Calamari with a spicy mustard Aioli

I’m back! And continuing with my menu challenge, here’s another appetizer: Fried Calamari with a spicy mustard aioli.

I’m a big seafood fan and calamari is just the best! I had to do some hunting for it though, it’s not always available but it was worth it! I put it in a cornmeal flour crust to make it extra crispy and because I love heat, added some cayenne pepper! I first tried calamari when I worked in an Italian restaurant. The initial thought of it grossed me out! Eating squid?! yuck! I guess I was told what’s what!  Here’s the finished product:

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This mustard aioli fairly easy too. You can sorta make this aioli to taste, but I put 1/4 cup of mayonnaise, 2 tablespoons of spicy brown mustard, 1 tsp of finely minced garlic, 1/2 tsp of cayenne pepper and a dash of salt and pepper and oregano. Let it sit in the fridge for a little bit to thicken. This will be enough sauce for a half pound of calamari rings.

I’m becoming very impressed with myself at my ability to search out food that I usually don’t look for and actually do this whole ‘cooking’ thing! Plus, it’s really fun. Most of my cooking has been self-taught other than learning from my parents and family friends; (for which I’m forever grateful!)

I think my next post will be something about cheese and wine, as that is one of Italy‘s finest gems!  Thanks for reading and share with your friends!

 

10. Sidetracked: Mussels Oreganata

Did I tell you that I get sidetracked sometimes? Well I do! When I was making my mussels with tomato broth appetizer for my previous post, I thought of another dish that would be perfect for my menu. I saw a version of it on Food network and decided that this was something worth trying! Rather than cooking the mussels in a broth, you just steam them so they can open up, and then you make this herby, garlicy paste (with lots of oregano!) that you put on top of the mussel and lightly broil it. Its just as easy and just as good as the previous dish.

By the way, I love seafood! Mussels, oysters, clams, fish, shrimp.. So delicious! I grew up right on Lake Michigan, so seafood was very present with a lot of food I ate!

Here’s what my version of Mussels Oreganata looks like:

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The bed of salt keeps the mussels from moving and sliding around and the parsley is just a nice garnish! Adds good color to the dish! I think the next dish I’ll post will take us back on dry land!