The Spicy Duo-Crispy Fried Calamari & Jalapeno Poppers

Fried Calamari

Frozen calamari rings, thawed
flour for dusting on two separate plates
eggs, beaten in a small bowl
salt, pepper, and whatever other seasoning you like
fresh lemon
vegetable oil

Equipment:  Deep narrow pot, slotted spoon, cooking thermometer OR an electric wok or skillet OR a good old fashioned cast iron skillet.  Two baking sheets:  one for before frying and one lined with paper towels for after frying.
Organize your counter in an assembly line like so:  bowl of calamari rings, plate of seasoned flour, bowl of eggs, second plate of flour, baking sheet to set the rings before frying.
Make sure you keep one set of fingers clean and I highly recommend using a fork for as much dipping as possible.
Method:  Dust each ring in the seasoned flour, flipping to dust all surfaces.  Dip in the mixed eggs, flipping once, then drop in the second plate of flour and flip once.  Remove to the waiting baking pan.  Give a final shake of salt and pepper over the rings.
Heat oil to 375 degrees F.  Dunk one or two rings into the hot oil and let cook until golden brown.  Remove to drain on paper towel-covered baking pan and repeat.  Keep an eye on the thermometer to ensure that the temp returns to 375 before dropping more rings into the oil.

Rustic looking, isn't it? But oh, so yummy.

Jalapeno Poppers
2 fresh whole jalapenos per person
cream cheese (or other soft cheese)
grated cheese like sharp cheddar (anything will do)
milk for dipping
flour for dusting
bread crumbs for rolling
salt & pepper
Slice jalapenos carefully from just beneath the stem to the end. Use plastic gloves if you have them.  Ease the halves apart and with your fingers, remove membrane and seeds.
Cook bacon and drain well. Crumble or cut into very small pieces.
Mix softened cream cheese with shredded cheese.  Season with salt, pepper, and any other seasoning you may like.  Add the bacon and mix well. Stuff the peppers with the cheese mixture and press closed.
Dip in the milk first, then the flour, then the milk again, then the bread crumbs.  Set on a baking sheet until finished and fry at 350 degrees F until golden brown.  Remove to a paper towel covered baking pan to drain.
Look at those cute little jalapenos...little tail sticking out...