The Culinary Alphabet…A-Z…The Middle Letter U…

Welcome to series 3 of the Culinary Alphabet A-Z…Where the middle letter is U…

So what’s in store? In this series the A, B, C, etc will be the middle letter, for example, Jarlsberg, Korma, Apple and Tursu a variety of Turkish pickled vegetables… how easy that will be who knows I am sure some of the letters of the alphabet could cause the grey matter to rebel or implode…haha…The Letter U which is quite easy I have left some for Pete and Chel…Have fun guys Looking forward to what you come up with …There is of course a generic word like Dough of which there are two types of dough leavened and unleavened doughs…however it doesn’t stop there because if you are talking about pastry dough then you can get a shortcrust pastry, filo pastry, choux pastry, flaky pastry, rough puff pastry, suet crust pastry and puff pastry…Dough could be a whole book …I decided I would leave it there for today…

Let’s go and see what else I have found…

Bagna Cauda…

Literally translated as “hot bath,” this dipping sauce for vegetables often appears in many Italian homes as part of the Christmas Eve buffet…a hot dish made from garlic and anchovies, originating in Piedmont, Italy, during the 16th century. The dish is served and consumed in a manner similar to fondue, sometimes as an appetizer, with raw or cooked vegetables typically used to dip into it.

Brynzove Halusky…

One of Slovakia’s national dishes is this meal of potato dumplings combined with cheese sheep curds and fried bacon.  Žinčica is traditionally drunk with this meal…this is a drink made of sheep milk whey similar to kefir consumed mostly in Slovakia and Poland. It is a by-product of the process of making bryndza cheese(sheep curds)

Beef Bourguignon…

christmas Eve Supper

Beef Bourguinon was the first meal I ever cooked for my husband a man who when he asked me what was in the dish told me he didn’t like garlic amongst other ingredients..sigh…HOWEVER, this one he loved and it is one that I still cook 40 odd years later for a special occasion or a dish that cooks itself on low and slow and makes a perfect Christmas Eve Dinner…Beef Bourguignon

Potato Croquette…

I like potato croquettes and they are something my mother used to make I didn’t realise that they originated in the Indian subcontinent, a potato-filled croquette called aloo Tikki, which is very popular in Northern India and is typically served with a stew. They are mostly eaten as snacks at home and are also popularly sold by roadside vendors…

They are also popular in Japan…Japanese croquettes are called Korokke and the classic style is made of mashed potatoes mixed with sauteed ground beef and onion. The flat oval-shaped patties are breaded with light and airy panko breadcrumbs and deep-fried till golden brown and crispy…and I thought potato croquettes were just little cylinders of breaded mashed potato that taste quite nice and very English…You live and learn… 🙂

Cucuzza Squash…

Oh well, this post is full of surprises…Cucuzza Squash is the same as the Snake gourd we grow down on the farm…Here is one I prepared earlier…lol

Fruity Friday’s…Snake Gourd (Buap Nguu)

It is also popular in Italian Cuisine…Cucuzza is a summer squash in the botanical family of Lagenaria, which boasts a plethora of other varieties. This edible squash is related to the calabash, also known as water gourd or bird’s nest gourd. A vigorous squash, fruit is born from vines that can grow two feet (0.5 m.) a day.

Gouda Cheese…

Gouda is a semisoft cow’s-milk cheese of the Netherlands, named for the town of its origin. … Gouda has a smooth-textured interior of pale ivory colour. Flavours are bland and creamy, except for aged Gouda, which is darker gold in colour, stronger and saltier in flavour, and harder in texture.


Otherwise known as Napa Cabbage…Hakusai means ” White Vegetable”…That large expanse of the white stalk is often just thrown away..not in my kitchen and I hope not in yours after you have tried this stir fry… the stalk of Chinese cabbage is often wasted…cut away…I use this stir-fried as it has a little crunch and to use the leaves they wilt and add water which we don’t like… this stir fry is better with just the stalks and the napa cabbage leaves make another meal… They’re great in soups or just stir-fried with a little garlic and salt…Waste not, want not…

For the sauce: 

  • 4 tsp light soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp Chinese black vinegar
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp oyster sauce

For the rest of the dish: 

  • 1/2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 2 tbsp canola or vegetable oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, smashed and chopped
  • 3-6 dried red chillies, deseeded and chopped
  • 1 green onion, chopped
  • 1 pound napa cabbage (stems only, sliced at an angle?
  • Salt, to taste

Start by making the sauce by mixing together all the sauce ingredients until the sugar is dissolved. In another small bowl, dissolve the cornstarch in 1 tbsp of water to make a slurry. Set aside. (Remember, cornstarch settles quickly, so remember to stir the slurry again before adding it to the dish later).

Is it just me or does anyone else dislike the feel when the cornstarch settles?

Heat the oil in a wok over medium-low heat. Add the garlic, chillies, and green onion, and cook for 1 minute.

Add the cabbage and turn up the heat to high. Stir-fry for 2 minutes.

Now add the prepared sauce and cook for another minute. Taste before you season with salt I generally don’t add salt as for us the soy sauce is salty enough. Stir in the cornstarch slurry and stir-fry for one more minute, until the sauce is thickened.

Serve this hot and sour napa cabbage stir-fry with steamed rice as a light snack or as a side with the main dish….It’s quick and easy and saves waste…


The Hamburger comes in all shapes and sizes from bite-sized to super-sized…According to the Food Lovers Companion, The name “hamburger” comes from the seaport town of Hamburg, Germany, where it is thought that 19th-century sailors brought back the idea of raw shredded beef (known today as beef tartare) after trading with the Baltic provinces of Russia. Some anonymous German chef decided to cook the beef. The hamburger made its first United States appearance at the St. Louis Louisiana Purchase Exposition in 1904. The hamburger is one of America’s favourite foods. It consists of a cooked patty of ground beef sandwiched between two bread halves, usually in the form of a round bun.


The Langoustine at first look appears to be smaller lobsters, or in some cases, langoustines may look like bigger shrimp(prawn). however, langoustines are closer to lobsters than they are to shrimp(prawn) as they are within the same genus family as lobsters.

The quickest and tastiest way to cook these bad boys is with butter and garlic on the BBQ.


The legume family consists of plants that produce a pod with seeds inside. The term “legume” is used to describe the seeds of these plants. Common edible legumes include lentils, peas, chickpeas, beans, soybeans, and peanuts. The different types vary greatly in nutrition, appearance, taste, and use.

Legumes are highly nutritious, packing plenty of protein and fibre. They’re also cheap and widely available as long as you follow the guidelines for cooking and eating legumes then they are perfectly safe…that said legumes should be soaked and properly cooked and prepared Kidney beans are one such bean … lectin is phytohemagglutinin, which is found in red kidney beans. It’s toxic in high amounts, and several incidents of poisoning have been reported after consumption of raw or improperly cooked kidney beans but fully cooked and prepared by soaking them overnight and boiling them at 212°F (100°C) for at least 10 minutes degrades phytohemagglutinin and other lectins self I tend to use tinned kidney beans.

Other lentils and beans I use dry and soak overnight before cooking.


Loquats grow in semitropical environments. In these regions, they may be purchased from local farmers or even grown in backyards….They are more of a backyard fruit as harvesting them on a commercial scale would be labour intensive plus they have a short shelf life and need to be eaten or preserved very quickly after they are picked…you may be lucky to find some in a speciality store at certain times of the year but I would try local farmers or local markets.

Loquats’ sweet, slightly tart taste pairs well with many dishes. These fruits are delicate and don’t keep for long, so you may want to preserve them through freezing, canning, or dehydrating. You can also make them into jams and jellies.


Moqueca is a Brazilian Fish Stew…It seems like every culture with a coastline has its own version of a seafood stew. The French have bouillabaisse, the Portuguese bacalhau, New England has chowder all of which I love or would love as I love seafood stews.

If you don’t want to watch the whole video just fast forward to 12.13 and you can see an original Moqueca being made and eaten…I love Mark Weins as he finds the local eating places where the food is delicious and authentic…Enjoy!


These pull-apart garlic rolls are traditional in Ukraine, where they are called ‘pampushki’ (pronounced pahm-poosh-kee). They are usually served with Ukrainian Borsch and other dishes.


Prunes are a childhood memory served with vanilla custard we used to count the pits(stone) and sing “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Sailor…“Tinker, Tailor” is a counting game, nursery rhyme and fortune-telling song traditionally played in England, that can be used to count cherry stones, buttons, daisy petals and other items.


A French soft cheese made from cows’ milk…usually flavoured with herbs and garlic it used to be hand-rolled into logs of various sizes, rolled in either fresh herbs, salmon and dill or chives and strawberry. It has a melt-in-the-mouth, creamy texture.


Sautéing or sauteing is a method of cooking that uses a relatively small amount of oil or fat in a shallow pan over relatively high heat.


Is a beautiful classic French cheese made from Goats milk…it is produced mainly in Loire Valley in middle France. This buttery, smooth cheese has a little acidic flavour and a drier, denser texture, and a fine grey-blue edible rind…it is easily recognised as it is made in the shape of a small log with a stick of straw running horizontally through its middle.

Squab Pigeon…

A squab is a young, immature pigeon about 4 weeks old. Because it is too young to fly, the meat is very tender. Squab usually weigh about 12 to 16 ounces, including giblets, and have dark, delicately flavoured meat. They are usually stuffed whole and roasted…Often seen on TV cooking shows and served at high-end restaurants.


I have often heard squid and Calamari used in the same sentence…they are not the same…Squid is cheaper and tougher; calamari is more tender and expensive.

You can tell the difference just in case the fishmonger is trying to pull a fast one…You can tell squid from calamari by the fins that form an arrow shape on the end of the squid’s hood. The fins of calamari extend almost all the way down the hood…

However, you can make squid as tender as calamari by marinating it with kiwi fruit…

My favourite dish using baby squid is Thai Squid Salad…

Up until I tried this squid salad I disliked squid with a passion…this changed from that moment on the squid was soft and melt in the mouth the dish was flavoursome with lots of herbs, chillies, fish sauce and lime juice …delicious one of my favourites.


A nice apple strudel with vanilla custard or ice cream is a delicious treat…One of the most popular treats in any traditional Viennese café, this iconic dessert is considered by many to be the national dish of Austria. Often mistaken for being of German origin, the oldest known strudel recipe dates back to 1697 and survives today in a handwritten cookbook in the Vienna Town Hall Library…

A classic apple strudel recipe can’t be beaten! With shop-bought filo pastry, it’s easy to make, too. Apple strudel doesn’t have to take a long time to prepare if you use ready-made filo pastry from the supermarket…

I myself used to wonder if strudel dough is the same as puff pastry it isn’t …it’s the fat! In the Puff Pastry, the butter is folded in, in the Strudel (filo) dough the oil is part of the dough from the beginning and the Phyllo dough is brushed with oil before being baked. …I have not attempted to make Strudel dough… I buy filo pastry…shortcrust pasty I make …filo is easier to buy ready-made why make unnecessary work for yourself…


Why, Yes, please…mine is a Marguerita one of my favourite Christmas tipples…Today on reading a friends post… the benefits of drinking tequila were confirmed by a lady who is a qualified Nutritional expert none other than my friend Sally…I will give you a couple of little exerts from the post and advise you to pop over and read the rest if you wish to have further confirmation of the benefits of this beautiful drink…

Sally said…”I have looked on a worldwide basis for the health benefits of margaritas and this is a summary of the best I could find.”

  1. Apart from the obvious antiseptic, antioxidant and anti-ageing effects of the cocktail there are some other side effects that can be life-changing.
  2. If you have feelings of inadequacy or suffer from shyness and lack of assertiveness then drinking just one margarita may be the answer.
  3. It makes you feel more confidant about yourself and your actions and encourages you to tell the world that you are willing and able to do just about anything. You will notice the effects of the margarita almost immediately. You will find that you are able to dance at a higher intensity (particularly on a table), ….to be continued by clicking this link


To truss meat or a chicken…Trussing meat before roasting helps retain its shape while it cooks in the oven and stops the meat from spreading. This method can also be used for stuffed and rolled joints of meat to hold them together. The trussing method works by tying a series of interlinked knots to secure the meat in place.

Easy when you know how…

Thank you so much for joining me today I know what a busy time of the year this is for many of you …your visits and comments are very much enjoyed and appreciated…Merry Christmas xx



32 thoughts on “The Culinary Alphabet…A-Z…The Middle Letter U…

  1. Pingback: CarolCooks2 weekly roundup… 12th- 18th December 2021…Culinary A-Z, Music, Recipes and more… | Retired? No one told me!

  2. dgkaye

    Very interesting Carol. There seems to be no shortage of foods you find to fit your alphabet. 🙂 That French cheese piqued my interest. And of course, I love Sally’s marg recipe! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. CarolCooks2 Post author

      That made me smile it was great… as for food there are no bounds there so much that even I don’t know and of course there are many names for the same food.. I love this series ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Jim Borden

    I’m impressed that you remember that the first meal you cooked for your husband was Beef Bourguinon! glad to see the humble hamburger on the list; as you note, it is quite popular in the U.S.

    strudels and tequila would be a fun combo to try. And I like Sally’s summary of the health benefits 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. CarolCooks2 Post author

      Sally’s health benefits were so funny and I just had to share. Jim, my hubby was the fussiest man I have ever met…was being the operative word…lol…Yes the hamburger is most certainly very popular in your country and strudel and tequila I’m up for that lol.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. CarolCooks2 Post author

        It took a while, Jim and now he will try most things which is good as we all have foods we don’t like but as long as you try it with an open mind thats 👌… Mine is tofu as try as I do its thats squeak I don’t hate I’m just not keen but maybe if a michelin star chef cooked me a dish it could change my mind on tofu.. who knows.. 😎

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: The Culinary Alphabet…A-Z…The Middle Letter U… – MobsterTiger

  5. beetleypete

    I am very fond of Langoustine, but I think it is best eaten fresh caught at the coast. The best I ever had was from a fish market in Brittany, next to a small harbour. They were just off the boat, and we took a big bucket of them back to the gite, then cooked them immediately for lunch.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 2 people


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