Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Fried Calamari - The Official Appetizer of Rhode Island


On Friday, the 27th of June, 2014, a bill was signed naming calamari as the official appetizer of the State of Rhode Island. Seeing as RI accounts for nearly half of the East Coast's annual quota of squid, it would only stand to reason that calamari should be honored as the State's official starter. This momentous event was hosted by The Town Dock at their Point Judith location, where the bill was signed by Governor Chafee, and was immediately followed by generous portions of "Rhode Island-Style Calamari" served up fried with hot cherry peppers and garlic.

Luckily, the good folks over at The Town Dock were kind enough to provide us with plenty of fresh squid to cook up a few batches of calamari today. So we are honored to feature their quality product alongside ours, as we make today's dish in commemoration of it being the official appetizer of Rhode Island - Fried Calamari!!

If you've never tried fried calamari, then you are definitely missing out on a wonderful seafood treat. And if you've never been to Rhode Island - or haven't visited our fabulous little state in awhile - then a taste of amazingly fresh and perfectly delicious RI calamari is a great reason to take a ride to the Ocean State!

For those of you who don't have time for the trip, we thought we would offer you a look at how Drum Rock does calamari, in the hopes that you, too, will give the fabulous official appetizer of Rhode Island a taste! So grab a bag of Drum Rock and some fresh calamari, and let's fry up a batch together!!



Fried Calamari






For Fis-Chic Fried Calamari:

Ingredients:
  • 2 pounds of calamari rings (fresh or defrosted)
  • 5 cups of Drum Rock Fis-Chic
  • 3 cups of water
  • Oil for frying
  • Fryolator


Directions:

If using calamari that is frozen, make sure it is completely defrosted and drained over a colander before use, otherwise you will have under-cooked and/or soggy calamari.


1. Fill the fryolator with oil and turn to 375° F.

2. While the oil is heating, add 2 cups of Drum Rock Fis-Chic to a large mixing bowl, and slowly stir in about 3 cups of water until desired consistency is reached (you need a pretty loose wet wash, because we are just giving the calamari a light coat). To another bowl, add 3 cups of Fis-Chic for the dry dredge.

3. Once oil is up to temp, place a large handful (10-12 calamari rings) into the wet wash, making sure to coat well, then allow the excess wash to drip off before transferring to the dry dredge.


4. Make sure to thoroughly coat all the rings, inside and out, with the dry mix so that you get a good crispy coat all over. Once coated, shake off excess mix and very carefully place in the hot oil.



5. Each batch should take no more than 1 minute to cook, making sure to move the calamari around a bit in the oil by shaking the fry basket so you get an even cook. You will know they are done when the rapid bubbles slow down, and the calamari rises up and turns a perfect golden-brown color.



6. Once cooked, remove from oil and allow to cool on a paper towel or plate before serving.




For Spicey-Fried Calamari:

Ingredients:
  • 2 pounds of calamari rings (fresh or defrosted)
  • 5 cups of Drum Rock Spicey-Fry
  • 3 cups of water
  • Oil for frying
  • Fryolator


Directions:

If using calamari that is frozen, make sure it is completely defrosted and drained over a colander before use, otherwise you will have under-cooked and/or soggy calamari.


1. Fill the fryolator with oil and turn to 375° F.

2. While the oil is heating, add 2 cups of Drum Rock Spicey-Fry to a large mixing bowl, and slowly stir in about 3 cups of water until desired consistency is reached (you need a pretty loose wet wash, because we are just giving the calamari a light coat). To another bowl, add 3 cups of Spicey-Fry for the dry dredge.

3. Once oil is up to temp, place a large handful (10-12 calamari rings) into the wet wash, making sure to coat well, then allow the excess wash to drip off before transferring to the dry dredge.


4. Make sure to thoroughly coat all the rings, inside and out, with the dry mix so that you get a good crispy coat all over. Once coated, shake off excess mix and very carefully place in the hot oil. 



5. Each batch should take no more than 1 minute to cook, making sure to move the calamari around a bit in the oil by shaking the fry basket so you get an even cook. You will know they are done when the rapid bubbles slow down, and the calamari rises up and turns a perfect golden-brown color.


6. Once cooked, remove from oil and allow to cool on a paper towel or plate before serving.




Fried calamari is such a simple dish and there are so many different ways to prepare it, that you will never get bored. And the best part? You can dress your dish up any way you like! Drum Rock makes this dish even more versatile because we offer the ability to enjoy either a spicier version with our Spicey-Fry, or a more mild version using our Fis-Chic. 

While fried calamari is always great on its own, we like ours with a little spice. That's why we did a few batches in our Spicey-Fry Mix, which offers the perfect spicy kick without being overwhelming. And that heat is balanced by the delicately sweet squid, making for a perfect combination.

If you're looking for a milder dish, just try your calamari in our Fis-Chic Wonder Batter. That way you can build the flavor you want after frying. We tried ours with a few banana pepper rings (which still pack quite a punch!) but a little squeeze of lemon and a dollop of tartar sauce would definitely be amazing, too. Another classic preparation for fried calamari offers marinara sauce on the side. 

It doesn't matter how you choose to eat it, all that matters is that you enjoy it as much as we do!! And the next time you're chowing down on a heaping plate of calamari, just remember the good old state of Rhode Island is probably where it came from!!

















Enjoy!!!




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