- 1 pound cleaned squid (thawed if frozen)
- 2 cups buttermilk
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons Creole Seasoning
- 1 cup masa harina (available in Latin markets and many supermarkets)
- 1 cup bleached all-purpose flour
- Vegetable oil for deep-frying
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
- Creole Olive Salad
Cut the body sacs of the squid into 1-inch rings. Trim the clusters of tentacles as desired (cut in half or quarters).
Mix the buttermilk with 1/4 cup of the Essence in a mixing bowl. Add the squid and marinate for 30 minutes at room temperature.
Combine the masa harina and all-purpose flour with the remaining 2 tablespoons Essence in a shallow dish.
Pour enough oil into a large, deep heavy pot or electric deep fryer to come halfway up the sides and heat to 360°F. In batches, remove the squid from the buttermilk mixture and dredge in the flour mixture, shaking to remove any excess flour. Without crowding, carefully add the squid to the hot oil and deep-fry, turning occasionally to prevent the pieces from sticking together, until golden on all sides, 2 to 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to paper towels to drain. Season with salt and pepper.
To serve, place the calamari on plates, sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese, and top with the olive salad.