Kalamari (Greek Fried Squid with Tzatziki)

(Click here or see below for Tzatziki recipe)
INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup flour
  • lemon pepper (optional)
  • ½ cup oil
  • 1 lemon
  • squid, cleaned (see below)
 
CLEAN SQUID:

  • Pull head off
    • cut off ink bag (verrrrry carefully)
    • cut out mouth
    • cut out eyes
  • Pull out bone
  • Squeeze out caviar (if any);  discard or save for another use

 
METHOD:

  • Cut up the heads (including tentacles)
  • Cut the bodies into rings (about 1 cm, or ¼ to ½ inch)
  • Drain both very thoroughly
  • Bring the oil to a high temperature (but not smoking)
  • Flour the pieces of squid (and pepper, if desired)
  • Add squid to oil (carefully), cover with a splatter lid (screen) until brown
  • Lift out, squeeze on lemon, serve (with tzatziki, if desired)

 
   
Tzatziki (Greek Yogurt and Cucumber Dip)
 
INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 medium cucumber (regular or English)
  • natural yogurt, ½ litre (500 mg) or 1 pint (16 oz)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil (or ½ olive, ½ regular cooking oil)
  • ½ tbsp red wine vinegar (or more, to taste)
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp chopped dried dill (or more, to taste)
  • 3 small garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
 
METHOD:

  • If using a regular cucumber, peel first (and I also like to cut it lengthwise into quarters and remove the seeds);  if using an English cucumber, just wash thoroughly
  • Grate the cucumber, then squeeze out the additional moisture
  • Mix the cucumber and yogurt (preferably with a wooden spoon, not metal)
  • Stir in the remaining ingredients.  If possible, let stand for a while before serving to let the flavors mix.  This can be made ahead and stored in the fridge for several days.
  • If you're not having this with kalamari, it's good with Broiled Pita Bread:

    • Mix equal parts olive oil and lemon juice in a shallow bowl (the amount will depend on how much pita you're broiling)
    • Dip or brush the top of the pita rounds with the olive/lemon mixture and sprinkle lightly with garlic salt, lemon pepper and/or oregano to taste
    • Put under the broiler (oven or toaster oven) until just turning golden (watch carefully to make sure they don't burn)
    • Turn the pita rounds over, dip or brush the other side with the olive/lemon mixture and sprinkle as you did the tops.  Broil as above
    • Cut into wedges and serve with the tzatziki
    • NOTE:  Pita done this way is also really good with hummus