This Thai version of fried calamari is crisp and delicious, and simple to make too! This dish makes a great appetizer or party food recipe, or serve it with a Thai salad and you have a complete meal. As this recipe will demonstrate, fried calamari needn’t be as difficult as it sounds – simply cut the squid into rings, dip into a simple flour and spice mixture, and fry.
Mmmm…. easy and delicious!
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
• SERVES 3-4 as an Appetizer
• 2 large frozen (or freshly prepared) squid tubes; OR 3-4 medium tubes. If frozen, thaw quickly in a bowl of cool water.
• 1/2 cup semolina flour (a type of granular wheat flour available at health food or specialty food stores)
• 1/2 tsp. salt
• 1/8 tsp. dried crushed chili OR cayenne pepper
• 1/8 tsp. 5-spice powder
• pinch ground white or black pepper
• 1 cup (or more) vegetable oil for frying
• Optional: bed of lettuce or fresh coriander for serving
• Thai sweet chilli sauce for serving or Garlic Mayonnaise
1. Place semolina flour in a shallow bowl or spread over a plate. Stir in the salt and spices. Set aside.
2. Place squid tubes horizontally in front of you on a cutting board. Using a sharp knife and cutting towards you, simply make slices about 1/2 inch wide. This will create rings that are about 1/2 inch wide.
3. Open up the calamari rings and roll them one by one in the flour and salt mixture until they are covered. Place floured rings on a clean plate next to the stove.
4. Pour oil into a small or medium-sized frying pan (the larger the pan, the more oil you will need). The oil should be about 1 inch deep.
5. Turn heat to medium-high, until the oil begins to bubble or “move” from the bottom of the pan. To test if oil is hot enough: using a pair of tongs, dip one of the calamari rings into the oil. If it sizzles and begins to cook, the oil is ready. Turn heat down to medium to prevent oil splattering.
6. Place as many rings into the oil as can comfortably fit at one time. Fry about 1 minute, then turn the rings over to cook on the other side. The calamari should turn a light golden brown. Avoid over-cooking, or the calamari will turn rubbery.
7. When rings are done frying, remove from the oil and place on a paper towel to drain.
8. Serve immediately while still hot. If desired, place calamari on a bed of lettuce or fresh coriander.
Serve with the Thai sweet chili sauce, and ENJOY!
Poaching eggs is one of the easiest, quickest, and lowest calorie ways of preparing eggs, as there is no added fat. Poached eggs make great additions to salads or sandwiches, or just served simply with toast and a little salt and pepper.
- Fresh eggs
- 1 to 2 teaspoons vinegar (rice vinegar works well) (optional)
1. Fill your saucepan with several inches of water, add a pinch of salt and bring to the boil.
2. While the water is heating, crack your egg into a shallow cup or bowl, taking care not to break the yolk. Before you add the egg to the water, reduce the water to a simmer, then gently slide the egg into the water.
3. Generally speaking, cook your egg for 2 minutes if you like them runny, 3 minutes for medium firmness and 4 minutes if you like a firmer yolk. The flowing white strands are nothing to worry about.
4. Even if you like your yolk runny, gently touch a thicker part of the egg white to make sure it’s firm, as you lift it from the water. If it is not, sink it back in the water a little while longer. When cooked, remove the egg with a slotted spoon so it can drain and serve immediately.
Randy’s Top tips
- Fresh eggs will be easier to poach (they’ll hold together better) than older eggs.
- Vinegar is optional, it will help the eggs hold together, but if you don’t like the taste, don’t use it.
- To help your egg keep its shape, try swirling the water to create a whirlpool effect before adding your egg.
Alternatively, the truly easiest way to make poached eggs is with an egg poacher.
For a healthy egg option, try poaching your egg and serving on toast, with bacon or on a bed of fresh asparagus for an extra treat!
In the restaurant we serve our poached eggs for breakfast with Burren Smoked Salmon, baby spinach and our homemade 5 seed rye bread. All these ingredients are fantastic super foods: Smoked Salmon is a great source of protein, the antioxidant vitamin E, vitamin B-12 and omega-3 fatty acids. Spinach is high in protein, high in Vitamin A, high in Vitamin K and a great source of folic acid. Click here to find out more about Super foods
The beauty of ordering from our local food suppliers is that we are able to serve you, our customers the freshest produce – and we can choose exactly what farm it came from. This is key. This means that by going local, we have access to products that you may have been previously unfamiliar with. It also means that we change our menus to reflect seasonal produce to serve up our finest local dishes.
I would like to give a mention to some of our locals suppliers that we use to create our dishes in Randaddy’s:
St. Tola Irish Organic Goats Cheese range, a hand-made cheese that is produced in Inagh, just south of the Burren in County Clare since the early 1980s. It is known internationally as one of the premium artisan products in Ireland. This cheese is still hand made in small batches however as the artisanal quality of their cheese is paramount. This cheese, spreadable curd, is used in the restaurant in a selection of our dishes including our pizzas, omelettes & salads.
Our seafood suppliers come from Garrihy’s Seafood and SeaLyons Seafood. Both companies are fully Irish owned family run business. Garrihy’s operate from Doolin, Co. Clare and SeaLyons are based in Carrigaholt, Co. Clare. Both companies have a wealth of knowledge about the sea and its creatures as they are based along the coast and catch as much as they can from the locality. Products we like to use in the restaurant include: crab, mussels, lobster, seabass, cod, pollack, salmon, prawns and mackerel to name but a few.
Another fantastic product we use that we can’t stop raving about is Burren Smoked Salmon. Based in Lisdoonvarna, Co. Clare, Birgitta and Peter Curtin have been smoking their own salmon for the past 24 years in the Burren Smokehouse. They not only smoke salmon, they have expanded their range of smoking to trout and mackerel too. Burren Smoked Salmon, which melts in your mouth, is great in pasta dishes and we love to use it with Poached Eggs. Go on, try it!
The Guru Tea House is where we source all our different teas. Based in Ennistymon, Co. Clare, here you can find over 100 types of organic loose teas from all around the world. Sit back, relax and enjoy an oasis of peace and calm while you let your mind wander to faraway places.
All our meats are sourced locally from our friendly butcher, Bernard Roughan who is also based in Ennistymon. His produce is second to now and is extremely tender to work with.
Finally just a mention to some of our other local suppliers that help us keep Randaddys bustling from year to year: James Devitt’s in Ennitymon provides us with our flower baskets that brighten up our outdoor seating; West Clare Flowers, Ennistymon that provide our beautiful flowers for our tables; Cullinan’s, Ennistymon for their materials that help us revamp the look and feel of the restaurant – we use all local tradesmen for all construction work carried out; Philip Morrison who has a selection of paintings on show in the restaurant that are available to purchase. And finally a special thank you to Pat Kenny, George Karbus, Jenny Martin Photography who assist us throughout the year with all our photography needs.
Thank you to all our suppliers, without you we wouldn’t be able to serve you, our customers with the best produce that Co. Clare has to offer.
• Red/Green peppers
• Vegetable oil
1. Line a baking sheet with tinfoil.
2. Lightly coat red peppers with oil. I use a spray bottle and then wipe the peppers with a paper towel until they glisten. The oil is important because it gets very hot relative to the pepper, so the skin chars before the rest of the pepper can overcook. (Avoid extra-virgin olive oil as its smoke point is low and will burn).
3. Broil peppers on high gas setting until the skin blackens. About 4 minutes. Turn your exhaust fan on…this will get smoky! Alternatively you can pop these into the oven – they will take approx 45 minutes.
4. Turn peppers to cook the other side. You may need to continue turning and cooking a couple more times depending on how large the peppers are.
5. Once peppers are black and blistered, place in a bowl with a lid and allow to cool. The steam will help loosen the skins.
6. Once the peppers are cool, peel off the skins and remove the seeds under running water. The water isn’t absolutely necessary, but it certainly makes the job easier. A colander in the sink is great for keeping the mess to a minimum.
7. Dry peppers in a layer of paper towels and you’re ready to use.
Roast peppers will sit in the fridge for up to 2 weeks in oil and can be used for salads, sandwiches, soups, pastas, tapas platters etc
Pressure cookers aren’t made the same way they used to be. And that’s a good thing! I think we all have horror stories of someone using one of those original pressure cookers…the lid wasn’t on quite right, or the weight wasn’t placed just so, and the whole thing flew apart in an explosion of boiling hot liquid and partially cooked food.
They’re not like that anymore. Nowadays, they are fitted with a number of safety features – the most important of which is they won’t pressurize until the lid is locked in place, and won’t open until the pressure has been released from within. No more explosions. And they are significantly quieter, so the ever-present fear of an explosion is gone as well.
With that in mind, it’s time to give the pressure cooker another chance and recognize how useful they can be. If you’d rather be anywhere but the kitchen, then the pressure cooker is a wonderful addition to your appliance collection. Most foods will take half the time or less to cook. For example, boiling potatoes conventionally typically requires 20 minutes or so to cook once the water is boiling; in a pressure cooker, the time is reduced to about 9 minutes after the water boils. Most dried beans (after soaking) cook in about 10 minutes, lentils in 6 minutes. A beef casserole takes a half hour verses 3 to 4 hours conventionally. Or how about soup in 12 minutes instead of 45?
How do they work? They are used on foods that have at least some moisture or liquid in them. Once the lid is locked and the burner is turned on, the liquid begins turning into steam which becomes trapped inside. Since the steam has no place to go, the pressure inside the cooker builds, and as it does so, it increases the maximum temperature that the liquid could otherwise normally reach. Inside the pot, hot steam is infused into the food, so not only does it cook significantly faster due to the higher temperature, but it also retains its moisture.
So, as long as you have enough liquid to start, you end up with delicious, moist foods cooked in a fraction of the time. Also, food that is cooked quickly retains more nutrients, and less time on the stove means less energy being used. So pressure cooking = healthier, tastier food, on the table quicker, and saving money…what’s not to like?
I highly recommend you give pressure cooking a try.
You’ll be glad you did!
I have had a lot of questions regarding yeast breads. Well I am no expert on this but I do use a few basic techniques that are my rules of thumb on yeast breads.
Rule 1 – use good quality flour, as low quality does not have the same gluten content.
Rule 2 – the window test: stretch the dough between two fingers (as shown in the picture above). You are looking for a stretch like texture – as thin as it well go.
Rule 3 – double proof it before it goes in the oven. This is very important. After you have double proofed it, leave it somewhere warm for at least 1 hour before it goes in the oven.
Ok, so they were my rules. Now here is a recipe for a simple white loaf:
• 500g strong white flour, plus extra for dusting
• 2tsp salt
• 7g sachet fast-action yeast
• 3 tbsp olive oil
• 300ml water
As regards flavours, you can use anything really that you have in the fridge in moderation and just knead it into the bread e.g. sundried tomatoes, herbs, cheese, figs etc
- Mix the flour, salt and yeast in a large bowl. Make a well in the centre, then add the oil and water, and mix well. If the dough seems a little stiff, add 1-2 tbsp water, mix well then tip onto a lightly floured work surface and knead. Once the dough is satin-smooth, place it in a lightly oiled bowl. Leave to rise for 1 hour until doubled in size or place in the fridge overnight.
- Line a baking tray with baking parchment. Knock back the dough, then gently mould the dough into a ball. Place it on the baking parchment to proof for a further hour until doubled in size.
- Heat oven to 220C/fan 200C/gas 7. Dust the loaf with flour and cut a cross about 6cm long into the top of the loaf with a sharp knife. Bake for 25-30 mins until golden brown and the loaf sounds hollow when tapped underneath. Cool on a wire rack.
I hope you enjoy making this. Feel free to ask any questions or suggest your own ingredients to add a burst of flavour to your bread. We would love to hear them……
For all us busy people, there’s not always a lot of time in the week to cook those tasty meals we all crave. We here at Randaddys have come up with some time-saving tips that are often used in professional kitchens, but can also save you some time at home too.
Chefs don’t stand around waiting for water to boil or the oven to heat up. Have the kettle boiled before you start, have the oven turned on. If you don’t have this done, do some other jobs in the meantime – chop the vegetables, set the table or get the plates organised. That way, as soon as everything’s heated up, you can start cooking straight away and have dinner on the table in less time.
Peeling certain vegetables can be fiddly and time-consuming. Slice vegetables and meat thinly for even speedier results in the kitchen.
Choose foods that naturally cook quickly
Fresh noodles and pasta might cost a little more, but if your priority is time, they cook in just a few minutes. Gnocchi only takes around three minutes to boil, so try this when time is tight instead of dried pasta, which can take around 10 minutes. Fish fillets generally cook quicker than meat, and seafood such as prawns and scallops cook even quicker.
Prepare in advance
Prepare as much of your meal as you can, this all saves time when the dinner rush is on. Potatoes can be peeled and chopped for making chips or for roasting – leave them in a bowl of water in the fridge and just drain and pat dry with a clean towel before using. Gravy, stuffing and salads can also be prepared in advance, saving you time later on.
Clear up as you go
Pop vegetable peelings and empty packets in the bin as you go along. Wash any dirty chopping boards etc as you go. You’ll save yourself tidying up time afterwards.
If you have some time while you’re waiting for a lasagne or a stew to cook, for example, start washing up what you’ve used so far, instead of sitting down to watch TV. You’ll have less clearing up to do at the end of the meal and can then sit down and relax.
What are your top tips for speedy cooking during the week? We would love to hear them……..
This is an ideal dish for your guilt free Friday treat – Enjoy!
The secret of the bubbles – whether you prefer pollock or cod, with the skin on or off, everyone agrees that good batter should be light and crisp, which means getting some air into the mixture. There are two principal methods for doing so: adding a raising agent, such as baking powder or yeast, or making up the batter with a carbonated liquid, such as sparkling water or beer.
Perfect battered fish
Proper fried fish needs little in the way of fancy embellishments. Beer and raising agents, for flavour and volume, and good hot fat are all you need for pure, unadulterated happiness. (Oh, and a piece of fresh fish, of course.)
Dripping or oil, for frying
400g plain flour, put in the freezer for 15 minutes before using
3tsp baking powder
550ml very cold beer
4 pieces of sustainable white fish (I used pollock)
1. Heat the fat in a deep-fat fryer or chip pan to 185C. Whisk the baking powder into the chilled flour, along with ½ tsp salt, and then quickly whisk in the cold beer until you have a thick paste. This needs to be done just before you cook the fish.
2. Position the bowl next to the fryer or pan. Have a plate lined with kitchen paper ready. Dip your fish into the batter and then carefully lower it into the hot fat, and agitate the frying basket to prevent the fish sticking to it. This will also give the batter a more interesting texture. Do this one or two pieces at a time: don’t overcrowd the fryer.
3. Cook the fish for about 4–6 minutes, depending on size, keeping a watchful eye on it; it should be crisp and golden. Lift out of the fat and drain on kitchen paper then serve immediately.
Is battered fish an art best left to the professionals, or can you beat the efforts of your local chippie? Which recipe do you use, and what fish do you honour with it? And can anyone suggest a good recipe for proper mushy peas?
As the slow food festival of Clare approaches in May, one of the many topics on the agenda at the festival is Batch Cooking. Slow cooking is not all about making elaborate 4 hour dishes at home it’s about using raw ingredients to eat healthier.
The basic idea behind batch cooking is to create a double, triple, or even quadruple recipe of a particular meal or dish so that it can be quickly pulled together and served later on.
Cooking in advance has the serious advantage of saving time and money. You’ll waste less food (especially the perishables), and you’ll save money by doubling up your efforts on the spoils brought home from the supermarket. It’s also healthier, because you won’t need to buy convenience foods that are chock full of MSG, preservatives, sodium, and other unpronounceable chemicals.
There are a few methods of batch cooking, but essentially, it involves cooking a lot of food in advance. You can cook enough food to warrant freezing and stockpiling, and you can prepare scratch ingredients, helping you to cook without the fake ingredients found in so many shop-bought items. Some handy ways of storing your concoctions would be in freezer zip lock bags. This would cut down a lot of space.
In my opinion robust comfort foods are my favourite and are like fine wines and need time to do their own thing for fermentation. There’s nothing like a bolognese sauce the next day, there so many different things you can use it for and change it into. Some easy family favourites like bolognese can be made into things such as Lasagne, Chilli con carne, Chilly beef tacos, topping for your baked potato. Cottage pie and on and on……
So fire up your imagination, start changing your diet and cutting down your cooking times and start batch cooking!!!!
Can anyone suggest a good recipe to batch cook? Or if anyone would like a recipe for a nice bolognese just let us know
See you soon
How life changes, eh??? Having a few days R&R has had me thinking…. not something I do a lot of
Usually I am rushing about and so busy I don’t have much time for reflection… but over the past few days I’ve been thinking about how much my life has changed in recent years, especially when it comes to Christmas traditions.
Growing up in Canada I got used to snow at Christmas…. yes, all that picture postcard stuff that Irish people long for … we had snow every year! So it was picture perfect.
On Christmas Eve it was all about getting home to my parents house. The whole extended family would gather at the house, sometimes there could be as many as 60 people gathered around the table, from all corners of the world. As we all know, Canada is very multiculural. Everyone brought their own unique dish to share at dinner on Christmas Eve, but there would always be turkey and ham….. and with such a crowd the chatter and laughter would be something else.
Once dinner was finished, it was time to open presents.
Christmas morning everyone got suited up and we played ice hockey – trying hard not to kill ourselves or each other!!!! It was a great way to work off all the excesses of the previous evening! Mind you all that exercise and burning of calories was followed by a few pints and left-overs, so it is questionable that it did us any good at all???? I just loved those turkey sandwiches! They always tasted wonderful after all that fresh air.
By Boxing Day (St. Stephen’s Day) everything would be kind of back to normal… but if you did have the day off from work, mostly it was all about shopping.
Since getting married to my beautiful Polish wife, Christmas tradition is quite different. We are both getting used to the fact that we live by the sea in Ireland where the chances of snow are very very slight!!!
Now we celebrate Christmas in the Polish tradition with my wife cooking dinner on Christmas Eve. I love having others cook for me I like the lovely Polish tradition of sitting down to dinner on Christmas Eve as the first star appears – dare I say it, it adds a romantic feel to the evening
On Christmas morning, we exchange our gifts and take a walk down to the beach in Lahinch with the dogs, to watch the Christmas Day swim….. the key word here is ‘watch’. I don’t know how those folks do it? Jumping into freezing cold water!! Maybe some year I’ll be brave enough to do it!!! It would make me feel all virtuous then as I sit be the fire for the rest of the afternoon with a glass of wine and watch lots of movies!
And then St. Stephen’s Day….. it’s back to work.
Do you have family Christmas traditions? How will you be spending Christmas?
However, you will be spending it, we wish you a very very Happy Christmas and a prosperous New Year.
See you soon