{recipe} Bang Bang Calamari

I never cared for calamari, until I worked at a very romantic East Coast restaurant in my early 20's. They transformed the dish from the traditional "everything tastes like marinara" style appetizer, to a fancy parmesan extravaganza! A few years later, when I was craving it like crazy, I recreated the recipe from memory. This appetizer is silly easy and crazy good.

2 cups vegetable oil
1 pound calamari {squid} rings
2 cups flour
2 tablespoons dried oregano
1/2 tablespoon salt
1/2 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons shredded parmesan cheese
1/2 cup, any brand, parmesan dressing

Heat oil in a large saucepan or deep-fryer, to 375 degrees. While the oil is heating, mix the flour, oregano, salt and pepper together. Roll the calamari rings around in the flour mixture until evenly coated. Shake the excess flour off of the uncooked calamari and set the coated rings on to a separate plate, ready for frying. Carefully toss into the oil and fry about 6-8 minutes {or until crispy and light golden brown}, giving a little stir in the middle of the cooking time. Transfer the fried calamari from the oil to a plate covered with paper towels, then immediately toss them onto the plate you are planning to serve the calamari. Sprinkle with the parmesan cheese and serve alongside the parmesan dressing in a small bowl, as a dipping sauce.

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