Thursday, April 4, 2013

Calamari cookin'

I hope those of you reading this that celebrated Easter this past Sunday, had a blessed holiday. That said, those of us that are on a different calendar (i.e. Orthodox Christians) are still right smack in the middle of Lent. Easter for us falls on May 5th this year, which means the fast is still on for us. I'm not going to lie, abstaining from meat and dairy and still eating low carb is next to impossible for me this year. But because we're not supposed to eat meat on Wednesdays and Fridays as a rule throughout the year anyway, I am doing my best to stay away from it during Lent.

The religious part of this post over, I made this for dinner on Wednesday night, and it was, as always, super yummy :-)

If this is a rip off of something else, I don't know about it, so I am claiming it for my own. So there. :-)

I start off with a bag of frozen calamari rings. You could buy the fresh kind and slice them up, but I don't have a lot of time for that, so I wind up buying a bag from the frozen fish section at Shoprite and defrost the day I am set to make this. After the calamari is defrosted, I put the rings in a bowl and add and 2-3 tablespoons of baking soda for about 20 minutes to a half an hour. (I don't know if this is true or not, since I've never NOT done this, but my mom says that the baking soda softens them up so that they come out less "chewy." )

Put the calamari rings in a strainer and rinse them out. And rinse them out, again. Repeat on the rinsing. You guys see a pattern here, right? Rinse the heck out of them because no one wants baking soda tasting anything, especially not calamari. If you feel like you've rinsed them enough, rinse 'em again. 

Put the calamari in a pan or a small pot with a little olive oil, some salt, pepper and oregano, and let them boil, medium to low heat, in the water that they will give off. Once the excess water has evaporated and the rings are starting to get some color, turn off the heat and leave them there until you need them.

In the meantime, throw two bags of frozen broccoli florets in the microwave for about 5 minutes, each. When they are done, open the bags and transfer the cooked broccoli into a bowl. 

Take out your wok, or if you don't have one, a pan is fine too. I just use the wok because its deeper and can contain all the ingredients. So, take out whatever vessel you are using and put a few teaspoons of olive oil to warm up. Slice up some garlic cloves and throw those in there too. Saute the garlic, but don't let it get too golden. At this point, if you want, you can add some sliced peppers in there as well as some mushrooms and wilt those a bit. 

Once the garlic is ready, toss in the calamari rings and saute those bad boys up with the garlic. Once you think the calamari is good to go, toss in the broccoli and mix everything up, adding more olive oil if it looks too dry. Add some more seasonings to taste and if you want a bit of a kick, put in some cayenne pepper, or red pepper flakes, whatever :-)

That's it, folks. A delicious, low carb seafood meal that's ready pretty quickly. 

Here's the cost to make this:

Calamari Rings: $11.99
Broccoli florets (2 bags frozen): $2.50
Garlic $1.00 (that's for the package, I don't actually put 5 heads of garlic in it :-))

So total price: $15.49

If you make it, let me know how it came out. And if you have any suggestions, please feel free to post them below :-)

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