It’s the first day of Summer in the Southern hemisphere!
What better way to celebrate than a platter of golden calamari rings and crunchy zucchini fries? And Peroni, of course!
As it happens most years, it’s a cloudy, windy and slightly chilly day today, nevertheless it is summer indeed and I can see that in the abundance of berry-red hibiscus and creamy frangipani flowers, blooming and claiming their spot in the (pale!) sun.
So, slap on your sun-block, your designer shades and your bikini or budgie-smugglers*(..on second thoughts, better with board-shorts) and enjoy the long-awaited summer season!
INGREDIENTS , for the Calamari
3 medium, fresh, squids (thawed squid will yield a rubbery calamari ring, don’t go there)
1 cup of plain flour well seasoned with salt and black pepper
2 cups of sunflower oil for deep-frying.
Get your fish-monger to clean the squid for you, if you can. All you need for this recipe are the tentacles and the tubes.
If your fish-monger can’t be asked (this is the case if you live in Sydney…), follow these simple steps here to D.I.Y (do it yourself!).
Rinse your tubes and tentacles, dry them in kitchen paper and, using a very sharp knife, cut the tubes into rings. Toss the rings and the tentacles into the seasoned flour.
Heat up the oil and gently toss in the squid. Cook for about 2 minutes, then drain on kitchen paper.
Season with salt and a squeeze of lemon and serve with a caper and garlic Aioli.
INGREDIENTS for the zucchini fries
3 medium-sized zucchini
1 330ml bottle/can of beer (I used Peroni, but you can use whatever blond beer you get your hands on)
1 cup of self-raising flour
Oil for deep-frying
Cut the zucchini into strips and dry with kitchen paper.
In a large bowl mix the flour and the beer, leaving some lumps and making sure to have a “pancake batter” consistency, not too liquid, not too stiff.
Drop your zucchini strips in the batter and then in the hot oil, deep-fry until golden, drain on kitchen paper and serve while still hot.
*Term used to describe the very brief swimming brieves worn by male swimming athletes, but, alas, unfortunately, also occasionally employed by all male shapes and sizes at Australian surf beaches…