Bloody Mary Calamari

calamari bloody mary sauce

After I gave a tour of one of our local Farmers’ markets to two of my most charming guests ever (Charlie and Camille from London), I went back to my fishmonger to get some of his beautiful calamari. I also got some tomatoes and a pound of strawberries and drove home. I initially wanted to make a nice spicy marinara to dip the calamari in once fried, but it was really hot outside and I put off deciding on which sauce to make and made myself an ice cold bloody Mary. As I was nursing my delicious drink in the garden, a lightbulb went off in my little head: what if I made a Bloody Mary sauce for my calamari?! And so I did:

Radis - CharlieIMG_7232 _SnapseedCalamari Béarnaise sauceH92A3160Camille and the spider crabCarrots

For 1 bowl of sauce, mix together:

  • 3 medium tomatoes
  • A small fist full of fresh parsley
  • 1/2 a small red onion
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 teaspoon of Worcester sauce
  • 1 teaspoon of celery salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt (to taste really)
  • 2 teaspoons of tabasco
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh coriander
  • 1 big shot (or two, or three) of vodka. I wanted to go French, so I used my favorite brand: Grey Goose. It’s made just an hour or so from where I live!
  • A tiny bit of Vegemite or concentrated beef stock (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon of freshly squeezed lemon juice

Leave the mix in the fridge for about an hour. Take it out and put it through a strainer.

Serve ice cold with really hot fried calamari. An absolute summer delight!

Fried calamarisea snailssardines - Charlie

Note: When making fried calamari (I follow the traditional tempura recipe), it is essential (IMHO) to make it at the last minute and serve each batch as you get them out of the oil. There is nothing worse than soggy fried foods…

Note: serve this with ice cold vodka, a chilled rosé or Chardonnay (or Graves or Pessac Léognan)

Note: I had also made a Béarnaise with fresh tarragon from the garden. It looked OK for the pictures, but once I had tried the Bloody Mary salsa, I completely forgot about the boring Béarnaise :0)

Green peppersFried calamari

93 Comments Add yours

  1. Wonderful post and great photos! Thanks.

  2. 30andlosing says:

    That looks delicious!

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Thank you Linda! It really was 😉

  3. Sange & Erika says:

    Miam miam, we do a lot of squids and feel inspired to try your recipe 😀 Have a great day ahead!

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Try them with this sauce. You’ll love it 😉

  4. Beautiful pictures, and it sounds so simple and delicious! Will definitely bookmark it for my next dinner party 🙂

    1. My French Heaven says:

      It is perfect for a dinner party. Just remember to serve the calamari right away. They are much better crispy and hot 😉

  5. CINECLASTER says:

    Wow. Absolutely stunning work. Bravo. I licked the screen.

    1. My French Heaven says:

      You are very funny! I hope your computer was clean! Well now it is I guess 😉 🙂

  6. chefbirdsong says:

    You are a culinary genius and my personal hero 🙂 ~ The Front Porch Gourmet

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Why thank you!! Try the calamari with the bloody Mary salsa. You’ll love it I’m sure 😉

  7. Lovely pictures ! I’m addicted to the bokeh 🙂

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Me too 😉

  8. iamgoing1680 says:

    Love the photos! Great blog!

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Thank you very much! I hope you come back often. I must say that YOU had me at PASTAAAAAAAAA! 😉

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Most welcome!

  9. Oh yes please. I’ll take a chilled grey goose with that too. Neat. I’m coming to visit in 2015!

    1. My French Heaven says:

      I can’t wait! Oh how I love to show my guests and friends around!

  10. I think this will make my husband, who loves calamari with a passion, very happy. Assuming I can make them successfully without turning them into whorls of rubber. A bit tricky, they are.

    1. My French Heaven says:

      The secret is flash frying! Light batter or just flour coating and in 360°F oil for 20 seconds…

  11. chef mimi says:

    Does your young lady fish monger know how many photos people have taken of her because of you? Does she realize she’s famous?!!! Gorgeous dish, Stephane.

    1. My French Heaven says:

      You’d love this dish my dear friend. It just sounds so decadent and fabulous, doesn’t it?! See, another way to enjoy our beloved squids 🙂 🙂

  12. Now this is a great pairing! I would love this.

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Please try it! You will absolutely love it. Perfect for summer and so fast to put together at the last minute when friends show up 😉

      1. Which makes it perfect. We might be heading to Dordogne next summer with a large family group that includes our kids. I might need to pick your brains on what cheese and wine to try as well as activities to share with our kids. 😊.

        1. My French Heaven says:

          I’ll be happy to help! I know the Dordogne quite well 🙂

          1. Excellent! Looking to rent a house for a week. My MIL has been checking things out. And it is on my list for a trip for my husband and I to visit your place at some point. 😊

          2. My French Heaven says:

            You’re always welcome!!

  13. simplelivingover50 says:

    Wow, this may be a mission for the weekend. I love the photographs.

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Good luck in your mission Billy! You won’t regret it 😉

  14. Nina Lorelei says:

    Yummy and beautiful!

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Thanks Nina!!

  15. Margot says:

    Stéphane, how sweet of you to tailor this sauce to the palates of your Australian friends! 😉 Until now, the jar of vegemite in the pantry was reserved only for slathering on toast… little did I know it would come in handy to prepare this delectable dish! 🙂 Such lovely light calamari – absolutely beautiful!

    1. My French Heaven says:

      I love fried foods. i must stay away from it as I am trying to lose weight, but once in a while I just have to give in… 😉

  16. gypsygurl64 says:

    Just beautiful! I know that the US has farmers markets but not like they do in Europe!

    1. My French Heaven says:

      We are very lucky indeed. I left the States about ten years ago and visited again earlier this year. I think great progress has been made in the quality of the foods offered. I think it’s because people care more and more about the quality of what they eat. Very encouraging I must say…

  17. ladyredspecs says:

    Vegemite in a bloody Mary? I’ve never tried that, but I do love both calamari and a good bloody mary. I think you are onto something here, and while every self respecting Australian, including me, has vegemite in their pantry, I might give it a miss in this instance

    1. My French Heaven says:

      All right then. I don’t put any in one anyway. If you have Vindox though, you should give it a try 😉

    2. My French Heaven says:

      I meant Viandox

  18. Jessie says:

    I’m not sure whether dried or half-dried squid is available in your place, but I recommend you to make Calamari with half or full dried squid someday. We enjoy it very much in Korea. ^^ And one of hot snacks in Korea recently is a fried half-dried squid as a whole, not in parts.

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Hi Jessie. We can’t find dried seafood here in France. It’s just not in the culture. I bet it’s delicious too!

  19. So glad to have found you through The Front Porch Gourmet! Lovely blog.. 🙂

    1. My French Heaven says:

      I’m so glad you did too! Welcome to my French heaven 😉

  20. soonie2 says:

    oh my, bloody mary salsa…now I’m sure that would be a hit here! A must try!

    1. My French Heaven says:

      You really should. It was truly different and delicious…

  21. Angeline M says:

    My mouth is absolutely watering…for the sauce. I’m not so much a fan of calamari, but could use shrimp, no? And then with a tomato salad….oh yes!

    1. My French Heaven says:

      I had it with the tomato salad last evening and it was fantastic! I just added a bit of red wine vinegar and voila! 🙂

  22. natasha says:

    Wow beautiful photographs…

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Thank you so much Natasha! It really means a lot that someone with your taste would like my work…

  23. Brilliant Stephane, I love making fried Calamari and must have a dipping sauce and your bloody Mary sauce is just perfect when you don’t want to heat up your kitchen (or yourself) laboring over a hot pot. I use Grey Goose Vodka, my favorite!

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Yet another thing we have in common 😉

  24. Faithie says:

    looks great, can’t wait to try something like this !

    1. My French Heaven says:

      You’ll love it I’m sure! Thanks for dropping by!!

  25. Vasun says:

    What an original idea! Love fried calamari and …with alcohol? Perfect!

    1. My French Heaven says:

      I know, right! 😉 Try it. I promise you’ll love it!

      1. Vasun says:

        I will! Wondering whether this would work with any seafood tempura too?

        1. My French Heaven says:

          I don’t think I’d try it with shrimp… I don’t know… Maybe

  26. brincs says:

    Wow great pics and brilliant idea

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Thanks! Glad you liked it 😉

  27. pinkagendist says:

    Superb. Thomasina Meier does something similar that you MUST try. The only I’d say is instead of that expensive yellow tequila, use the cheaper white version because the taste works much better:

    1. My French Heaven says:

      I knew you’d like this one! Thanks for the link 😉

  28. Miia says:

    This must be the most original recipe I have ever read! Must follow a person who invents something like this 😉

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Thanks Miia!! Welcome on board 😉

      1. Miia says:

        Happy to have found your blog! Greetings from Paris to Bordeaux.

  29. goingplacesbr says:

    I just will have to make this in addition to my tomatillo salsa this year!!

    1. My French Heaven says:

      I’m honored! Let me know how you like it 😉

  30. Bloody Mary Salsa? You are a genius!!!! Who knew! I can’t wait to try this.

    1. My French Heaven says:

      What do you mean “who knew”? I knew! Just kidding. Seriously, try it! Make it for your friends and you’ll be the talk of the town 😉 If you can drink it, you can eat it too. That’s my motto 😉

  31. juliabarrett says:

    I love this. I won’t be making it, but I love this dish!

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Why wouldn’t you make it?! Are you allergic to one of the ingredients? Not of my business. Sorry!

      1. juliabarrett says:

        Too scary! Tentacles and all that! I’ll eat it if someone else makes it!

        1. My French Heaven says:

          I saw a woman on youtube the other day eating one alive! 😦

          1. juliabarrett says:

            OMG! Well that wasn’t me! If I’d seen that I’d never eat calamari again.

          2. My French Heaven says:

            😉 🙂

  32. Stéphane Cassin Photographie says:

    Les photos sont magnifiques alliées avec la recette, c’est un bon et délicieux duo, merci 🙂

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Merci Stephane! Essaie! Tu vas adorer!!

      1. Stéphane Cassin Photographie says:

        Si ce n’est pas moi, ce sera ma tante qui est très douée en cuisine et je vais lui donner la recette car elle sait que je suis très gourmet 🙂

  33. Stephane says:

    Love your pictures!

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Thank you so much Stéphane!! Stéphanes are the best. Everybody knows it 🙂

      1. Stephane says:

        That is obviously true, but let us not forget our natural modesty.

        1. My French Heaven says:

          I know! So modest too… really special people indeed 😉

  34. Do you have a source for the traditional tempura recipe? This sounds absolutely delish and I want to try it, toute suite!

    1. My French Heaven says:

      I like this guy here:

  35. What a great idea! 🙂


  36. absolutely interesting… and vibrant images!

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Thank you!!

  37. Very good Bloody Mary adaptation. I try not to drink spirits, but Blood Marys are so good in this weather. I feel irresistible temptation coming on….very nice pictures.

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Thanks! I don’t drink much either, but this is really good I promise. I hope you try it!! 😉

  38. What a brilliant idea. I’m sure it was delicious!

    1. My French Heaven says:

      It was out of this world! I am using the left over tonight in my tomato salad 😉 Getting drunk with tomato salad. That’ll be a first 🙂

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