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Calamari Steak: A Delicacy for seafood lovers
The sea is vast and there is no end to the delights and delicacies you can get out of it. In some countries like Japan, sea food is the main staple diet. One of the famous sea foods is Calamari. Although some people think that squid and Calamari is the same thing, they are not. There is a little bit of difference between the taste, texture and other characteristics of a Calamari and a squid.
What is Calamari?
Some people think that calamari is just an Italian name for the squid but this is not the case. Calamari is softer and more expensive as compared to the squid which is cheaper and tougher. They belong to the two different genuses of the same species. Squid belongs to the Teuthodia species while Calamari belongs to the genus sepioteuthis. You can differentiate both by the fins that form the shape of an arrow at the end of the squid’s hood whereas the fins of a Calamari extend all the way down the hood.
Calamari is smaller than the squids; they are best for frying; grilling and making steak because they are tender, get cooked soon and are taste better. Squid on the other hand is best suited for stuffing and stewing. The most popular varieties of Calamari are Sothern and northern Calamari.
There is not much difference between the tastes of two but the texture is different. The meat of a squid is firm and white while Calamari is tender with fishy, mild, sweet and kind of nutty taste.
How to cook Calamari?
The taste of Calamari may differ greatly depending on the method used to cook it and the ingredients used because it has an ability to absorb the flavor very well. It can be firm, rubbery or chewy depending on the cooking time. Overcooking is more likely to make it rubbery. So it is best to tenderize it season it and cook it for the minimal time to retain the taste.
Calamari steaks are also known as Humboldt Squid or Grande Calamari. The steak is prepared by laying the Calamari, flattening it and then cutting the body into segments. Many cooks limit the natural curling of the body by making diagonal cuts outside. The thin membrane will contract when heated which cause it to curl back. Some cooks lightly pound the steak with the mallet to tenderize it, but pounding has to be very gentle.
Breaded Calamari rings are the popular appetizer in the seafood menu but Calamari steaks offer a soft, juicy and meaty addition to the entrée. The steak offers fishy, rich and savory flavor even with the little bit of seasoning and shine through the platter.
Here we are presenting a recipe of sweet, meaty Calamari Steak with lemon and herbs.
Yield: Serves 4
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes
Total: 30 minutes
- ¼ cup olive oil
- ½ tsp crushed red chilli flakes
- 3 garlic cloves crushed
- 1 lb trimmed Broccolini
- 1 tsp chopped parsley
- ¼ cup finely grated parmesan cheese
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp black pepper
- 3 tbsp all purpose flour
- 1 large egg
- 1/3 cup water
- 4 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter
- 4 calamari stakes, thawed
- 1 tsp Mushroom paste (optional)
Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a heavy bottomed 12 inch skillet over moderate heat until it becomes hot but does not start smoking. Then stir fry the garlic paste and crushed chilli flakes for 30 seconds until they turn golden. Add Broccolini and cook on a low flame tossing and turning with the thongs until they are fully covered in the oil. Add water, salt and a dash of black pepper and cover it to cook until tender. Keep stirring occasionally. It will turn crisp tender in about 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer to the dish and keep warm by loosely covering it with the foil.
Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil in the ten inch heavy skillet on a moderately high flame until oil is hot but does not start giving off smoke. Until it heats, stir together the cheese flour and pepper in a large shallow bowl, lightly whisk the egg and water in another bowl. Coat the Calamari steaks completely with the flour mixture and then dip them into the egg until coated completely. Shake off the excess flour or drip off the egg, transfer the steak to the pan and sauté the coated steaks on moderately high flame, turning once after the sides from beneath the steak start appearing golden, it may take 2 minutes 30 seconds approximately for each side of the steak to turn golden. Transfer the cooked steak in a dish with broccolini and loosely cover to keep it warm. Coat, dip and sauté the remaining steaks in the same manner and transfer them to the dish.
To make the sauce:
Pour off the oil from the skillet, add butter, lemon, parsley, and mushroom paste and stir for 45 seconds on low flame. You may also add little bit of corn flour mixed with water to the sauce if you want a sauce with thick and rich texture.
Immediately pour the sauce over the steaks and serve.
The soft Calamari steak with a dash of tanginess of lemon with pepper and creaminess of mushroom paste with parmesan is sure to entice your taste buds.
Calamari is a rich source of minerals such as, selenium, phosphorous, and zinc as well as niacin and vitamin B12. It has high amounts of protein. But, Calamari is low in fat. So, the addition of butter lemon sauce helps with satiety.
A 3 ounce serving of fried Calamari contains about 149 calories and 6.5 grams fat. This is if you use low fat oil for frying but if you are baking it then the fat content will be even more less.
Calamari is a healthy seafood option because of the low amounts of saturated fats in it. Recently, the calamari oil has gained popularity due to the good amount of healthy omega 3 fatty acids it contain and its ability to raise HDL levels.
© 2017 WriterAimz