As we approach the midway point of our barbeque season it is nice to change up the menu a little bit.
Calamari is a relatively inexpensive, low fat, low sodium seafood that is high in lean protein. The low cost makes calamari the ideal seafood to experiment with, as you are not putting out a large sum of money in the event you do not cook it perfectly the first time.
Having said that, this dish is dead easy to make. The key point when cooking calamari is to not overcook it. Once it turns opaque – which can take mere minutes – it is pretty much done. Think hot and fast.
We love serving calamari with a creamy sauce. Aioli is a garlicky mayonnaise traditionally made as a thick, spicy accompaniment to seafood.
To round out this meal we are going to suggest a wine pairing. We are making a more conscious effort to enjoy food and wine pairings and to discover how to elevate your dining experience.
Rosewood Estates is located in Beamsville, Ont. The 2008 Natalie’s Sussreseve Riesling is their winemaker’s signature product, with bright notes of lemon, peach and wildflowers. Their 2008 Gewurtztaminer would also work very well with this appetizer.
Grilled Calamari with Aioli
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
- 2 lb calamari tubes, (T& J’s)
- 1 lemon
Rinse the tubes under cold water, removing anything from their bodies. Drain and pat dry, placing your knife on the inside of the tube cut the calamari open (it will look like a triangle). Score calamari with a cross-hatch pattern on the outside of the calamari, be careful not to cut all the way through;
Place calamari in a bowl and drizzle with a really good olive oil, salt, pepper and a squeeze of lemon. Do not allow to sit more than five minutes as the lemon will “cook” the calamari (marinating seafood in an acid is known as seviche and that is another recipe);
Preheat grill or grill pan. Grill for 2- 3 minutes (calamari will turn opaque). Squeeze on a little more fresh lemon;
Serve calamari with aioli.
- 3 cloves garlic, rasped
- 1 egg yolk
- Half juice of a fresh lemon, or to taste
- 1 cup vegetable or grapeseed oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
Mix together egg yolk, vinegar and garlic. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil until thicken;
Season to taste. Plate with calamari. If you are in a real hurry, use a good quality store-bought mayo and add some garlic and freshly squeezed lemon.