Rick Stein teams up with director Dave Pritchard in seafood cook

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Calamari can easily be bought in supermarkets and fishmongers, either fresh or frozen, and is relatively inexpensive. Calamari is often sold in rings, or as a whole squid with the body and tentacles still attached. Using rings is undoubtedly easier, but if you’re opting to buy a whole squid, they will need to be cut and cleaned ready for frying. The first thing to do is rinse the squid under cold water, then pull the tentacles away from the body.

Slice the head off of the tentacles and then discard, before removing the beak from the tentacles.

Clean any innards out of the body of the squid and remove the clear quill.

If there’s a membrane on the outside of the squid, remove this as well and then cut off the big fin located on each side of the squid.

Next, slice the body into ring shapes, ready to be fried into delicious calamari.

How to make quick and easy fried calamari

The first step is to marinate the squid in buttermilk, mixing together flour and seasonings to create the coating for the squid.

Buttermilk tenderises the calamari, and as an added bonus, offers lots of added flavour while helping to stick the coating to the seafood.

If you don’t want to use buttermilk, you can go for normal milk or lemon juice to tenderise the squid.

Dredge the calamari in the seasoned flour, then place it in a pot of hot oil to cook.

For this recipe you will need:

  • Half a kilo calamari rings or whole squid
  • One cup of buttermilk (or lemon juice/normal milk)
  • 1.5 cups plain flour
  • Two teaspoons salt, plus more for serving
  • Half a teaspoon paprika – can be smoked or regular
  • Quarter teaspoon pepper
  • Quarter teaspoon garlic powder
  • Vegetable oil for frying
  • Two teaspoons chopped fresh parsley for serving

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Place the calamari in a bowl with the buttermilk and stir well to combine.

Cover the bowl and place in the fridge for at least 30 minutes, but longer if you have time.

Heat three to four inches of oil in a large, deep pot and bring to a temperature of 190C.

Place the flour, salt, paprika, pepper and garlic powder into a medium bowl and stir well to combine.

Remove each piece of squid from the buttermilk and dredge into the flour, repeating the process until all pieces are evenly coated.

Place eight to 10 pieces of squid into the oil, depending on their size, and cook for two or three minutes until golden brown and crispy.

Remove the squid from the oil and drain onto a plate laden with paper towels, repeating the process with the remaining squid.

Sprinkle additional salt over the calamari, if desired, alongside some chopped parsley and serve immediately.

Calamari goes well with a Tzatziki style dip or tartare sauce.

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