Finalist Jay Ducote's dish, Fried Calamari with Pink Lemonade Tamarind Chili Sauce over Black Sesame Rice, for the Star Challenge, Improv, as seen on Food Network Star, Season 11.
Recipe courtesy of Jay Ducote

Fried Calamari with Pink Lemonade Chili and Tamarind Reduction over Sesame Black Rice

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 1 hr
  • Active: 1 hr
  • Yield: 6 late-night portions
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Ingredients

Directions

Special equipment:
a deep fryer or Dutch oven; a deep-fry thermometer
  1. Heat a deep fryer or Dutch oven filled with oil to 375 degrees F. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. In a small saucepan, combine 1 can frozen lemonade with the tamarind and guajillo and pasilla chiles. Simmer over low heat until reduced, 20 to 30 minutes.
  3. In another small saucepan, combine the sesame oil, soy sauce and 4 cups water. Bring to a boil over high heat. Add the black rice, cover and return to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook until the liquid is absorbed, about 20 minutes. 
  4. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the flour with the cornstarch, ancho chili powder, cayenne, paprika, red pepper flakes, 1 teaspoons salt and 1 teaspoon black pepper. Add the calamari to the bowl and toss to cover every piece in dry batter.
  5. In batches, fry the calamari until golden brown, about 2 minutes. Remove from the oil and transfer to a paper-towel lined bowl. Season with a sprinkling of salt
  6. Spread the sesame seeds in an oven-proof skillet and toast in the oven for 10 minutes.
  7. In a blender, puree the remaining can of lemonade with the basil, vodka and 2 cups water.
  8. To plate, scoop some black rice onto the center of each plate. Top with some fried calamari. Drizzle some tamarind sauce around the plate and over the calamari. Sprinkle the sesame seeds and some fresh cracked pepper around plate. Add a few drops of the pink lemonade basil cocktail. Drink the rest.

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