Fresh rings of squid battered in a seasoned flour that is lightly fried to make the most delectable homemade Calamari Fritti, also known as fried calamari. Don't forget to make the creamy and smokey homemade Smoked Chipotle Aioli. You will forget you are enjoying this at home as this is just as good if not better then what you will find in a restaurant.
Rinse the squid and pat dry with paper towel. Cut the body of the squid (tubes) into ½-inch rings (trim the tentacles as necessary).
In a large bowl combine the milk, egg, and basil leaves. Mix with a fork until lightly beaten. Put the prepared calamari in the milk mixture. Refrigerate for about 15 minutes.
Preheat deep fryer (to 350 degrees Fahrenheit) or skillet with oil 1-inch deep on medium heat.
Mix the flour, paprika, salt, and pepper in a shallow dish. Once the oil is hot toss the calamari in the seasoned flour to coat and immediately place it into the deep fryer.
Fry for one-to-three minutes or until golden brown. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the fried calamari to paper towel lined plate to drain. Sprinkle additional salt, to taste.
Serve immediately with lemon wedges and dipping sauces.
For the Smoked Chipotle Aioli:
Using a food processor or a high speed blender combine all the ingredients and blend for 1 minute or until well combined. Refrigerate the sauce until ready to serve. Serve as a dipping sauce with fried calamari.
Spicy - If you like a spicier sauce add an additional Chipotle in Adobo Sauce. Keep the seeds in for extra heat.
Mild Spice - Do not use a whole chipotle at all. Instead use the sauce from the can. Start with 1 tablespoon and add additional for spicier sauce.
Extra Crispy - To achieve crispy restaurant style calamari you will want to use a deep fryer. The stove top works, but I have found it just does not get as crispy as you get in the restaurants.
Air Fryer Cooking Instructions:
Preheat the air fryer to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
Follow the steps to coat and dredge the squid per my recipe.
Spray the wire racks with non-stick cooking spray. Place coated rings and tentacles in the on the air fryer racks in a single layer, then spray olive oil cooking spray on top.
Place the racks in the Air Fryer and cook for 10 minutes, flipping halfway through and respraying the other side.
NOTE: Picture 1 is raw, picture 2 is half way through, picture 3 is fully cooked.
Cooking in an Air Fryer basket? Cook for 4 minutes, then flip, and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes.