Fried Calamari - Traditional Christmas Eve Recipe
Easy recipe for making delicious fried calamari at home
On Christmas Eve at our house we enjoy a traditional seafood dinner. The menu changes from year to year depending on how many guests we are having and what the family budget looks like but the one dish that has been present every single Christmas Eve for the past twenty five years is Fried Calamari.
Fried calamari, also known as fried squid, or Calamari Fritti in Italian, is a delicious treat that is very economical to make.
Although we are becoming more and more health conscious and try to limit the amount of fried food we eat during the year, at Christmas we loosen up a bit and enjoy these "Italian Potato Chips" without guilt.
Of course you can use this recipe all year round but for my family, it wouldn't be Christmas Eve without the fried calamari.
Give your Squid a Milk Bath
I learned this trick from the chef at a favorite restaurant of mine.
Soaking the squid in milk prior to frying will keep the squid tender.
Fried Calamari Recipe
Recipe for Fried Squid
Here's my recipe for delicious tender-on-the-inside crispy-on-the-outside fried calamari. The secret to keeping your calamari tender is the milk bath!
2 pounds squid - properly cleaned and sliced into 1/4 inch rings
Milk (enough to cover your calamari rings)
1 cup all-purpose flour
Olive oil for frying - to cut costs use vegetable or Canola oil
1 lemon - sliced into wedges
Marinara sauce - optional
I always start with fresh pre-cleaned squid purchased at the fish market. You can clean your own but for me it's just not worth the extra time and trouble.
Slice the body section of the squidcrosswise into 1/4 inch rings.
Wash the squid, place it into a bowl and cover with milk.
Let the squid marinate in the milk for several hours before cooking.
When it's time to cook the squid, drain the milk.
Dip the squid rings into flour to coat evenly.
Discard unused flour.
Pour Olive oil to a depth of 1 inch in a large frying pan and heat until hot.
Add the squid rings a few at a time and fry until golden brown.
Remove the fried calamari using a slotted spoon and drain on clean paper towels.
Sprinkle with salt and place fried calamari onto a platter accompanied by sliced lemon wedges and a bowl of warm marinara sauce.
Company's Coming for Christmas Eve - You'll need more calamari and a bigger skillet!
And I've found a real beauty of a 12 inch skillet for you from Innova!
Imagine a non-stick fry pan that's tough enough to use your favorite metal utensils with. It even comes with a 25 year warranty. Now that's what I call a good fried calamari frying pan!
It may cost a little bit more but you get what you pay for!
Traditional Seafood Dinner on Christmas Eve - Feast of the Seven Fishes
Christmas Eve Seafood Cookbook - The Eve of Seven Fishes: Christmas Cooking In The Peasant Tradition
Why We Eat Fish on Christmas Eve
The tradition of eating seafood on Christmas Eve dates from the medieval Roman Catholic tradition of abstinence-in this case, refraining from the consumption of meat or milk products-on Fridays and specific holy days. As no meat or butter could be used, observant Catholics would instead eat fish, typically fried in oil.
There are many hypotheses for what the number "7" relates to, one being the number of Sacraments in the Roman Catholic Church. Another theory is that seven is a number representing perfection: the traditional Biblical number for divinity is three, and for Earth is four, and the combination of these numbers, seven, represents God on Earth, or Jesus Christ.
The "Feast of the Seven Fishes" started in Italy. A dinner on Christmas Eve is celebrated with meals of fish and seafood, but there may be seven, eight, or even nine specific fishes that are considered traditional. The most famous dish Southern Italians are known for is BaccalÃ (salted cod fish). Reasons for celebrating with such a simple fish as BaccalÃ is attributed to the greatly impoverished regions of Southern Italy. Fried Smelts, calamari, and other types of seafood have been incorporated into the Christmas Eve dinner over the years, and sensationalized with the American version of "The Seven Fishes."
Christmas Chip and Dip Platter - Perfect for serving Fried Calamari with Marinara Sauce
This pretty Christmas Chip and Dip set works double duty as a perfect server for your Fried Calamari with a side of marinara sauce,
Buy two and use the second one for serving Shrimp Cocktail!
Beautiful Christmas Platters - Perfect for serving your Christmas eve Fried Calamari
Click the product links to learn more about these beautiful Christmas platters available for you direct from from Amazon.com.
More Fried Calamari and Christmas Eve Seafood Recipes
- Fried Calamari Recipe : Giada De Laurentiis : Food Network
Food Network invites you to try this Fried Calamari recipe from Giada De Laurentiis.
- Fried Calamari Recipe : Emeril Lagasse : Food Network
Food Network invites you to try this Fried Calamari recipe from Emeril Lagasse.
- Fried Calamari Recipe - Italian Food
Calmari Fritto -- A great antipasto - Fried Calamari Recipe - Italian Food is a personally written site at BellaOnline
- Christmas Eve Recipes
A gathering of traditional seafood Christmas eve recipes.