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|27th March 2013, 11:39 AM||#1|
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Melbourne, Victoria
Calamari with smoked tomato sauce
The inspiration for this dish came from ... take-away fried squid with tomato sauce! I wondered if I could jazz it up a little and make it a dinner party dish. This is a very easy recipe to make - the only difficulty is that you need a deep fryer. My deep fry setup is a stock pot over a gas hob and my IR thermometer.
My basic idea when I made up this recipe was to contrast the crunch of the squid batter against the crunch of the vegetables, and balance the richness of the squid with the lightness of the tomato sauce and pungency of the raw onion, celery, and radish. Be sparing with the liquid smoke, you want a hint of it only.
Ingredients - serves two
- 800gm peeled fresh tomatoes or 2x 250g tinned tomatoes
- liquid smoke (optional)
- 2 cloves of garlic, whole
- 2 sticks of celery, brunoise (i.e 2mm x 2mm dice)
- 1 bunch of radish, brunoise
- 1/2 a red onion, brunoise
- 2 squid tubes
- 2 eggs
- Trisol (optional)
- assorted dried herbs - parsley, oregano, thyme
- oil for deep frying
Start making the tomato sauce. The tomato sauce is simply reduced tomato. This is how to reduce the tomato without burning - either empty the can into a saucepan or place the peeled whole tomatoes into it. Cover with a lid. Once fluid starts to weep from the tomatoes, fish them out onto a strainer set on top of a bowl. Cover with foil and leave for one hour. Now reduce whatever is in the bowl in the saucepan until it is as dry as you can get it without burning. Return the tomatoes to the saucepan then stir. Whizz it up with a stick blender. When still hot, place the cloves of garlic in your sauce to infuse. Adjust seasoning and add liquid smoke to taste. Your sauce is ready.
While you are waiting for the sauce, make the brunoise. You want equal quantities of each vegetable, like this:
Once you have chopped all the veggies, plunge them in ice water with a tablespoon of sugar dissolved in it and keep it in the fridge. This will make the veggies super crunchy.
For the squid, cut it into the shape illustrated below. These are "almost" squid rings, but I left them attached together with a central spine. It looks nicer than plain squid rings.
Now set up a dredging station. Add seasoning and herbs to the flour. If you have Trisol, add 40% Trisol by weight (i.e. for every 100gm of flour, add 40gm Trisol). Trisol is a wheat protein extract that makes batters super crunchy and provides a dryer, less oily finish. Its advantage is that it puts up with all sorts of abuse - you can even drench it in sauce and it remains crispy. Do not use more than 50%, because you can take it too far and make the batter hard.
Dredge the squid in the flour, then the egg, then back in the flour. Deep fry at 180C and drain on paper towels.
Reheat the sauce, then discard the garlic. Spoon the sauce on a plate then generously sprinkle with brunoise. Set the squid on top and serve:
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