Because they have to be fried at the last minute, frying squid for a crowd can leave you isolated in the kitchen while your guests mix their own drinks. One good approach is to get the guests involved. Everyone likes to feel like they’re helping, and getting someone to dredge and another to fry will keep everyone amused.
– 3 pounds squid or 2 pounds cleaned squid.
– Vegetable oil or olive oil for deep-frying.
– 1 cup flour.
– Tartar Sauce.
Step 1:Cut the squid into rings about ⅓ inch wide. If the clusters of tentacles are large, cut them in half through the top. Pat the squid with towels to make sure they are perfectly dry.
Step 2:Pour vegetable oil to a depth of 4 inches into a heavy saucepan, and heat over high heat until ripples are visible on the surface, about 360˚F on a deep-frying thermometer. (The oil should not come more than halfway up the sides of the pan.) The oil is ready if when you drop in a cluster of tentacles it immediately rises to the surface and is surrounded with bubbles. While the oil is heating, spread the flour on a plate, dust the squid with the flour, and pat off the excess.
Step 3:Lower one-fourth of the squid into the oil with a spider or with tongs— be careful not to let the oil splash on your hand—and fry for about 2 minutes, or until golden. Using the spider or a slotted spoon, transfer the squid to paper towels to drain. Salt immediately. Repeat in 3 more batches. Serve immediately with the sauce.