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Seared Calamari with Breadcrumbs and Lemon
Adapted from Sara Jenkins, Porsena and Porchetta, New York
Yield: 2 servings
Prep Time: 40 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
1 pound uncleaned small calamari
¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove, lightly crushed
1 small dried red chile, such as árbol, stemmed and crumbled
¼ cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
½ cup fresh breadcrumbs
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 lemon, quartered
1. Clean the calamari: Hold the squid body (sac) in one hand and the arms in another. Firmly pull the arms from the sac. The tentacles will release with the squid's pulpy innards. Cut the arms just above the eyes and discard everything from the innards and eyes. In the center of each set of arms is a small prickly round beak. Squeeze to remove it and discard. Down the length of the sac is a clear piece of cartilage. Pull it out and discard it. Do not remove the purple skin from the bodies. Rinse the bodies and arms inside and out under cold running water, pat dry with paper towels and refrigerate, uncovered, for 20 minutes.
2. In a small skillet set over low heat, add ¼ cup of the oil. When the oil is hot, add the garlic, crumbled chile and 3 tablespoons of the parsley and sauté until the garlic turns golden, about 3 minutes. Add the breadcrumbs and sauté until toasted and golden, about 3 minutes more. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
3. Heat a 10-inch cast-iron pan over high heat. Once very hot, add the remaining 2 tablespoons oil and the squid bodies and arms, packing them tightly against one another. Season with salt and pepper and cook without moving until the juices have boiled away and the squid is fried golden on the bottom but tender and steamed on top, 3 to 4 minutes. Top with the toasted breadcrumbs. Garnish with the remaining 1 tablespoon of parsley. Serve immediately, with lemon wedges alongside.