This weekend has certainly been a fun one; good sushi, good company and a great martini on Friday naturally led to a Saturday craving for a flavorful and delicious meal. In an attempt to maintain some semblance of self-respect, though, I opted for a baked meal rather than it’s dirty and delicious fried doppelgänger. I picked up a half pound of squid rings and a fresh zucchini at Treasure Island and got down to battering business. I don’t often bread food prior to cooking, so I looked up a few recipes to find a consensus on the best method. Using tempura flakes for the squid and plain old bread crumbs for the zucchini, I varied the seasonings for each per the recipes below. The outcome was delish; crispy on the outside and tender on the inside – I’ll definitely be making these dishes again!
- If not already, make sure to clean the calamari.
- Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- Sparsely oil a baking pan to avoid sticking
- Lightly beat the eggs.
- Mix the Old Bay into the panko to taste.
- Set up an assembly line to coat the squid rings with flour, then egg, then panko.
- Dredge the rings in flour, lightly dusting off any excess or clumps.
- Coat the floured rings in the egg mixture.
- Drop the rings into the panko, making sure all sides are covered completely.
- Gently set the battered rings onto the greased pan.
- Work quickly to coat all squid pieces.
- Bake at 400 for roughly 10 minutes, gently turning the pieces around minute 7.
- Good luck! Remember that overcooked squid can be chewy and tough, but undercooking wont allow the breading to crisp. It’s a balancing act but worth every wobble!
- Garnish with lemon and marinara (we all know calamari is amazing with tartar sauce but I’m trying to set a good influence here!)
Baked Zucchini Fries:
- Scrub the zucchini until squeaky clean.
- Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Sparsely oil a baking pan to avoid sticking.
- Lightly beat the eggs.
- Mix the seasoning mix into the breadcrumbs to taste.
- Slice the zucchini. I went for the french fry shape but I can also personally vouch for the coin variety.
- Set up an assembly line to coat zucchini with flour, then egg, then panko.
- Dredge the zucchini slices in flour, lightly dusting off any excess or clumps.
- Coat the floured slices in the egg mixture.
- Drop the zucchini into the panko, making sure all sides are covered completely.
- Gently set the battered zucchini onto the greased pan.
- Bake at 350 for roughly 30 minutes, flipping 2-3 times.
- Garnish with marinara and enjoy!