1 lb squid (about 15), uncleaned
1 cup flour
1 cup cornmeal
½ tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
¼ tsp garlic powder
¼ tsp onion powder
1/8th tsp cayenne pepper
@4 cups vegetable oil, enough to fill a medium size sauce pot about 3 inches
lemon wedge, for garnish
Clean the squid.
The tentacles can be left as is once separated from the beak and innards. The body, once removed of the cartilage, will be sliced into ¼ inch ringlets.
In a large bowl, mix the flour, cornmeal and spices together very well. This is our coating.
Get the temperature of the hot oil to about 365° F and once the temperature is stable. Set the stop watch at 42 seconds.
Grab the cleaned squid tentacles and ringlets and dunk into the bowl of coating.
Use a medium mesh colander to shake off the excess coating and drop the squid into the hot oil and start the timer!
You can also use a metal mesh basket to drop the coated squid into before dunking basket and squid into the hot oil.
It is also good practice to toss a couple pieces in at first and test the 42 second time. Different vessels of oil will produce different results, maybe your perfect calamari are done at 36 seconds or perhaps 50 seconds! I find 42 was perfect at a restaurant I worked at so it will vary.
Remove that calamari quickly drain and shake off the extra oil, maybe even a roll with some tough paper towels then serve within 25 seconds (aka immediately!) with a side of aoili, Italian red sauce or cocktail sauce, don't forget to garnish with a lemon wedge and or some fresh chopped herbs!