fried calamari with smoky chive mayonnaise
There are a great many takes on making your own mayonnaise, and they are all good. Usually I go with olive oil as opposed to other oils because, well, I just love the olive taste! And traditionally I would use lemon juice and add a touch of mustard, so feel free to make those adjustments if you are looking for a more classic mayonnaise. But for this recipe I find a milder mayonnaise flavor lends itself to taking on a smokiness that goes scrumptiously with fried calamari!
fried calamari with smoky chive mayonnaise recipe:
3 egg yolks
1 cup vegetable oil
3 tbs lime juice
fine sea salt
2 tbs finely chopped chives
1 tsp smoked paprika
2 cups sliced calamari (approx.)
1 cup corn flour
1/4 cup panko
4 cups vegetable oil
To start with, make sure your eggs are at room temperature. (Thank you Julia Child!) Separate the yolks from the whites and reserve the egg whites for breading your calamari. Grab your whisk. Ohhh yes, we are whisking. Whisk your egg yolks for a couple minutes until thick and sticky. Start adding your oil, slowly. We’re talking, drop by tiny drop at first. Let it get some strength and build a good base then add the oil faster.
Admission of guilt: I may have had my husband take over the whisking for a minute while I nursed a cramp… I vow to be stronger.
Once you’ve got a lovely thick consistency, all your oil is incorporated, and your arm has numbed to the point of no feeling, add 2 tbs of the lime juice and season with fine sea salt to taste. Spoon ½ cup of the mixture into a small bowl and store the rest in an air-tight container in the fridge to use as desired. Add 1 tbs lime juice, chopped chives and smoked paprika to your ½ cup mayonnaise. Then sample it, and triumph over just how rocking it tastes!
Heat your vegetable oil over medium heat until it bubbles and sizzles when you put a test piece of whatever veg is lying around in it. Doesn’t that sound so technical? (I recommend oil that has been used previously. Many times. Sound gross? Perhaps. The taste and overall result, however? The only way to go.) For your calamari, pat it dry and season with a little salt. Dredge in flour, then your reserved egg white, then the corn flour/panko mixture. Drop into the oil in batches, revel at the sizzle, until golden and looking at it makes you go “Ooh that is perfect!”. Fish them out with a spider skimmer and transfer to paper towel. Sprinkle with sea salt.
Serve fried calamari immediately with smoky mayonnaise and lemon wedges. Make sure to exclaim out loud how fantastic it is. Don’t hold it in. You just made mayonnaise by hand, for Pete’s sake!
(So what if you had a 60 second break? It still counts!)