by: Chef Ilona Daniel
1 Pound Calamari, cleaned and cut into 1 inch rings—tentacles left whole
¾ Cup Frank’s Red Hot
¼ Cup Buttermilk
1 Cup All Purpose Flour
1 Teaspoon Kosher Salt, plus more to season after the calamari is fried
½ Teaspoon Black Pepper
Vegetable Oil, for deep frying
In a large bowl, mix the hot sauce and buttermilk together. Add the cleaned calamari—ensuring it’s well covered in the liquid. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for at least 45 minutes.
Place a large colander in the sink and pour the calamari with buttermilk mixture into it. Gently shake the colander to drain off the marinade. Use paper towels to blot off excess liquids.
In a large pot (or deep fryer), preheat oil to 375 degrees.
In a large zip lock bag, add the flour, salt, and pepper. Add the calamari to the zip lock bag and close. Shake well to evenly coat the calamari. Pour the contents of the bag into a large sifter (or you can do this in batches) and sift the calamari to get rid of any extra flour. In batches, carefully add the calamari into the hot oil and cook for about 3-4 minutes or until lightly golden and crispy.
Transfer the fried calamari to a paper towel lined plate and sprinkle with additional salt. Repeat until all the calamari has been fried.
Toss with additional hot sauce (if you prefer a little more heat!), or serve on the side, along with some blue cheese dip.