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Saturday, February 15, 2014

Fried Calamari

Calamari is one of the most over priced menu items out there in restaurants. Did you know that? It's so cheap they should be giving it away for free. And in fact, Siobhan - the owner of our favorite North End restaurant, Pomodoro, does. When you least expect it, she comes by with a big plate of fried calamari to wet your appetite. For years we thought it was because we were regulars, or because Paddy's Irish (and so is she), or maybe we were just special? But no, it's because it's so stinkin cheap - what better way to butter up your customers? Genius. And when I say cheap, I mean enough for two will run you about $2.00 at the seafood counter in your local grocery store. Cheap enough that my dad uses it for bait.

But there is a small caveat...is it so cheap because it's not calamari? Not calamari you say? What else would it be? Well...check out this episode of This American Life (Episode 484: Dopplegangers) featuring my friend Seth who I studied with in Mali. Just beware of the fake stuff, friends. (And if you don't regularly listen to This American Life - you really need to start now.)

Oh, and when it is real and you're smart enough to make it at home, it couldn't be easier:

For 2 people:
4-5 Calamari bodies, sliced into 1/2 or 3/4 inch strips
1 cup of flour
Salt and pepper
Vegetable oil - enough to submerge the calamari when frying

1. Heat the oil to 350 degrees.
2. Rinse and gently pat the calamari dry/ish
3. Dredge the calamari in the flour and shake free the extra
4. Drop in the oil and fry for about 1 minute or until golden brown.
5. Remove from oil with a spider or slotted spoon and drain on a plate with paper towel. Serve immediately with tomato sauce.

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