Sweet and Spicy Calamari

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  • Serves: 2 Servings
  • Prep Time: 5 mins
  • Cooking: 4 mins
  • Total Time: 9 min

Christina and I both love seafood and we really really really love scallops, but those suckers are expensive. When we are willing to fork over the cash to make our Bacon Green Apple Scallops or die and go to heaven with our Seared Scallop and Orzo Pasta its a great treat. But, fiscally its not always that prudent to pay for scallops, especially with the prices they fetch here in Manhattan.

We had made squid a few years ago, before we really started cooking, and it was awful. It smelled like fish, tasted like fish, and we overcooked it so it tasted like rubber. WELLL, since then, we have learned a little bit more about cooking and were ready to give it another shot. Not to mention, the entire recipe cost us about $7. For a recipe with intense flavors and a 5-star feel, but at the .5 star price, this one is worth a shot.



Start by thawing the squid if you bought it frozen. You can do this by letting it sit in warm salt water, otherwise the fishiness kinda marinades its way into the flavor.

Sweet and Spicy Calamari

Once you have the them thawed, place them in a bowl with lemon juice for about 5 minutes to help it neutralize that ocean smell- it works WONDERS!

Sweet and Spicy Calamari

As your calamari sit in the lemon juice, slice the peppers very thinly like in the first photo, juice 1 oz of the orange and also slice off a few pieces of the skin like you would for a cocktail so we can use the oils in our dish, and then mince your ginger and garlic. Along with your butter and wine, you can toss ALL of that into a skillet to keep it out of your way.

Sweet and Spicy Calamari

When your calamari has sat for a few minutes, drain the lemon juice and using paper towels pat the calamari dry. Try to squeeze any liquid from the tubes cause its just salt water and removing it will lessen the fishy smell.

Sweet and Spicy Calamari

Using a sharp knife, thinly slice the squid into 1/4 inch rings and set aside. You will notice lots of excess water from cutting them and yes, you guessed it, we want to dry them once more before adding them into our skillet. Once dried and cut into rings, start your skillet on medium heat and sauté the orange peels, peppers, garlic, and ginger for 1-2 minutes. Add in the white wine and orange juice and reduce by half before adding in the Calamari.

Sweet and Spicy Calamari Sweet and Spicy Calamari

When the liquid has reduced by half, add in your calamari and stir constantly. These only need 1-2 minutes to cook through and overcooking them can make them chewy and almost inedible. In our photo we used both the tentacles and the bodies, but we liked the little rings much better and most likely won't use the tentacles moving forward.

Remove from the heat and serve immediately with crispy french bread, a nice Dry Riesling Which You Can Learn More About with our Sommelier App or as seen in the photo below a Bitter Boulevardier which pairs so nicely with this dish. Enjoy!

Sweet and Spicy Calamari

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