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Calamares con Gabardina

20 oz fresh squid
2 1/2 oz flour
1 egg white
1/5 qt water
1 Tbs vinegar
salt to taste
olive oil for deep frying

Choose young, tender squid. Clean them and slice them into rings. Set the ink aside for another time (squid in its own ink, for example). Bring the water to a boil and drop in the squid rings. Remove after a minute and thoroughly chill the squid-flavored water. Put the flour in a bowl and add the vinegar and salt. Bit by bit, whisk in the well-chilled water from boiling the squid until you get a thick cream. Beat the egg white to snowy peaks and fold it into the flour mixture. Heat up a heavy deep frying pan and add the olive oil. (Use olive oil, otherwise you won't have the right taste.) If you drop in a slice of potato, you can tell the oil has reached the right temperature when the potato becomes golden brown. Take out the potato.

Dip the cooled squid rings into the batter one at a time and drop them into the hot oil. When they are a lovely golden brown, put them on several thicknesses of paper towels to absorb the excess oil. You can eat calamares con gabardina hot or room temperature.

Serving: Slice open a French-bread type sandwich roll and fill it with squid rings in a trench coat to make a traditional squid sandwich. Serve as an appetizer or tapa with beer or wine. Just put them on a plate with a squeeze of lemon juice.

Variation: Do the same thing with jumbo shrimp to get gambas con gabardina. Shrimp are easier to peel if you boil them first. If you want to make bacalao con gabardina, don't cook it first as it will then overcook in the frying process. Just get the cod in a very thick filet, cut it into cubes, coat, and fry. If you buy salt cod, you need to soak it overnight in several changes of water to get all the salt out.

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