A perfect summer day is one with a clear blue sky, a warm feeling on your skin, a picnic in the park, flowers in bloom, sugar and spice and everything nice.... you get the picture. But, a perfect summer day also has it's perfect summer food- and to me, an inviting dish of calamari and shrimps enjoyed with a cool glass of white wine (or beer if you prefer) just makes the sunshine even more delicious. Wouldn't you agree? That's my idea of what summer feels and tastes like ...
... and here's what it looks like (in the kitchen) too!
Fresh herbs are a must! My basil pot and fragrant mint leaves came in handy...
I like to just throw calamari rings in a mixture of flour, cornstarch and salt for a crispy result minus the heavy feeling deep-frying can sometimes produce.
Calamari is nice, but with some shrimps it's even better...
And if you want to add an interesting visual twist to your dish, you can serve the calamari rings and shrimps on fried spaghetti! Since you'll be frying in the first place, you can throw in some spaghetti that will become golden strands in just about 10 seconds.
Voila, and there you have it. Fried calamari rings and shrimps bursting in a mixture of basil, mint, garlic and lemon!
This summery dish is really easy to make and a real crowd-pleaser, but I urge you to prepare the calamari rings yourself and not buy the ready-to-fry ones that come in the frozen-products aisles of supermarkets...
Calamari rings- get them from your fish monger
Flour mixed with cornstartch, salt and pepper (ratio 3/4 flour: 1/4 cornstartch)
Onion, chopped finely
Garlic, chopped finely
Fresh basil and mint, chopped
Lemon, juice of
Lemon wedges to serve
For the calamari:
In a bowl, place the flour mixed with the cornstartch, salt and pepper. Then add calamari rings and ensure they are well coated with the flour mixture. Heat a deep pan with oil to fry, once ready, throw in the calamari rings and fry for 5-7 minutes. If you wish, at the end, you can fry some spaghetti for presentation (the spaghetti fries very quickly in a matter of seconds- so keep a close eye when doing this)
For the shrimps:
Chop the onion and garlic finely, set aside. Chop a generous amount of fresh mint and basil, set aside. Heat a large pan with some olive oil, add the onions and garlic on med-high heat until golden. Add the shrimps, squirt over some lemon, and cook for 5-8 minutes always on med-high heat. At the last minute, turn off heat and add the basil and mint.
Place the fried spaghetti on your serving dish, and the calamari rings and shrimps on top. Great with avocado and a beer! Enjoy!