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Kicked Up Calamari With Creole Olive Salad


  • 1 pound cleaned squid (thawed if frozen), bodies cut into 1-inch rings, tentacles trimmed
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons Emeril's Original Essence
  • 2 tablespoons hot sauce
  • 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


  • In a bowl, mix the buttermilk with 1/4 cup of the Essence and the hot sauce. Add the squid and marinate for 30 minutes to 1 hour at room temperature.??In a shallow dish, combine the masa harina and all-purpose flour with the remaining 2 tablespoons Essence.??Into a large, deep pot or deep fryer, pour enough oil to come halfway up the sides and heat to 360 degrees 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, and top with the olive salad.??Yield: 4 to 6 appetizer servings