Friday, April 4, 2014

A little Calamari Break from Local Restaurant Week

As much as I love dining out during Local Restaurant Week I needed at least one home cooked meal this week. Sunday was breakfast at Spragues Maple Farm, Tuesday was dinner at Remington's Tavern, Wednesday was dinner at Oliver's and Thursday was dinner at the food court at the Niagara Factory Outlet Mall. Did you just go back and re-read if I actually stated we ate at the food court? Yes, we ate at the food court. Clearly, the food court did not participate in LRW nor would LRW ever want them to; we ate there out of mere convenience. We didn't get to the mall until 6 and I wasn't feeling all that great, so when Dave asked where I wanted to go to dinner I said "wherever you want to." He said "let's just eat at the food court." Thinking I would laugh and say no way to him, I said "that's fine." He was like "Wow, you really must not feel well." The boys were in their glory eating at the food court because they got to eat whatever they wanted to and wherever they wanted to. To them, it was like eating at the buffet on our Carnival Cruise 5 years ago. To me, it was like I'm going to feel sick for days now. Luckily I made a quick recovery….as soon as I started shopping I forgot all about my mediocre at best meal from Greek Pita Express at the food court. Plus I got this super cute Baggallini Bag for only $24.00! Total steal considering I was going to order it on-line for $85.00. I digress I know, back to our one home cooked meal this week. For dinner tonight I made a Shrimp, Tomato and Feta Bake over rice (See pic below) and for our appetizer, being highlighted in this post, I made crispy calamari with scallions, olives, sweet banana peppers, shaved parmesan cheese and fresh lemon. A lot of ingredients you say, yes there are, but let me tell you, they all work together so well! I actually make this recipe based off of the Calamari at John Harvard's Restaurant at Holiday Valley and Torro Restaurant on Elmwood. They both make it so good that one day I decided to make it at home but with my own twist. If you love calamari, you will love this recipe because it's different from the ordinary. It's one of those appetizers that you say to yourself "last bite" and then find yourself having 10 more last bites. Its very easy to make and a crowd pleaser. I made this over the holidays as an appetizer and my mother who can be very picky with her food loved it. So as much as I love dining out during LRW and look forward to our dinner at Manzella's Restaurant on Saturday night, it was a nice break having a homemade dinner at home tonight! Salute to a delicious crispy calamari break!
To save on time, use a pre battered calamari. I bought mine from Dash's in the seafood frozen section.
I also like frozen calamari from Top's.
The flavors of the ingredients all go so well. 
You'll keep going back for more!
Crispy Calamari: (Click to print recipe)

Preparation and cook time: 15 minutes


  • 1 pound of pre made battered calamari (I used Northern Chef brand)
  • 1/4 cup olives, green and kalamata
  • 1/4 cup sliced sweet banana peppers
  • 1/4 cup sliced scallion/green onions
  • shaved parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 freshly squeezed lemon
Deep fry calamari, according to instructions on package, in a skillet. (I used Northern Chef brand and it required me to deep fry in a skillet for 3 minutes.) Place calamari on a paper towel to eliminate excess oil. Place calamari on a serving platter and add the olives, banana peppers, scallions, and parmesan cheese. Gently mix with a spoon. Squeeze fresh lemon juice over top and serve hot.

Shrimp, Tomato and Feta Bake over Rice


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