Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Fried Calamari - The Official Appetizer of Rhode Island


On Friday, the 27th of June, 2014, a bill was signed naming calamari as the official appetizer of the State of Rhode Island. Seeing as RI accounts for nearly half of the East Coast's annual quota of squid, it would only stand to reason that calamari should be honored as the State's official starter. This momentous event was hosted by The Town Dock at their Point Judith location, where the bill was signed by Governor Chafee, and was immediately followed by generous portions of "Rhode Island-Style Calamari" served up fried with hot cherry peppers and garlic.

Luckily, the good folks over at The Town Dock were kind enough to provide us with plenty of fresh squid to cook up a few batches of calamari today. So we are honored to feature their quality product alongside ours, as we make today's dish in commemoration of it being the official appetizer of Rhode Island - Fried Calamari!!

If you've never tried fried calamari, then you are definitely missing out on a wonderful seafood treat. And if you've never been to Rhode Island - or haven't visited our fabulous little state in awhile - then a taste of amazingly fresh and perfectly delicious RI calamari is a great reason to take a ride to the Ocean State!

For those of you who don't have time for the trip, we thought we would offer you a look at how Drum Rock does calamari, in the hopes that you, too, will give the fabulous official appetizer of Rhode Island a taste! So grab a bag of Drum Rock and some fresh calamari, and let's fry up a batch together!!



Fried Calamari






For Fis-Chic Fried Calamari:

Ingredients:
  • 2 pounds of calamari rings (fresh or defrosted)
  • 5 cups of Drum Rock Fis-Chic
  • 3 cups of water
  • Oil for frying
  • Fryolator


Directions:

If using calamari that is frozen, make sure it is completely defrosted and drained over a colander before use, otherwise you will have under-cooked and/or soggy calamari.


1. Fill the fryolator with oil and turn to 375° F.

2. While the oil is heating, add 2 cups of Drum Rock Fis-Chic to a large mixing bowl, and slowly stir in about 3 cups of water until desired consistency is reached (you need a pretty loose wet wash, because we are just giving the calamari a light coat). To another bowl, add 3 cups of Fis-Chic for the dry dredge.

3. Once oil is up to temp, place a large handful (10-12 calamari rings) into the wet wash, making sure to coat well, then allow the excess wash to drip off before transferring to the dry dredge.


4. Make sure to thoroughly coat all the rings, inside and out, with the dry mix so that you get a good crispy coat all over. Once coated, shake off excess mix and very carefully place in the hot oil.



5. Each batch should take no more than 1 minute to cook, making sure to move the calamari around a bit in the oil by shaking the fry basket so you get an even cook. You will know they are done when the rapid bubbles slow down, and the calamari rises up and turns a perfect golden-brown color.



6. Once cooked, remove from oil and allow to cool on a paper towel or plate before serving.




For Spicey-Fried Calamari:

Ingredients:
  • 2 pounds of calamari rings (fresh or defrosted)
  • 5 cups of Drum Rock Spicey-Fry
  • 3 cups of water
  • Oil for frying
  • Fryolator


Directions:

If using calamari that is frozen, make sure it is completely defrosted and drained over a colander before use, otherwise you will have under-cooked and/or soggy calamari.


1. Fill the fryolator with oil and turn to 375° F.

2. While the oil is heating, add 2 cups of Drum Rock Spicey-Fry to a large mixing bowl, and slowly stir in about 3 cups of water until desired consistency is reached (you need a pretty loose wet wash, because we are just giving the calamari a light coat). To another bowl, add 3 cups of Spicey-Fry for the dry dredge.

3. Once oil is up to temp, place a large handful (10-12 calamari rings) into the wet wash, making sure to coat well, then allow the excess wash to drip off before transferring to the dry dredge.


4. Make sure to thoroughly coat all the rings, inside and out, with the dry mix so that you get a good crispy coat all over. Once coated, shake off excess mix and very carefully place in the hot oil. 



5. Each batch should take no more than 1 minute to cook, making sure to move the calamari around a bit in the oil by shaking the fry basket so you get an even cook. You will know they are done when the rapid bubbles slow down, and the calamari rises up and turns a perfect golden-brown color.


6. Once cooked, remove from oil and allow to cool on a paper towel or plate before serving.




Fried calamari is such a simple dish and there are so many different ways to prepare it, that you will never get bored. And the best part? You can dress your dish up any way you like! Drum Rock makes this dish even more versatile because we offer the ability to enjoy either a spicier version with our Spicey-Fry, or a more mild version using our Fis-Chic. 

While fried calamari is always great on its own, we like ours with a little spice. That's why we did a few batches in our Spicey-Fry Mix, which offers the perfect spicy kick without being overwhelming. And that heat is balanced by the delicately sweet squid, making for a perfect combination.

If you're looking for a milder dish, just try your calamari in our Fis-Chic Wonder Batter. That way you can build the flavor you want after frying. We tried ours with a few banana pepper rings (which still pack quite a punch!) but a little squeeze of lemon and a dollop of tartar sauce would definitely be amazing, too. Another classic preparation for fried calamari offers marinara sauce on the side. 

It doesn't matter how you choose to eat it, all that matters is that you enjoy it as much as we do!! And the next time you're chowing down on a heaping plate of calamari, just remember the good old state of Rhode Island is probably where it came from!!

















Enjoy!!!




Thursday, July 17, 2014

Fried Brownies


Who doesn't appreciate a really good brownie from time to time? And can you think of a better way to up the yummy factor then wrapping that brownie in a warm and crispy coat of fried dough? Neither can we! That's why today we decided to bring you our latest idea for a creative dessert - Deep Fried Brownies.

Fresh from the oven brownies served with a tall glass of cold milk is one of life's greatest pleasures, especially if you're a self-proclaimed foodie, like us. We dreamed up this nugget of deliciousness during a serious chocolate craving, and we are quite pleased with the result. If you're a chocolate lover, too, then get on board and give this recipe a try. You won't be disappointed!!



Fried Brownies





Ingredients:

  • 1 pan of brownies (homemade or store-bought)
  • 2-1/2 cups of Drum Rock Fis-Chic Wonder Batter
  • 1 cup of water
  • Oil for frying
  • Fryolator
  • Chocolate syrup, powdered sugar, and/or whipped cream for garnish


Directions:

1. Fill the fryolator with oil and turn to 375° F.

2. Cut the brownies so you have rectangular pieces that are approximately 1/2" wide by 1-1/2" long. (We cut the brownies shown below in half.)



3. To a large mixing bowl, add 2-1/2 cups of Fis-Chic and slowly stir in 1 cup of water. You may have to use more or less water until your batter reaches the desired consistency, which is that of a thick pancake batter.



4. Once oil is up to temp, coat a few pieces of brownie at a time in the batter, then carefully place (don't drop!) the brownie in the hot oil. You can fry in batches of 3 or 4 at a time, but don't overload the fryer.



5. Allow about 60 to 90 seconds to cook, and make sure to flip brownies over halfway through cooking so you get a nice golden brown on all sides. Once cooked, remove brownies and allow to cool slightly on a paper towel or plate.






We chose to drizzle our warm brownies with some chocolate sauce and dusted them with a little powdered sugar, but use your imagination as far as toppings go, because we're pretty sure there is no wrong way to top a fried brownie!

This is such a versatile dessert because you really can make or buy any kind of brownies you like. We chose plain and walnut brownies (and they turned out absolutely delicious, of course!) but we think they would be just as amazing with chocolate chip or butterscotch brownies, or even a really great blondie recipe!


These little squares of heaven smelled like they were fresh from the oven, and had that perfect ooey gooeyness about them that made them basically irresistible. Seriously, they were gone from sight almost as soon as they came out of the fryer! So, if you're looking for a creative idea for your next batch of brownies that will have everyone asking you to make another dozen, then we have the solution for you. Try frying them with Drum Rock, and you will have a great new recipe to keep on standby for years to come!














Enjoy!!!



Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Fish & Chips


If you are a true Rhode Islander, then chances are that you have been to - or at least heard of - Ye Olde English Fish & Chips in downtown Woonsocket. If you are a lover of fish & chips, and all things seafood, and you've never had the pleasure of visiting this historic institution, then you are most certainly missing out on one of RI's greatest food gems.

Established in 1922, Ye Olde English has remained steadfast for over 90 years, serving the same quality seafood they have for generations. Named second only to one of the world's largest fish & chips eateries in England, Ye Olde English remains the ideal stop for classic fish & chips in RI, so give them a try if you have a hankering.

If you're not in the area, or are feeling the urge to try your hand at making this delicious dish, then Drum Rock is here to help you out. And the best part? Our versatile Fis-Chic mix is called the Wonder Batter & Breader for a reason! That means if you are looking for a lighter version of fish & chips, all you need to do is a quick 2-step dredge, and you'll have a perfectly light, crispy, and crunchy coat that makes the perfect alternative to the thicker Olde English-style batter.

So if you're looking to satisfy your craving for some yummy fried seafood, grab a bag of Drum Rock, heat up your fryer, and join us as we make today's dish - Fish & Chips!!



Fish & Chips






                For Olde English-style Fish & Chips

Ingredients:
  • 2-8 oz. pieces of white flaky fish of choice (cod or haddock work best)
  • 2 cups of Fis-Chic Wonder Batter & Breader
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 large mixing bowl
  • Oil for frying
  • Fryolator
  • Fry basket
  • Paper plate or towels


Directions:

1. Fill the fryolator with oil and turn to 375° F.

2. If fish is frozen, make sure it is completely defrosted before use. Divide the fish fillets so that you have 4 smaller pieces, making them more manageable to dredge and fry.


3. In a large mixing bowl add 2 cups of Fis-Chic and slowly stir in water, until you reach a consistency that is like thick pancake batter. You may have to add slightly more or less than 1 cup of water to get desired batter thickness.

4. Once oil is up to temp, thoroughly coat the pieces of fish in the wet batter. Allow any excess to drip off before carefully placing in the hot oil. Fry 2 pieces at a time in order to not overload the fryer.

5. Make sure to flip fish over in order to get a nice even golden brown on all sides. Each piece should take between 2 and 3 minutes to cook through, depending on thickness of fillet.


6. When fish is cooked, remove from oil and drain on a paper towel/plate. Serve hot.



                For thinner, crispier-style Fish & Chips

Ingredients:
  • 2-8 oz. pieces of white flaky fish of choice (cod or haddock work best)
  • 3-1/2 cups of Fis-Chic Wonder Batter & Breader
  • 1 cup of water
  • 2 large mixing bowls
  • Oil for frying
  • Fryolator
  • Fry basket
  • Paper plate or towels


Directions:

1. Fill the fryolator with oil and turn to 375° F.

2. If fish is frozen, make sure it is completely defrosted before use. Divide the fish fillets so that you have 4 smaller pieces, making them more manageable to dredge and fry.


3. To one mixing bowl, add 1 and 1/2 cups Fis-Chic and slowly mix in water, until you have a loose consistency wet wash. You may have to add slightly more or less than 1 cup of water to get desired wash thickness. To the second bowl, add 2 cups of Fis-Chic for the dry dredge.

4. Once oil is up to temp, thoroughly coat the pieces of fish in the wet batter and allow any excess to drip off before transferring to the dry dredge. Completely coat each fillet with the dry mix, then shake off any excess before carefully placing in the hot oil. Fry 2 pieces at a time in order to not overload the fryer.



5. Make sure to flip fish over in order to get a nice even golden brown on all sides. Each piece should take between 2 and 3 minutes to cook through, depending on thickness of fillet.


6. When fish is cooked, remove from oil and drain on a paper towel/plate. Serve hot.






Fish & Chips are a delicious and classic seafood dish that we think is pretty difficult to pass up, and if you are inclined to agree, than this is a recipe that you should definitely try out. Drum Rock Fis-Chic Batter & Breader offers that perfect layer of crispness, whether you opt for the thicker Olde English style, or a thinner coat on your fish. 

As tradition goes, fried fish is typically served over a bed of thick cut fries, drenched in malt vinegar and dusted in salt, with a side of coleslaw and tartar sauce. This is how we at Drum Rock enjoy our fish & chips, but if you're partial to a more low-key flavor profile, this is a dish that can most certainly deliver without the help of condiments. So serve up your fish & chips any way you like, we promise this one will not disappoint!!












Enjoy!!


Thursday, July 3, 2014

Clam Cakes & Chowda'



When it comes to the 4th of July, there is a tendency to go all out America. And here in Rhode Island, we take that patriotism a step further, making sure to pay homage to good old New England. So while brainstorming ideas for the most perfectly patriotic dish to showcase this week, we kept coming back to an old New England standby that we have yet to share - Clam Cakes & Chowda'!

There are few dishes that can conjure up idyllic memories of sunny beach days and warm summer nights quite like a piping hot clam cake dunked in a big bowl of creamy clam chowder. So this year, share that incredible experience with everyone at your cookout - it won't disappoint. And there is no better way to do it than with Drum Rock!!   Your family and friends will certainly be glad you did!


Clam Cakes & Chowda'




Ingredients:
  • 1 pint of chopped clams, fresh or frozen
  • 1 pound of Drum Rock Fritter & Clam Cake Mix
  • 1 to 1-1/2 cups of water
  • Ice cream scoop (we recommend a #50 scoop)
  • Oil for frying
  • Fryolator
  • Fry basket or slotted spoon


Directions:

1. Fill the fryolator with oil and turn to 375° F.

2. Add 1 pound of Fritter & Clam Cake Mix to a large bowl; add in chopped clams and clam juice (if frozen, make sure clams are completely defrosted before use). Slowly mix in water, about a ½ cup at a time until desired consistency is reached.  Do not over mix the batter, otherwise your cakes will be very dense, not light and fluffy. Allow batter to proof for about 10 minutes while the oil is heating up.



3. Once oil is up to temp, use an ice cream scoop (we recommend using a #50 scoop) to drop batter in batches of 8-12 cakes at a time. Make sure to scoop from the side of the bowl in order to get the fluffiest cakes possible. Fry in batches to avoid overloading the oil, which will cool the oil down and make for very oily cakes.

4. Clam cakes should take between 3 and 4 minutes to cook, depending on the size. Make sure to turns cakes over midway through so they cook through evenly. Once golden-brown and crispy, remove from oil and cool slightly before serving.


We'd like to send a big thanks to our friends at Atlantic Cape Fisheries in Bristol, who were kind enough to provide us with the chopped clams for our clam cakes today.





Drum Rock Clam Cakes are more than capable of standing on their own as a dish, but  light, fluffy, golden cakes are a match made in heaven with a warm bowl of fresh clam chowder. And we are definitely partial to dunking at least a few into a clam chowder of choice, be it red, white, or clear.

We are lucky enough to have a number of favorite seafood eateries just around the corner us, but if you're too far - or have a tried and true recipe for Rhode Island chowda' - homemade is an ideal alternative.

So if you are looking for a stand-out dish that will have everyone buzzing at your 4th of July bash this year, look no further than Drum Rock's unbeatable Clam Cakes! They are a long-standing New England tradition that you won't believe you've missed out on for so long.



















Enjoy & Happy 4th!!!!