Recipe: Clean nicely the calamari tubes and pat-dry them with a kitchen towel or a napkin. Cut with a knife small 1-inch slits on both sides of each calamari tube. Mix the rest of the ingredients in a kitchen bowl and toss the calamari in it until all the flavoring sticks to the tubes. Your goal is not to bread the calamari, but to flavor them. Heat a flat-top grill or if you don't have one, a large heavy cast iron pan will do. Brush the hot surface with a little bit of oil and start cooking the calamari first on one side for about 2 minutes and then on the other side until the panko is golden brown. Serve with a lemon wedge and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar reduction over leaves of spring mix lettuce. Tip: The trick here is not to try to bread the calamari, but just to keep as much panko on them as you can. This can be achieved only if you first dry the calamari nicely.
When the panko bread crumbs start browning they will flavor the calamari so much better than even a real charcoal grill.
About the author: George Krumov is a Red Seal certified chef with many years of culinary experience working around the world in Europe, the Middle East, the cruise line industry and North America. In the last two decades he has headed the kitchens of several restaurants in Canada, and ran his own restaurant.