Randaddys Shortcuts to save you time in the kitchen

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.

Multi-task
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
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……..

 

Slow Food Festival Clare

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
Randy

A Traditional Christmas

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

Randy

Randaddys Charity Fundraiser with Midwest Simon Community

In all of our lives we all have ups and downs and some may have more than others. I know in my short life there has been a lot.

My mother, being single & with two kids, our family had to struggle from time to time. We were fortunate enough to have help around us to fall back on. I have always been taught by my mother to give back whenever I had a chance and I have done so through my career.
Myself and the staff at Randaddy’s have been trying to think of a way we and others around us are able to give back to the local community and came up with a Man Vs Spaghetti challenge for the Midwest Simon community.

The Mid West Simon Community assists people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness, in the Mid West counties of Limerick, Clare and North Tipperary.
They are actively developing services in Clare in the areas of advice, advocacy and solutions for people who find themselves under pressure to find deposits for rented accommodation.

Their regional services include:

• Simon Housing- moving people out of homelessness into independent living
• Long term supported accommodation
• Tenancy sustainment
• Outreach Services
• Appropriate tailored support provided by Housing Support Officers.
• Housing Advice & Advocacy Service
• Simon Shop & Coffee Dock
• Service user participation programme
• School and College awareness raising presentations
• Third level student placements
• Part Time Volunteer programme
• Campaigns, advocacy and social policy

We here at Randaddys thought it was the perfect charity that we could link up with and have come up with the Man V’s Spaghetti Competition on August 18th.

We would love everyone to get involved as its for a great cause.

For more information or to sign up just log onto our website here

See you all at Randaddys on August 18th for this great cause!

Have fun

Randy

Mussels For Home

Hi to all

Here is a mussel recipe to follow up my video from earlier this week that will work great at home for you to try.
(If you haven’t seen it, click here!


Ingredients

  • 24 fresh, small to medium-sized mussels
  • 3 tablespoons  100% Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • ½ lemon to squezze over
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Hand full of fresh fennel herb

Directions

Place mussels with herbs in large skillet without water. Cover and cook over medium heat, removing the mussels to a warm platter as they open. Discard any that do not open.

Reduce liquid in the skillet to about 2 or 3 tablespoons. Return mussels to skillet. Sprinkle with olive oil, lemon juice and garlic. Heat for 1 minute.

Serve immediately with crusty bread for dunking.

Enjoy
Randy

Ah gnocchi

Ah gnocchi … little pillows of pasta mixed with potatoes and just about any other ingredient that you can get your hands on.

I remember the first time that I tried my hand at making homemade gnocchi I was in India. Your probably thinking what!! Well I had sold myself as a pasta maker to a school of culinary students in India.ad before i knew it, one of the teachers had volunteered me to do a demonstration for 250 students.. As you can imagine this was very intimating but never the less I pulled it off.

Now I am doing it again here at randaddys.We have just added wheat free wild mushroom gnocchi to the menu. It’s very simple and easy to make.All the ingredients can be found at the local shop.

Here is a simple recipe that you can make at home the kids will love it.

•3 large baker potatoes. Cooked mashed and cooled.

•1 egg

•About 2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour

•About 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, diced

•1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage

•Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

•About 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

Mix all together and roll out into a long snake like shape. Cut into 2cm pieces, place into boiling water for around 4-5 minutes  and top with your desired sauce..

With the left overs you can put in the freezer for a later time.

Have fun!!!

Randaddys 5 Steps to Drinking Pint of Guinness

Being a chef has its demands,long days on your feet,the heat, and keeping constant clear mind to keep the food coming out of the kitchen on a steady pace. By the end of the week, my feet, body, and mind is in need of a wined down.One way that I do this is have a pint of the creamy black stuff at the local.

1. The Visual impact – you always drink a pint of Guinness with your eyes first. Take a moment to view the beauty of the beer in the glass. Never look down at a pint of Guinness; always look to the horizon and raise your pint to your mouth

2. Own the pint. Stand proud and stand tall. Feel confident and think, ‘This is my pint. I deserve it as the week was a long one.

3. losen up your elbow up.. Raise your pint and drink the liquid through the head. (Too often, a first?time Guinness drinker will take a small sip and get only the creamy head, which is full of bitter tasting notes). By drinking through the head, you will get the roastiness of the barley in the liquid with a hint of bitterness from the head to round out the overall taste experience. I usually drink a quarter of the glass to insure the

5. Always drink from the same side of the glass so you can see the glass become laced and layered. With each pull from a pint of Guinness, you should see a “ring” of head inside your glass, which we refer to as “lacing.” Stand your ground, tilting the glass so you get enough liquid in your mouth, and energizing the four key elements of Guinness in all areas of the throat; 1) the sweetness of the malted barley on the front of your tongue 2) the roastiness of the roasted barley in the liquid on the sides of your mouth and the 3) the fantastic lingering hint of bitterness on the back of the throat as the liquid flows down. And best of all, 4) that fabulous smooth finish unique to Guinness draught as the taste buds awaken.

Whats your Favourite  beer of choice????

Opening Day

Randaddys is nearing completion and I’m excited to announce the opening of our doors to serve food we are officially open on the 24th of March 2011.