Welcome to this weeks look into my kitchen…we all seem to be eating more during this period of cocooning ourselves at home…it is weird and surreal always very quiet where we live but lately, we are seeing more people out for a stroll or a bike ride probably people who would normally go to the local park in the early evening but are staying close to home.
I have definitely been cooking more sweet things it seems staying in and watching movies etc is conducive to eating more…
My lemongrass is drying nicely I reckon one more day and it will be dry enough to grind down into powder…
This is the first time I have dried lemongrass so I am hoping it lives up to my expectations it just looks like next time I will have to cut up much more as it has shrunk as it dries quite a bit.
What have I been cooking then…Bread Pudding only this time I added some cooked apple as I had quite a lot of apples and cooked/stewed some down with spice and cinnamon…My other half pulled a face as is quite normal when he asks what I am cooking and what is in it…He knows me well…sigh…and knows that I always add something…in this case apples…The outcome? very nice and moist…
If you have lots of bread in your freezer then just click the link above for the ingredients and add a tbsp or three of stewed apple even fresh apple would nice…
As my little trips to the market and the shops have been curtained for the foreseeable I have had to start making my own bread again…I don’t eat very much bread but hubby and the grandkids like a sandwich or toast so as I cannot get out to my local baker I am going to have to make my own more regularly the same with my yoghurt as when I have been out I have noticed that locally produced goods are not on the shelves.
This recipe is for a white loaf as it is hubby’s preference although he is getting to like wholewheat bread so now I have stocked up today on my flours the next loaf will not be white…
This is a recipe for white bread as hubby doesn’t do wholemeal like me and that is his choice so I have done the best I can and used unbleached white flour which is not chemically bleached like normal white flour and although my preference would be dry or natural yeast I am working on that one but, still go through the traditional proving of his white loaf so for all you white bread eaters…Enjoy!
Let’s Cook! Bread!
- 5 cups of flour. I used unbleached, Bread flour.
- 2 tbsp of instant yeast
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 cups of warm water
- 1/4 cup of cooking oil. I used Olive oil.
This is so quick and easy.
Add 4 cups of flour with all the other ingredients and mix to combine…just get your hands in there it’s the best way.
It will be sticky but hey ho we are bread making.
Gradually knead in the last cup of flour and knead that dough for 5 minutes.
Put it in a bowl and cover with a damp cloth and leave to prove for 30 minutes(for) me but it is warm here it may be a tad longer for you.
It should double its size, punch it down and divide into two or as I will next time make one large loaf.
Shape both pieces to fit into your oiled bread tins and leave to rise until dough reaches the top of the tin approx 20/30 mins.
Bake at 440F/ 200 C for approx 40 minutes.
Allow the bread to cool slightly then remove from the tin and put on a cooling rack you now have two lovely loaves of fresh bread.
If the crust is too hard then cover with a clean, damp tea towel to soften.
I love fresh green peppercorns and they are used a lot in Thai cookery… if I am just cooking a quick, stir fry for me I take about 75/100 gms of sliced pork loin or chicken and stir fry it in some Thai red curry paste to which I add a little fish sauce and some coconut milk I then cook it over a fairly high heat until it is quite dry and add some fresh peppercorns and maybe a squeeze of lime it all depends how I feel. If I am eating it with sticky rice I prefer it drier but if I am eating it with steamed rice I leave the sauce a little runnier.
That’s a Carol special for me though as I like it super hot sometimes for the family I bring it down a little they love the flavour of a lovely peppercorn sauce over meat or fish although the recipe for fish is slightly different.
This Pork is a family favourite.
Pork shoulder with peppercorn sauce.
- Lean pork shoulder slices or pork loin
- 2-3 cloves of garlic finely chopped
- A pint of fresh stock.
- A Cup of full cream milk
- 5/6 stems of fresh peppercorns
- Half tbsp Worcester sauce (optional)
- Corn flour or arrowroot to thicken the sauce.
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
Before I start I will just say we make this recipe quite often and as many of you will know I go by taste rather than exact amounts.
Season the slices of shoulder portions with salt, pepper and little olive oil and cook in the oven about 180 turning and basting for about 30-40 minutes depending on the size/ thickness of your portions.
To make the sauce saute the garlic in a little olive oil and butter then add the stock and let simmer for a couple of minutes then add Worcestershire sauce if using and milk. Season with salt and plenty of black pepper.
Thicken the sauce with a cornflour or arrowroot slurry to your desired thickness. I now add the sauce to my pork and cover the pan so that the sauce doesn’t cook away. We like it like this as the meat juices and garlic add extra flavour to the sauce and then cook for a further 30 minutes or until meat is lovely and tender. Stir in your fresh peppercorns and check the seasoning.
We then serve with rice and green vegetables but it is also lovely with potatoes either mashed or new potatoes.
Unless your peppercorns are super fresh they will sometimes turn black with cooking this does not detract from the flavour.
I also freeze peppercorns if I am not using them all straightaway this also turns them black but they are still ok to use although I use within about 2 weeks of freezing them.
This week I am going to have a go at making fresh pasta and also some greek yoghurt…wish me luck as I haven’t made either for a very long time or never in the case of greek yoghurt…normal yoghurt but not greek yoghurt.
That’s all for this week from me please stay safe and think of others we are all in this together…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!
Please stay safe and well and follow your governments safety guidelines remember we are all in this together xxx