In my mind, this is the perfect appetizer. I love fried foods, and these mushroom calamari are delicious! The breading comes out nice and crunchy and the house seasoning, which I borrowed from Paula Deen’s fried chicken recipe, is perfectly balanced and tastes great. An interesting thing happens when you deep-fry mushrooms – they tend to lose that ‘rubbery’ texture that turns a lot of people off from them. Instead, they seem to have the same mouth texture as moist, white meat chicken. These mock calamari are great served with either marinara or aioli.
- 1/2 lb crimini mushrooms, stems removed and sliced into rings (about half of the mushroom will already have a ring shape when the stem is removed; for the rest you can remove the center with either a round cookie cutter or an apple corer)
- 1 egg, whisked with 1/4 c water
- 1 C self-rising flour
- dash of pepper
- house seasoning (recipe below)
- oil for frying
Prep mushrooms as described above.
Meanwhile, heat oil to 350 degrees. Mix pepper and flour in one bowl, eggs and water in another. Lightly season both sides of mushroom rings with house seasoning. Place mushrooms in egg wash, then coat in flour/pepper mixture. Place in deep fryer and cook about 2 minutes on each side, until a medium-golden color. Remove from fryer and place on paper towels to drain.
Paula Deen’s house seasoning recipe:
1 cup salt
1/4 cup black pepper
1/4 cup garlic powder