Crispy Calamari w/ Lemon-Crushed Red Pepper Aioli

Serves 4 as an Appetizer


Lemon-Crushed Red Pepper Aioli

  • 2 egg yolks
  • ¾ cup olive oil
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp minced shallot
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • pinch of cayenne pepper
  • ½ tsp crushed red pepper
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp chopped Italian parsley

For Calamari

  • 10 oz mixed calamari rings & tentacles
  • 6 thin slices fennel
  • 1 cup half & half
  • 1 cup flour (combination of all-purpose & "00" flours suggested)
  • salt & pepper
  • canola oil to fill pot ⅓ deep

Serving Suggestions

  • grilled romaine lettuce
  • lemon slices


Make Aioli

  1. Whisk egg yolks until light and airy, about 45 seconds
  2. Drizzle in olive oil, a little at a time while whisking vigorously
  3. Whisk in remaining ingredients
  4. Refrigerate until serving

Bread & Fry Calamari

  1. Heat canola oil in a heavy-bottomed pot to 350º over medium heat
  2. In a large bowl, add calamari rings and tentacles, sliced fennel and half & half. Stir and let soak for 15 seconds
  3. In a separate large bowl, mix together flour(s), salt and pepper
  4. With a slotted spoon, transfer the calamari and fennel into the flour, allowing the excess half & half to drain off. Toss in flour to coat, and transfer to preheated oil (shaking off excess flour)
  5. Fry until golden, about 45 seconds
  6. Transfer to a paper towel-line plate to absorb excess oil
  7. Serve with Lemon-Crushed Red Pepper Aioli and grilled romaine and fresh lemon slices if desired