Sunday, May 2, 2010

Calamari Piccata and Roasted Asparagus

I had been craving a nice calamari steak, so I made a quick run to the market Friday after work.  This is a very simple, inexpensive and tasty dinner.  The following recipes serve two, but you can adjust accordingly for additional servings.  You can also substitute the calamari for chicken breast scaloppine (cutlets).  Roasted asparagus or broccoli complements perfectly.

Calamari Piccata
Serves 2


1 cup flour
1 egg
1/2 cup fresh bread crumbs
1/2 cup Panko bread crumbs
2 teaspoons Emeril's Original Essence (make your own, or also available in the spice aisle)
Salt and pepper
1 Tablespoon olive oil
4 Tablespoons butter
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2 cup white wine (or low- sodium chicken stock)
2 tablespoons capers, rinsed and drained
Italian parsley, chopped


Rinse the calamari steaks in cold water and pat dry.  Season both sides with salt and pepper.

Prepare a breading station with flour in the first bowl, whisked egg in the second, and a mixture of bread crumbs and panko in the third.  Season the flour and bread crumbs with about 1 teaspoon each of Emeril's Original Essence..."I don't know where you buy your flour, but mine doesn't come seasoned."  -Emeril Lagasse.

Heat olive oil and 2 tablespoons of the butter in a large nonstick skillet on medium high heat. Dredge the calamari steaks in the flour, egg, and then bread crumbs, and add to the skillet.

Brown well on each side, about 2 minutes per side.  Transfer calamari to a plate.  Cover with aluminum foil and keep warm in the oven while you prepare the sauce.

Add white wine (or chicken stock), lemon juice, and capers to the pan. Use a spatula to scrape up the browned bits and reduce slightly. Whisk in the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter. Serve calamari with the sauce spooned over the top and sprinkled with parsley.

Roasted Asparagus
Slightly Adapted from Tyler Florence

1 bunch asparagus
1 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Grated or shaved Parmesan, optional
Lemon zest, optional

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

Snap off the woody ends from the asparagus and lightly peel the bottom half of the remaining stalks with a vegetable peeler (not necessary, but makes for a prettier presentation).  Spread the asparagus in a single layer on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with the salt and pepper, and roll to coat thoroughly.

Roast the asparagus until lightly browned and tender, about 8 minutes, giving the pan a good shake about halfway through to turn the asparagus. Arrange the roasted asparagus on a serving platter and top with some Parmesan mixed with a little lemon zest.  Serve warm or at room temperature.

Dinner for two!  This calamari pairs particularly well with beer (wheat), Champagne, Gewiirztraminer, and sparkling wine (Cava or Prosecco) - from What to Drink with What you Eat


Sara Reifman said...

This sounds amazing! I love calamari steaks, but I've never cooked them at home. Do you have any suggestions for purchasing them? Fresh vs. frozen? How many ounces would I recommend per person? I must make this!

Denise said...

These calamari steaks were frozen, and about 5-6 oz. each. At about $7/lb., they make a very tasty and inexpensive dinner. Don't overcook, or they will be rubbery -only about 1 1/2 to 2 minutes per side. Make sure your oil is hot, but not smoking, before putting the calamari in the pan, You can just dip in flour and egg, and omit the breading, but we like the texture and slight crunch from the Panko bread crumbs. Let me know how yours turn out and thank you for visiting!

Magic of Spice said...

This looks so good!