredients. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve with jalapeno mayonnaise for dipping.