Calamari Sauteed Recipe

by vitus
Calamari Sauteed

Cooking seafood at home might be nerve-racking. But fear not, fellow adventurer of the kitchen! Tonight, this calamari sauteed recipe is conquering the world of delicious yet approachable appetizers.

What Is Calamari Sauteed?

“Calamari sautéed” refers to calamari (squid) cooked quickly in a small amount of oil or butter over high heat. Sautéing involves quickly cooking the food in a hot pan, typically with a small amount of fat, to brown the surface while retaining moisture and flavor. 

Ingredients:

  • Calamari: 1 pound, cleaned and cut into rings or tentacles (you can find cleaned calamari at most seafood markets)
  • Extra virgin olive oil: ¼ cup
  • Garlic: 2-3 cloves, minced
  • Shallots: 1 shallot, thinly sliced (optional)
  • Hot pepper: ½ jalapeno, minced (seeds and membranes optional; adjust for spice preference)
  • Dry white wine: ¼ cup
  • Lemon juice: 1 tablespoon
  • Capers: ¼ cup, drained
  • Pitted black olives: ¼ cup, sliced (optional)
  • Paprika: 1 teaspoon
  • Fresh herbs: ½ cup chopped parsley, chives, or a combination (optional)
  • Panko breadcrumbs: ½ cup (for garnish, optional)
  • Salt and pepper: to taste

Instructions:

  1. Prep the Calamari: Pat the calamari dry with paper towels. This is crucial to prevent them from steaming instead of searing.
  2. Heat the Oil: Heat olive oil over medium-low heat in a large skillet or pan.
  3. Sauté the Aromatics: Add garlic, shallots (if using), and hot pepper. Sauté for 4-5 minutes until fragrant and softened but not browned.
  4. Increase the Heat: Raise the heat to medium-high.
  5. Sear the Calamari: Add the calamari in a single layer (you may need to work in batches to avoid overcrowding the pan). Cook for 30 seconds to 1 minute per side or until lightly golden brown and just opaque. Don’t overcook, or the calamari will become tough and rubbery.
  6. Deglaze the Pan: Add white wine and lemon juice once the calamari is seared. Scrape up any browned bits from the base of the pan and add them into the sauce. Let the wine cook for a minute or two to reduce slightly.
  7. Flavor Boost: Add capers, olives (if using), and paprika. Cook for another minute.
  8. Finish and Serve: Remove from heat and stir in fresh herbs (if using). Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve right away and garnish with lemon wedges for squeezing on the calamari, alongside crusty bread for dipping in the flavorful sauce.

Tips:

  • For extra crispy calamari, toss them in a light dusting of flour before searing.
  • Don’t overcrowd the pan when searing the calamari. This will trap moisture and prevent them from browning properly.
  • Fresh is best, but thawed frozen calamari can also be used. Just be sure to pat it very dry before cooking.
  • Replace white wine with chicken broth for a non-alcoholic option.
  • Get creative with herbs! Try a combination of parsley, basil, or even a pinch of saffron.
  • Add a tablespoon of olive oil and butter when sautéing the aromatics for a richer flavor.
  • Leftover calamari can be stored in a refrigerator for up to 2 days in an airtight container. However, reheating can affect the texture, so it’s best enjoyed fresh.

What To Serve With

Pasta:

  • Serve the calamari sauteed over a bed of al dente pasta (spaghetti or linguine) tossed with a light olive oil or butter sauce. Add chopped fresh herbs and grated Parmesan cheese as garnish.

Salad:

  • A simple green salad complements the calamari sauteed dish well. Include ingredients like arugula, cherry tomatoes, cucumber slices, and a sprinkle of feta cheese.

Grilled Vegetables:

  • Grilled or roasted vegetables like asparagus, zucchini, or bell peppers add a smoky flavor and a touch of sweetness to the calamari sauteed meal. Drizzle with balsamic glaze for extra depth.

Crusty Bread:

  • Serve with slices of crusty bread or garlic bread to soak up any delicious juices left on the plate.

Wine Pairing:

  • White Wine: A crisp, unoaked Chardonnay or a Sauvignon Blanc complements the lightness of the calamari and enhances the herbal flavors.
  • Sparkling Wine: A dry sparkling wine or Prosecco can also be a refreshing choice to balance the calamari sauteed dish richness.

Health Benefits

  • High In Protein: Calamari is a good source of lean protein. A 3-ounce (85 grams) serving of cooked calamari provides about 15 grams of protein. Protein is crucial for muscle repair, growth, and maintaining overall health.
  • Low In Calories: Sautéing calamari without excessive oil or butter helps keep the calorie content low. This makes it suitable for those watching their calorie intake while still getting a satisfying meal.
  • Rich In Essential Nutrients: Calamari contains vital nutrients such as vitamin B12, essential for the production of red blood cells and neuronal function. It also provides minerals like selenium and phosphorus, which support various bodily functions.
  • Source Of Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Squid, from which calamari is derived, contains omega-3 fatty acids, particularly DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid). These fatty acids are essential for their cardiovascular benefits, including reduction in inflammation and supporting heart health.
  • Low In Saturated Fat: When sautéed with minimal oil or butter, calamari remains low in saturated fat. This type of fat is linked to an increased risk of heart disease when consumed in excess, so choosing low-fat cooking methods helps maintain heart health.
  • Versatility In Preparation: Sautéed calamari can be paired with various vegetables, herbs, and spices, enhancing its nutritional profile. Adding garlic, tomatoes, spinach, or bell peppers adds flavor and boosts the dish’s vitamin, antioxidant, and dietary fiber content.
  • Easy Digestibility: Calamari is generally easy to digest, making it appropriate for those with delicate digestive systems. Sautéing calamari quickly helps retain its tenderness and makes it easier to chew and digest.

Final Thoughts

Calamari sauteed is a culinary gem that’s surprisingly simple to prepare. This dish offers a delightful textural contrast – tender, perfectly cooked calamari with a hint of char from the sear, all bathed in a flavorful and slightly acidic sauce. Whether served as an appetizer or a light main course, sautéed calamari will impress your guests.

More Seafood Recipes:

Calamari Sauteed

Rating: 5.0/5
( 1 voted )
Serves: 4 Prep Time: Cooking Time: Nutrition facts: 126.5 calories 1.9 grams fat

Ingredients

  • Calamari: 1 pound, cleaned and cut into rings or tentacles (you can find cleaned calamari at most seafood markets)
  • Extra virgin olive oil: ¼ cup
  • Garlic: 2-3 cloves, minced
  • Shallots: 1 shallot, thinly sliced (optional)
  • Hot pepper: ½ jalapeno, minced (seeds and membranes optional; adjust for spice preference)
  • Dry white wine: ¼ cup
  • Lemon juice: 1 tablespoon
  • Capers: ¼ cup, drained
  • Pitted black olives: ¼ cup, sliced (optional)
  • Paprika: 1 teaspoon
  • Fresh herbs: ½ cup chopped parsley, chives, or a combination (optional)
  • Panko breadcrumbs: ½ cup (for garnish, optional)
  • Salt and pepper: to taste

Instructions

  1. Prep the Calamari: Pat the calamari dry with paper towels. This is crucial to prevent them from steaming instead of searing.
  2. Heat the Oil: Heat olive oil over medium-low heat in a large skillet or pan.
  3. Sauté the Aromatics: Add garlic, shallots (if using), and hot pepper. Sauté for 4-5 minutes until fragrant and softened but not browned.
  4. Increase the Heat: Raise the heat to medium-high.
  5. Sear the Calamari: Add the calamari in a single layer (you may need to work in batches to avoid overcrowding the pan). Cook for 30 seconds to 1 minute per side or until lightly golden brown and just opaque. Don't overcook, or the calamari will become tough and rubbery.
  6. Deglaze the Pan: Add white wine and lemon juice once the calamari is seared. Scrape up any browned bits from the base of the pan and add them into the sauce. Let the wine cook for a minute or two to reduce slightly.
  7. Flavor Boost: Add capers, olives (if using), and paprika. Cook for another minute.
  8. Finish and Serve: Remove from heat and stir in fresh herbs (if using). Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve right away and garnish with lemon wedges for squeezing on the calamari, alongside crusty bread for dipping in the flavorful sauce.

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