Welcome to week 7 in my kitchen…
I am now on Take 3 of the sourdough saga…I am not giving up…I went out bought wholemeal flour..ditched the expensive unbleached flour and started again, so far so good…We might get a sourdough loaf, fingers crossed…It has definitely been a learning curve but hey ho nothing in life is easy is it? Definitely not cooking.
You have probably noticed that my recipes are all cooked from scratch contain healthy ingredients which have proven health benefits…I am trying to break the mould or the myths that healthy food is bland and/or boring…There seems to be a barrier to me… we just need to know our food and what the benefits to our health is and cook accordingly.
I don’t spend hours in the kitchen and I don’t think that I buy special foods or expensive foods and I certainly don’t feel deprived in any way at all…It is also foods which we all eat ..grandkids included although we limit the heat for little Lily or take her portion out before we add all the chilli.
Something I never thought I would try…Matcha Tea with Cheese… I first heard about this on John Reiber’s blog which I will say I love, John is always finding the quirky, the unusual and he loves bacon so that is a plus in my book…My comment was…
I am with Pete on this one…Cheese with Apple Pie( not melted) or cheese with Christmas cake as they do in the North of England I like …Cheese and tea does not appeal, although I will say I don’t drink many drinks at all my taste, is simple with regards to drinks water being my main tipple. Interesting to hear your view though John 🙂
Enter my grandson Aston with the said tea and cheese drink ” You must try this, Nannie it is so cool…I should have guessed that something like this would have found its way here…
I ummed and I ahhed and expressed my unwillingness to try it…Made with matcha green tea then cream cheese is frothed and added to the top…So I succumbed to Aston’s just try it, nan!
It wasn’t awful… It was ok…Would I buy one…No! But then I don’t buy drinks like that anyway but it really was ok and I can see it being a hit…
This weeks curry… Red Duck Curry ( Kaeng Ped Pett Yang)
One of my favourite curries and one which I don’t have very often…why? Not sure really…I probably save it for special occasions.
I had Duck curry for the first time on a little island just off Phuket, Thailand it is a fiery curry offset by pineapple and tomatoes. Some add lychee as well as pineapple but we found it a little sweet for us but experiment, everyone’s taste is different….I also add some vegetables, mange tout or sugar snap peas, a few florets of brocolli..really whatever I have in the fridge.
Firstly cook your duck breasts, we like ours medium rare.
Put the duck skin side down in a cold pan, turn the heat to medium and cook the duck breasts for 6-8 minutes until the skin is golden and crispy, turn the breasts over and just sear the other side for 1 minute. Turn over so they are breast side up and put in a pre-heated oven at 200 degrees for 7-9 minutes. Remove from oven and rest for 10 minutes before slicing the breasts thinly.
- 400ml coconut milk
- 1 tbsp fish sauce
- 3/4 cup fresh pineapple cut into bite-sized pieces.
- 10 cherry tomatoes.
- 6-10 mange tout..or other vegetables of your choice.
- 100gm Thai eggplant cut into quarters. ( Pictured below)
If you can’t get these any small eggplant will be ok I sometimes use small purple ones if I can’t get the green.
- 1-2 tbsp red curry paste.
- 6 kaffir lime leaves torn
- Bunch Thai basil washed and leaves picked..
- 2 tsp lime juice.
To make sauce put a very tiny drop of oil in the pan over medium heat add your curry paste and stir to cook for 1 min, add fish sauce. Gradually add coconut milk whilst still stirring.
Bring to a slow boil and add torn lime leaves and eggplants cook for 5/6 mins and add tomatoes and pineapple, cook for a further 10 minutes then add mange tout and stir in some Thai basil leaves and lime juice.
Now taste and adjust curry paste if you want more heat. If anything else needs adjusting you can also do that now. Thai flavours are very pronounced and if you get it balanced ..very nice if not…I have had some disasters and I don’t mind admitting that…which is why I always say TASTE and Taste again.
The very first duck curry I made was ok…so we left out the lychee the next time and it was much better…also, I know which curry paste to now use as they are all so different…Please don’t let this put you off making it as when you get it right it is a lovely thing.
When you are ready to serve then add sliced duck to the sauce and just warm through and serve with some Thai basil over the top and slice red chilli if you like.
Serve with steamed rice.
My finds this week…Were not ones I chanced upon but ones I was searching for…I love green tea and am discovering more about the types and how they are produced and what health benefits they have… I always use loose leaf tea and if the green tea has a lot of stalks then it is a low-grade one the one I bought the other day is completely different in appearance it is like little buds I can also see and taste the difference this one has slightly more colour and a refined taste. Although how you brew your green tea makes a lot of difference and I don’t get that bitter green tea taste anymore…
Jin Xian Oolong No 12 Tea also known as Golden Lily Oolong tea is 100% organic and contains no artificial additives.
Grown in the northern mountains of Thailand 1200-1800 metres above sea level it is untouched by pollution… a low oxidised tea of twisted little balls /snails… Called BiLuoCun which means the green shell which because the tea is hand rolled it looks like small snail shells..hence the name.
Dut to its high concentration of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals it is said to increase the metabolism thus breaking down fat, reduce cholesterol and improve skin condition.
Because I am cutting down on certain foods and want to increase my fibre I am going to eat more brown/wild rice which I love …Thailand is the home of rice and there are so many choices of rice…Types and colours it is awesome … I have decided to start eating more wild rice…the one I bought this week from the Royal Project Shop was Kaipa Wild Rice …Like my tea grown in the mountains of Northern Thailand…I am also trying to reduce our carbon footprints…
Kaipa Wild Rice...I know wild rice takes longer to cook however to cut down on the cooking time for brown or wild rice, soak it overnight. For brown rice, the water-to-rice ratio is 2 to 1. For wild rice, cover with a generous amount of water, several inches above the rice. Soak the rice in a covered pot and keep in the refrigerator about six hours or overnight.
This Highland brown rice is grown by the Pakayor hill tribe …It is long grain rice similar to Mali rice. The rice contains gamma oryzanol which is an antioxidant that helps prevent free radicals.
If you are a fan of smoothies like me…I had a lovely one the other day…Mixed coloured tomatoes, green, red, orange and a couple of passionfruit…Try one it is lovely…
My experiment this week ( apart) from sourdough…was Pork and Blackbean Sauce.
- 1lb of pork fillet cut into 1/4 in strips
- 1 tbsp of fresh ginger finely chopped
- 2 large cloves of garlic finely chopped
- 1/2 tbsp light soy sauce
- 1/2 tbsp dark soy sauce
- 1 tbsp of rice wine
- 2 tsp cornflour
- 2 tbsp raw cane sugar
- 3 tbsps oil
- 2 tbsp black bean sauce
- 1/4 shredded white cabbage( optional)
- 1 chilli which I snuck in…( optional)
Put the pork fillet in a bowl with the first 7 ingredients. Now massage the pork with your hands to incorporate the marinade otherwise it will just sit in the ingredients and we want it to absorb the flavours anything we make here which has a marinade is massaged in with the hands. Let it sit for about 10 minutes.
Heat 2 tbsps of your oil then add your pork and stir fry for 2/3 minutes until it is almost cooked. Transfer to a plate.
Drain the oil from the pan and keep for stir-fries or something and add the other tbsp of oil and add your cabbage cook for 1 minute… I used cabbage as it added another texture/vegetable and next time I would add more cabbage.
Return the pork to the pan and add 2 tbsps of black bean sauce stir fry for 2 mins and taste add some salt if required.
Serve with rice or noodles and drizzle with sriracha or chilli oil.
The pork was lovely and soft…I only used pork fillet as my little old pork man didn’t have the cut I normally buy and let me have it for the same price ..bless him…I am sure it would be equally as good with hip or with chicken…I thought it needed more chilli and cabbage…But I am a chilli fiend…Hubby loved it as it was. It is a nice quick meal to make and would make it again x
Thank you very much for reading this post and if you have any tales from your kitchen you would love to share please do x
About Carol Taylor:
Enjoying life in The Land Of Smiles I am having so much fun researching, finding new, authentic recipes both Thai and International to share with you. New recipes gleaned from those who I have met on my travels or are just passing through and stopped for a while. I hope you enjoy them.
I love shopping at the local markets, finding fresh, natural ingredients, new strange fruits and vegetable ones I have never seen or cooked with. I am generally the only European person and attract much attention and I love to try what I am offered and when I smile and say Aroy or Saab as it is here in the north I am met with much smiling.
Some of my recipes may not be in line with traditional ingredients and methods of cooking but are recipes I know and have become to love and maybe if you dare to try you will too. You will always get more than just a recipe from me as I love to research and find out what other properties the ingredients I use contain to improve our health and wellbeing.
The environment is also something I am passionate about and there will be more on this on my blog this year
Exciting for me hence the title of my blog, Retired No One Told Me! I am having a wonderful ride and don’t want to get off, so if you wish to follow me on my adventures, then welcome! I hope you enjoy the ride also and if it encourages you to take a step into the unknown or untried, you know you want to…….Then, I will be happy!
Carol is a contributor to the Phuket Island Writers Anthology: https://www.amazon.com/Phuket-Island-Writers-Anthology-Stories-ebook/dp/B00RU5IYNS
Connect to Carol
Thank you once again for reading this post I hope you all have a great weekend xx