Calamari with chipotle mayonnaise and padrón peppers

My last house guest; childhood friend Therése, likes both tapas and calamari, so it was along those lines I was thinking when deciding what to have as a starter when she came to stay.

I have written about homemade calamari here before, and I repeat: so good, so cheap! And one can’t have calamari without some kind of dipping sauce, preferably mayo. I like to try different flavours on mayonnaise and this chipotle version was a winner. It worked really well with the paprika-seasoned calamari but also with the padrón peppers I picked up from Waitrose.

These peppers are fairly mild in flavour, but approximately 1 out of 10 can be quite spicy. I love these prepared in the simple manner of frying in plenty of olive oil and seasoned with plenty of sea salt. We had all this and some crusty bread to start, and it would be enough as a light supper really. We were pretty full when moving on to the maincourse.

Chipotle mayonnaise, serves 2

1 egg yolk – at room temperature

150 ml neutral oil 

1/2 lemon, the juice

1 tsp chipotle paste


Beat the egg yolk with an electric whisk while slowly adding the oil, first drop by drop, then gradually more and more so it emulsifies and gets thick. Once you’ve added all the oil you should have a thick mayonnaise. Season with the lemon juice, chipotle paste and salt. 

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