Fried calamari is virtually impossible to resist for me. Since I know that breaded AND fried food are not so healthy, I was excited when I saw Rocco take on this recipe in his book. I know I go on and on about this book, but seriously, every recipe I’ve tried – and there have been a few (crab and bacon stuffed mushrooms, panko crusted pork caesar salad, shrimp pad thai, creamy pasta with bacon, steak au poivre, pork and snap pea stir fry with orange peanut sauce…) – has been amazing. One of the tricks to getting a fried texture is the use of panko breadcrumbs. Whole wheat panko can be tricky to find, but once you do – stock up. I found mine at Whole Foods and my mom snagged some for me at a health food store while on vacation in Florida. Another trick is using the wire rack so that the heat in the oven can get on all sides of the food – this is key for maximum crispiness. My roomie and I devoured these…”serves 4″ is clearly just a suggestion, right?
Oven Fried Calamari
Serves 4 as appetizer
Recipe from Now Eat This!
Here’s what I used:
- 1/2 lb cleaned calamari bodies, sliced into rings (+ a few tentacles)
- 2 cups whole wheat panko breadcrumbs
- 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
- 4 egg whites
- garlic salt
- black pepper
- lemon, tobasco, and spicy marinara to serve
- olive oil spray or nonstick cooking spray
Here’s what I did:
- Preheat oven to 450.
- Place a wire wrack on top of a baking sheet that’s been lined with foil.
- Set up your breading station: Place the bread crumbs and flour in 2 separate shallow dishes. In a medium bowl, crack your egg whites, and whisk them until very frothy (but no soft peaks).
- Working in batches, dredge the calamari in the flour, then the egg whites, then coat them with the breadcrumbs. Line up on the baking rack, season liberally with garlic salt and pepper, and spray lightly with olive oil spray.
- Bake for 15 minutes until you can’t wait any longer. Serve with a spicy marinara (no sugar added, if you can), lemon wedges, and tobasco.