Crispy Calamari & Cherry Tomato Sauce

This week I was in State College with my team for the annual Architectural Engineering conference, where we presented our thesis on a sustainable elementary school. Our first 24 hours there were spent practicing our presentation non-stop, so it's needless to say that we racked up a healthy room service bill. 

I love when I have great options on a room service menu, so this got me thinking about what was missing from ours this week. Relentless practicing calls for great bar food, in particular one of my favorite things in the world: fried calamari. So I came up with this delicious recipe for lightly coated and shallow fried calamari, along with a yummy cherry tomato sauce. 

Crispy Calamari & Cherry Tomato Sauce
Yield: 4 Servings

1 lb squid (caps and legs)
1 cup flour
1/2 lemon
1 cup vegetable oil
2 tbsp olive oil
1 pint cherry tomatoes, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp thyme leaves
kosher salt
black pepper

Preheat a small pan over medium heat and add the olive oil to it. Then place the sliced cherry tomatoes, the minced garlic, the thyme leaves, as well as some salt and pepper into the pan. Stirring this every so often, allow it to cook for about twenty minutes. Then using an immersion blender, blend it to a smooth consistency.
Start by preheating a large pan with the vegetable oil in it, over medium heat. Meanwhile, slice the caps of the squid into 1/2" rings. Dry all of the squid with a paper towel, then squeeze the lemon juice over it and toss them. In a small bowl, mix together the flour, as well as some salt and pepper. Place the calamari into the flour in small batches, until it is all well coated in flour. Then place the coated calamari into the hot oil in small batches, until it's perfectly golden. When it's cooked, place it onto a paper towel to drain the excess oil and sprinkle it with a bit more salt. Finally, plate the calamari with the gorgeous tomato sauce and enjoy!


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