Cut the body sacs of the squid into 1/2-inch rings and trim the tentacles as necessary.
In a mixing bowl, combine the buttermilk with the hot sauce. Place the squid pieces in the buttermilk mixture and marinate for 30 minutes. In a separate bowl or baking dish, combine the flour with the cornstarch, salt, and pepper.
Heat the oil in a medium, heavy stockpot to 375 degrees F.
Drain the buttermilk from the squid and discard buttermilk. Dredge the squid pieces in the flour mixture and shake off any excess flour. Carefully slip the squid into the hot oil, and cook in batches, turning occasionally, just until the squid float to the surface of the oil and stop crackling, 1 to 2 minutes. (The squid should just be turning a pale golden color when ready.) Using a slotted spoon, remove the calamari from the oil and drain on paper towels. Season, to taste, with Essence and additional salt, if needed. Serve hot with Sweet and Sour Sauce.
Yield: 4 servings