Ah, the good old R.I.G. (random ingredient generator). I’d spent yesterday afternoon staring listlessly at my laptop, barely a word of sense escaping my fingertips. I couldn’t begin to think of what to have for tea. But then the lovely people of twitter suggested squid, smoked paprika, fennel and parsley, and like that supper was sorted.
3 squid tubes
A few tablespoons of plain flour
A teaspoon of hot smoked paprika
2 eggs, beaten
A good handful of breadcrumbs
500ml sunflower oil
For the salad
A head of fennel
A ball of mozzarella
A big handful of flatleaf parsley
Oak-roasted tomatoes (optional)
You’ll also need
Lemons, olive oil, salt, pepper
- Slice the squid to ~8mm thick. In three separate (large) bowls put the flour along with smoked paprika and plenty of salt and pepper. Put the beaten eggs in the next and the breadcrumbs in the third. Toss the squid rings first through the flour, then the eggs (you’ll need to transfer the rings one at a time, shaking off excess flour), then finally the breadcrumbs. Set aside.
- Trim the fennel and slice very thinly at an angle. Dress with lemon juice and olive oil and add torn pieces of mozzarella, the parsley, and the tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper.
- Put the oil in a wide saute pan over a medium-high heat and let it get good and hot. It’s vital that the oil is hot enough when you start frying, otherwise you’ll end up with greasy calamari. Add the rings and fry for about 60 seconds – do it in 3 batches, keeping them warm in a low oven as you go. They should be crisp and golden.
- Serve with the salad and a good squeeze of lemon juice. We had aioli for dunking, a recipe for which is here.