Calamari “al Ajillo”
Most commonly prepared with shrimp this is one of those dishes where simplicity proves to be the closest road to greatness. We prepare this appetizer with Calamari. Most time we have to explain to customers that this is not the regular Fried and battered Calamari rings with a side of Marinara sauce; which personally I find quite boring and lacking imagination. The ingredients are just a few and pretty basic, such as the preparation. We like the whole Calamari (Head and Tentacles) for a bit of theatricality. Favorite of so many customers; we had a list of people’s phone numbers requesting to be called when the Calamari is on the Menu.
This list is now to be framed and will be used as memorabilia since the Calamari al Ajillo made its way into the regular Menu and it is the regular menu and it is there to stay.
Whole calamari, Guajillo pepper, garlic, clarified butter little salt and pepper, a squeeze of lemon juice and a dash of white wine.
The secret? None! Heat up a cast iron skillet, add butter and seasoning ingredients and just drop the Calamari when sizzling hot; let the heat and fat create a spicy “crust-sauce” coating the seafood and let the flavors melt together. Add the wine at the end and bring sizzling to the table. Eat with pita toasts or garlic bread.
Pairing: A nice Crisp Chardonnay