|Fritto Misto - Esca
(Fried Squid, Fish, and Shrimp)
5 cups plus 1 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup canola oil
1 cup Wondra flour
1/4 cup cornstarch
2 TBS semolina
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/8 tsp. sugar
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 lb. large tail-on shrimp, peeled
1/2 lb. small fish, such as smelt or sardines; cleaned, butterflied, and deboned
1/2 lb. squid, cut into 1/2" rings
3 cups salad greens, such as arugula
Lemon wedges, for serving
Aïoli, for serving (optional)
Pour 5 cups olive oil and the canola oil into a 4-qt. saucepan and heat over medium-high heat until a deep-fry thermometer reads 330°.
Meanwhile, combine the flour, cornstarch, semolina, cayenne, sugar, and salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Working in 4 batches, add a fourth of the shrimp, fish, and squid. Toss to coat. Shake off excess flour, transfer seafood to oil, and fry, stirring, until crunchy, 2–3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer seafood to a rack set over a baking sheet and season with salt.
Allow oil to return to 330°; repeat in batches with remaining seafood. To serve, put greens into a bowl, drizzle with remaining olive oil, and squeeze a lemon wedge over greens. Toss to combine. Transfer greens to a platter and arrange fried seafood on top. Serve with aïoli (see Aïoli), if you like.
Saveur Issue #129
David Pasternack, Esca, New York City