Coconut Calamari (Paleo)

OK so ever since I made those beef cutlets with a coconut crust, I have been thinking of using that technique to make other crispy coatings! I got my chance to try it again when hubby picked up squid last weekend while picking up seafood.

I usually cook squid(calamari) Kerala Style which is to sauté it with onion and red chillies and with coconut. I have posted that recipe before. Have also tried frying it using chickpea batter which is a great gluten free alternative. However now since I am on a paleo diet, chickpea batter wouldn’t do and so I thought why not give my tapioca flour batter and coconut crust technique a try?  The ‘paleo version’ of the beef cutlets was very well received in my house. It tasted even better than the breaded version!

So considering that I was pretty confident that the fried calamari with coconut crust would work. And I wasn’t disappointed!  The fried coconut calamari came out so nice and crispy plus the shredded coconut topping imparted such great flavor.  I also ended up shallow frying it using coconut oil vs deep frying. It still came out nice and crispy on the outside and soft and sweet on the inside. Perfecto 🙂

I added a bit of cayenne pepper (Kashmiri red chili powder) but you can skip that for an AIP compliant recipe.

Coconut Calamari (Paleo)
Author: 
Recipe type: Appetizer, main course, seafood
Cuisine: American, Fusion
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2-3
 
A Paleo version of the 'Fried Calamari' - Crispy coconut crusted Calamari fried in coconut oil!
Ingredients
  • ½ lb squid, cleaned and cut into ¼ inch rounds
  • ¼ tsp kashmiri chilli powder (skip for AIP version)
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
For the crust
  • 2 tbsp tapioca flour
  • 3 tbsp water
  • 4 tbsp shredded unsweetened coconut (I used 'Let's do Organic' brand)
For frying
  • About 2 tbsp coconut oil
Instructions
  1. In a small bowl, add the cleaned calamari and dab dry with paper towels. Add the chills powder(if adding) and salt and mix well. Keep aside.
  2. In a separate bowl, mix the tapioca flour with water to from a slurry. (This settles down very fast so again stir before using)
  3. Place the shredded coconut in a separate plate.
  4. Heat a small frying pan and add 1 tbsp coconut oil. Keep on medium heat and when hot, dip the squid pieces one by one in the tapioca slurry and then dip them in the coconut to coat completely and drop these one by one into the frying pan. Fry these in batches and serve hot!
Notes
For AIP version, skip the red chili powder

A Valentine’s Special dessert: Berry Panna Cotta ( Paleo)

Sometimes I wonder if there is too much hype surrounding Valentine’s Day. Don’t get me wrong…I am very much a romantic at heart!  However I dislike how commercialization of Valentine’s Day by the marketeers has somehow made people hung up with the date of Feb 14th.  Couples feel that they need to do special things only on this date. Single folks might feel depressed thinking that they need to find a date for Valentine’s day or else they will lose out! As a consequence they end up spending too much money more often than not on the wrong person!  Well, the simple fact is this: If you have been fortunate enough to have found the love of your life, then everyday can be Valentine’s day. And if you haven’t been lucky to have met this person yet, it’s not likely that you will magically meet your sweetheart on Valentine’s day!  Anyways the point I want to make is this: I hope that people express their love outside of Valentine’s day too and that everyday can be romantic too. All you need is the right attitude and an optimism towards life and everything beautiful.  All these thoughts reminded me of a quote that I had memorized in high school – don’t ask me why 🙂

“I may not say it often

But you know that it is true

That I am always wishing

Real Happiness for you

For though I may not say so

To me you are always dear

Not only on a day like this

But Every day, Every year! ”

I had pinned this special dessert recipe specifically for Valentine’s day since it was a dessert that I could actually eat! Yes being on a dairy free and sugar free diet for almost a year now, my desserts have been mostly limited to fruits, dates and raw honey.  I was so excited to see this recipe of Raspberry Coconut Panna Cotta by Eileen from Phoenix Helix.  Along with the recipe what excited me was her story of how she has been battling RA too just like me and that the Autoimmune Paleo diet has been helping her control her disease for the last few years. Now isn’t that exciting!

I made some slight changes to her recipe – I added a combination of strawberries and raspberries since I find raspberries alone to be too tart. Also I upped the amount of sweetener -and  used maple syrup instead of honey. I find maple syrup to provide the right amount of sweetness that I crave for in desserts. And for the sauce , since I ran out of raspberries, I made it out of cherries!  The end result was one special dessert!  This indeed felt like a huge treat for me having not had any frozen treats for so long!  Yummy yum! thank you Eileen for this great recipe and I think this is already inspiring me to come up with other ideas of similar frozen treats.

Linking this Valentine special recipe to Fiesta Friday this week. The co-hosts this week at FF are Ai @ Ai Made It For You and Petra @ Food Eat Love.

A Valentine's Special dessert: Berry Panna Cotta ( Paleo)
Author: 
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
 
Ingredients
  • 1 13.5 oz can full-fat organic coconut milk
  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tsp. gelatin
  • ½ cup maple syrup (or honey)
  • 1½ cups fresh or frozen raspberries
  • ½ cup fresh or frozen strawberries
Cherry Sauce Ingredients
  • ½ cup fresh or frozen cherries
  • ¼ cup water
  • 2 Tbsp.maple syrup
  • ½ tsp. vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. Place the lemon juice into a small bowl. Add gelatin keep aside for 5 minutes.
  2. In a small pan, heat half of the coconut milk (about 1 cup) over medium heat. Add the maple syrup (or honey) and the gelatin mixture. Stir until dissolved completely.
  3. Pour this mixture into the blender, along with the remaining coconut milk and the raspberries and strawberries. Blend at low speed until smooth.
  4. Pour it into small ramekins or small bowls. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until set (at least 4 hours).
  5. For the sauce, Heat all the sauce ingredients in a small pan over medium heat for about 5 minutes. let cool and then blend quickly in a blender to get a smooth sauce.
  6. To get the panna cotta out, dip each ramekin in a bowl of hot water for about 1 minute. Then turn them upside down onto a serving plate. Drizzle with cherry sauce on the top.