Father’s Day Spicy Grilled Calamari

My dad always liked to try new things, especially when it came to seafood. On a day when beef reigns supreme on the grills across America, why not surprise your Pops with something he's probably never had, but is sure to love.  Father’s Day Spicy Grilled Calamari is a fresh take on the traditional over-fried rubbery appetizer found in many restaurants. With a spicy and citrusy marinade of cumin, cayenne, and lemon, these baby calamari skewers come off the grill delicious and tender.  

As with all seafood, freshness is king, so find the freshest source you can and buy a pound of pre-cleaned baby squid, which fits the skewers better than full-size squid. Prep the marinade by combining smoked paprika, cumin, salt, pepper, cayenne, garlic, lemon zest, and olive oil into a paste. Reserve some of the spice paste and lemon juice for later, and marinate the squid for at least an hour. When ready to grill, thread the squid onto presoaked wooden skewers and grill over medium-high heat for just a couple minutes per side. Top with reserved marinade and serve hot for a wonderfully tasty take on calamari that your dad is sure to love.

Serves 4

Father’s Day Spicy Grilled Calamari Ingredients

  • 1 lb cleaned baby squid (tubes and tentacles)
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp each salt and pepper
  • pinch cayenne
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 lemon
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • Bamboo skewers
  • Lemon wedges, for garnish

Father’s Day Spicy Grilled Calamari Directions

  1. In a large bowl or zip-top bag, stir the smoked paprika, cumin, salt, pepper, cayenne, and garlic, along with the zest from the lemon. Add ¼ cup olive oil, stirring until you have a smooth, runny paste.
  2. Juice the lemon into a separate bowl. Spoon in 2 tbsp of the paprika mixture and stir until combined. Set aside.
  3. Add the squid to the remaining paprika mixture, and toss to coat evenly with marinade. Cover bowl with plastic wrap (or seal the bag, if using) and refrigerate for at least half an hour to marinate.
  4. While the squid is marinating, soak the skewers in cold water to prevent them from charring, and get the grill started so that it has time to preheat.
  5. When ready to cook, gently thread the squid bodies and tentacles onto skewers (I like to use two skewers to prevent the food from spinning around, but it's not totally necessary).
  6. Place the skewers directly onto the preheated grill and cook for about 2-3 minutes per side or just until the squid turns opaque. Remove from heat right away, and drizzle with the reserved marinade. Garnish with lemon wedges. Serve piping hot with a loaf of crusty bread to mop up the sauce.

Taken from crumbblog.com