Category Archives: # A-Z of Food#

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Carol Taylor’s – Culinary A – Z Rewind – Baking Soda, Bananas, Broccoli, Butterflying food and cooking with a Bain Marie

Welcome to a repeat of the series from Carol Taylor, the wonderful Culinary A – Z and a reminder, not only of the amazing variety of food we have available to us today from around the world, but delicious recipes to showcase them. Carol also introduces us to cooking methods and kitchen equipment that assist in creating meals for all occasions.

Please head over to Smorgasbord Magazine to read the original post by clicking the highlighted link below…Thank you Sally for repeating my culinary A-Z…this week it is the letter B…

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2022/07/06/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-carol-taylors-culinary-a-z-rewind-baking-soda-bananas-broccoli-butterflying-food-and-cooking-with-a-bain-marie/

 

CarolCooks2 weekly roundup… 26th -3rd July 2022-Monday Musings, Health, Food Review “Real food v Processed Food” and Saturday Snippets where “Glory” is my one word promp…

Welcome to my weekly roundup …July has arrived… July is the seventh month of the year in the Julian and Gregorian Calendars and the fourth of seven months to have a length of 31 days. It was named by the Roman Senate in honour of Roman general Julius Caesar in 44 B.C., it being the month of his birth…July 3rd brings the start of the hot and sultry Dog Days of Summer! …Plus July 4th is Independence Day in the US…

July weather for some is mid-winter and if you are in the northern hemisphere it’s summer warm and rainy…The dog days or dog days of summer are the hot, sultry days of summer…

Let’s start the roundup with Monday Musings… 

Starting with the reminder that it’s Plastic Free July . Sign up here...but remember zero waste and plastic is an intention, not a hard and fast rule…if as an individual you eliminate all waste and plastic then that is great…Kudos to you…but if thousands do 20% better the impact on our planet is far greater so even buying loose vegetables to save on packaging or changing to loose leafed tea…its something a step forward…

We love Asian dumplings pot stickers, and gyoza but I have never made them…John Rieber has he took the plunge and they look delicious…please head over and follow the step-by-step instructions they look soooo good…

Monday Musings…27th June 2022…

Chicken is such a versatile protein and carries little apart from what we cook it in…it pairs well with most fruits and today I am sharing Chicken with Mango…an easy and delicious dish.

CarolCooks2 in my kitchen…Chicken with Mango…

My virtual tour of world cuisines stops in Denmark which is famed for the smørrebrød which is an open-faced sandwich that is simply a slice of rye bread with various combinations of toppings such as pickled herring, roast beef and eggs topped with mayo and shrimp…pickled herrings and meatballs are also a speciality to enjoy…

CarolCooks2…A-Z World Cuisines…Part 18…Denmark

Store cupboard Basics look at spices this week …spices are always a good addition to a dish and can elevate it to something very special…we all of course have our favourite and most used spices and they vary from household to household…

https://carolcooks2.com/2022/06/30/this-week-in-my-kitchenstore-cupboard-basicspart-8-spices/

As Friday was the 1st of July I decided to have a look at the month ahead…I picked days, weeks, and months which are relevant to me and my blog as many are just plain stupid like national wriggle your toes day or pick your nose day, talk like Shakespeare day or lost sock day…they go on as anyone can suggest a day and they have…I hope some of my choices strike a chord for you…

CarolCooks2…Friday Food Reviews…The month ahead!

 

Saturday Snippets and my one-word prompt word today is “Glory”…there are pretty flowers and rousings tunes…and one of my favourite stir-fries…Stir-fried Morning Glory or Pad Pak Boon Fai Daeng is also known as water spinach…It is a very popular vegetable dish in Thailand and one I have for breakfast/brunch quite often with rice.
This is a very quick dish to cook once you have all your ingredients prepared..5 mins at the most.

Saturday Snippets…2nd July 2022…Today’s one-word prompt is “Glory”

Thank you for joining me today I hope those of you who are tennis fans are enjoying Wimbledon…as some of you know due to the flight fiasco I have extended my stay here by 4 weeks… last week I was visiting my mother in Derbyshire and at the moment I am in Cornwall where the weather is alternating between sunshine and showers we are staying on a lovely farm with my son and granddaughter…who has grown somewhat since I last saw her she is far taller than me and is now a fully qualified teacher …

CarolCooks2…A-Z World Cuisines…Part 18…Denmark

 

Welcome to my new A-Z …World Cuisines…where I will be looking at the countries of the world, their food and national dish or their most popular dish around the world…by this I mean some dishes are eaten in many countries as their fame has spread around the world…I have Chel to thank for giving me some ideas from which this one took shape…Thank you Chel x

Today I am looking at the cuisine of Denmark…

I visited Denmark many years ago now and loved the clean freshness of the food…famous for the smørrebrød which is an open-faced sandwich that is simply a slice of rye bread with various combinations of toppings such as pickled herring, roast beef and eggs topped with mayo and shrimps. This heaped rye bread treat date back to the 19th century.

Here is one of my favourite food bloggers Mark Weins sampling the smørrebrød and the National Dish of ‘stegt flæsk med persillesovs’ with red cabbage…

There is also some family-inspired dining…Danish style…where turkey is on the menu…

Stjerneskud or ‘shooting stars’ is the lesser-known but more extravagant smørrebrød, and one of the Danes’ absolute favourites. Stjerneskud is a slice of rye bread with fried plaice fillet, topped with shrimp, lettuce and caviar from the Limfjord. The best way to enjoy it is in an authentically Danish way, with a cold beer and finished with a shot of snaps…Don’t mind if I do…

The Danish National Dish...a number ago the Danes were asked to vote for their National Dish…The winner was a classic pork recipe ‘stegt flæsk med persillesovs’, The crispy pork with parsley sauce and potatoes is a traditional dish that has been passed down through the years a lovely flavoursome dish with soft pork and that crispy crackling that is to die for with lovely buttery mashed potatoes and parsley sauce…

Meatballs!

The Danes love their meatballs (frikadeller) a popular dish that is served both for lunch and dinner. Traditionally, the meatballs consist of equal parts of veal and pork, flour, milk, eggs, onions and spices, but today there are countless versions of the Danish classic all delicious, meatballs are also a popular smørrebrød topping.

Here is the link to my version of meatballs…

Can you keep a secret? Danish pastries are not really Danish! In Denmark, these world-famous sticky delights are called Vienna Bread (wienerbrød), as they were first made in Denmark in the 1840s by Austrian bakers. But, Danish pastries rose in popularity over the centuries and are now a firm favourite of ordinary Danes.

There are many different types at bakeries throughout the country. Ask for the fantastically named Cinnamon Snail (kanelsnegl) or Seed Snappers (frøsnapper) pastries when out and about and prepare yourself for sticky fingers!…a small price to pay for these delicious pastries…

Denmark and beer often go in the same sentence... not so strange when you consider that no other country in the world produces as much beer in relation to its size and number of inhabitants. In addition to world-renowned Carlsberg, there are also some stunning locally-brewed craft beers brewed at the many microbreweries scattered all over the country.

You should also try to pair your smørrebrød with a shot of snaps which is a traditional Scandinavian spirit. It is a rather strong alcoholic spirit based on aquavit, but it can be infused with many different flavours they are the ideal accompaniment to drink with pickled herrings…

And of course, the most important word to learn for your next trip to Denmark – is Skål!

Thank you for joining me today on this virtual tour of Denmark I hope you enjoyed the tour…x

CarolCooks2…A-Z World Cuisines…Part 17…The Dominican Republic…

Welcome to my new A-Z …World Cuisines…where I will be looking at the countries of the world, their food and national dish or their most popular dish around the world…by this I mean some dishes are eaten in many countries as their fame has spread around the world…I have Chel to thank for giving me some ideas from which this one took shape…Thank you Chel x

Today I am looking at the cuisine of the Dominican Republic…

Dominican cuisine is made up of Spanish, indigenous Taíno, Middle-Eastern and African influences. The Dominican Republic (Spanish: República Dominicana) is a country on the Caribbean island of Hispaniola; the other country on the island is Haiti. Its capital, and largest city, is Santo Domingo. The national language is Spanish.

In 2018, and once again in 2019, the city of Santo Domingo was named a Culinary Capital of the Caribbean by the Ibero-American Academy of Gastronomy. This honour not only recognizes the quality of Dominican food but also highlights the importance of traditional recipes as an essential part of the nation’s culture.

Rice is the main staple of Dominican cuisine. There are a great number of Dominican rice dishes, but none more common, or more important than Arroz Blanco.

Arroz Blanco…means cooked rice… is the base of Dominican lunch menus, one of the components of La Bandera Dominicana. The perfect Arroz Blanco is proof of expertise for any Dominican cook…with the perfect “Concón” If you are not Dominican and have never lived in the Dominican Republic, you will probably not understand the passion that Dominicans feel for concón…Concón is the crust of crispy rice formed at the bottom of the pot when you cook rice Dominican-style. Concón is not a dish in itself, just a byproduct of the cooking method used to make rice.

For a Dominican, rice day is any day that ends in y, and rice and beans are much more than just food, they are part of the cultural heritage… There is a saying…” no hay Comida sin Arroz” (there’s no lunch without rice).

Many more rice dishes are made and enjoyed by Dominicans, including Dominican yellow rice (which varies from home to home), chofán (Dominican fried rice with peas, carrot, celery, meat, etc.), Arroz con fideos (Dominican rice with fried noodles), and others.

A very popular rice-based drink: Pera piña, a popular drink with children that combines rice and pineapple or sometimes pears…for the adults, there is always Tepache…a homemade fermented drink…Cheers!

Sancocho is a stew with seven types of meat...yes seven…

Sancocho, one of the nation’s most typical dishes, is served at parties and special occasions such as New Year’s. This thick stew is made with several ingredients: meat, vegetables, tubers and condiments. It is always served with white rice and sliced avocado, but like any traditional dish, there are different versions.

“Classic” sancocho is made with several types of tubers and other edible plants grown in the Dominican Republic, such as yam, squash, malanga (yautia) and yucca. Other ingredients include diced corn on the cob, garlic, lemon juice, green plantain, cilantro, oregano, salt, oil and more. It can be whitish if made only with chicken, or dark-coloured when several types of plantain are added along with beef, goat and pork. Another variant is sancocho with green pigeon peas or red beans. Finally, there is the pièce de résistance: sancocho de siete Carnes (seven-meat stew), which has chicken, pork, beef, goat, Creole chicken, smoked ribs and chops, and longaniza sausage.

The most famous and traditional dish is la Bandera Dominicana (the Dominican flag). It has three basic ingredients—white rice, red beans and stewed meat (chicken or beef)—served as the foundation, to which all types of “side dishes” are added, such as avocado, tostones (flattened fried plantain), green salad with tomato, or cooked eggplant stew, to name a few.

La Bandera is the meal that is eaten the most often in Dominican homes and also appears on the set menu of many local restaurants. In line with its name, this dish is inspired by the national flag: the rice is white, the beans are red and the meat (with a bit of imagination) is blue.

Another traditional Dominican dish is mangú, which is simply mashed green plantains. The preparation is just as basic: boil or stew the plantains in salted water, and then mash them with a bit of oil or butter, and a trickle of water if necessary, creating a smooth purée with no lumps. Mangú is usually topped with red onion sautéed in oil and vinegar…but sometimes with strips of meat or prawns…

I love blogging and learning and sharing what comes with it…Dolly from koolkosherkitchen.wordpress.com shared this post with me…a post which shared the history behind “Mangu” and the little island that fought…Thank you, Dolly for sharing this with us xxx

I hope you have enjoyed this virtual tour of the Cuisine of the Dominican Republic…where the food is very traditional…as always I look forward to your comments…x

CarolCooks2…A-Z World Cuisines…Part 16…The Democratic Republic of the Congo…where you can also find cheese made by an Italian…

Welcome to my new A-Z …World Cuisines…where I will be looking at the countries of the world, their food and national dish or their most popular dish around the world…by this I mean some dishes are eaten in many countries as their fame has spread around the world…I have Chel to thank for giving me some ideas from which this one took shape…Thank you Chel x

Today I am looking at the cuisine of the Democratic Republic of the Congo!

I thought about this post long and hard and nearly didn’t write it but choose another country one that wasn’t war-torn in places and dangerous …but doing my research I came across this video it is about an hour-long but it will give you a taste of the Congo heartbreaking in parts, and always danger lurks in some areas…BUT…it will give you an overview of the emerging cuisine made with local produce…indigenous dishes…young chefs emerging and young photographers but all with a passion …I never knew much about the Congo but this film touches on it all…a very worthwhile watch…

And yes there is even cheese, gnocchi and ciabatta made by an Italian from local produce…it is a testament to the chef how he has adapted Italian recipes using local goods rather than importing them from Italy…

I am now going to take a closer look at some of the foods used in the video… Liboke...is boiled fish with tomato, salt, and chilli and wrapped in banana leaves or other wild plants, which will permeate the fish with their aromas. Cooked on a grill often over an open fire is a beautiful way to cook fish as the smoke lends such a beautiful taste as it mingles with the spices and leaves…one of my favourite ways to cook fish…

Cassava and its leaves are widely used in cooking around the Congo…one such dish is Pondu one of the most popular dishes throughout the country…

The dish is made using prepared cassava leaves that are cooked in a pot, with or without spices. In the centre of the country, for example, pondu is simply cooked with water and a pinch of salt. In other parts of the country, oil—particularly palm oil—and spices are added, as well as onions, eggplants, scallions, etc… You can also add beef, fish, or beans to the dish.

Often served with “FuFu”…this dough-like food is popular around the Congo “FuFu” is found at every meal…either made from Cassava, plantain or corn it is staple in the Congolese diet…

Starchy foods…such as cassava, yams, or plantains are boiled, pounded, and rounded into balls which are then cooked over low heat until the dough solidifies … the pounding process, typically involves a mortar and pestle and can be laborious. Fufu is often dipped into sauces or eaten with stews of meat, fish, or vegetables.

Ndakala…are small dried fish that I know as anchovies they have the nickname 1000 poisons… They can be fried in oil with a bit of chilli and savoured with fufu or chikwange. Ndakala can also be mixed with vegetables of all kinds, and bathed in tomato sauce.

Why the nickname a 1000 poisons I couldn’t find out for sure…whether it’s because of the toxins some fish carry or it could be the increase in pesticides…Pesticide regulations are inadequate, and enforcement of existing legislation is poor…Carbofuran is the most widely abused pesticide in Africa where some species have been decimated by poisoning.

African countries like many Asian countries forage and use all a plant so many dishes are stir-fried leaves or made into a stew… the Congo is no different and dishes like Matembele(sweet potato leaves) and Fumbwa(wild spinach)…made into a stew…

The spinach stew is served with fufu, fish or semolina preferably. It has several names “MFUMBWA or KOKO” in the Republic of the Congo and Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), “ERU or OKOK” in Cameroon, and “UKAZI” in Nigeria.

Like many countries insects also feature “Mbinzo” which are edible caterpillars…they are generally cooked with a light white sauce made of onions and a little oil with the red chilli pepper or sold as snacks…

Sweet potato is also one of the popular foods in the Congo. There are two varieties of sweet potato grown locally: the sweet potato (mbala ya sukali) and the unsweetened potato (mbala ya mungwa). It can be cooked in tomato sauce with pieces of beef or pork with onions, garlic, etc., or simply boiled in clear water.

I hope you have enjoyed this virtual tour of the Congo and I hope that one day the war there will be over and its lovely cuisine can come to the fore…I have noticed the absence of processed foods but that for me is a good thing as I love to see food made from locally grown ingredients and traditions in food passed down…the emergence of other cuisines can also be good especially if local ingredients are used…

Than k you for joining me today as always I look forward to your comments xx

CarolCooks2 weekly roundup… 15th -21st May 2022-Monday Musings, Health, Food Review “Real food v Processed Food” and Saturday Snippets where “Surprise” is my one word prompt.

 

Welcome to my weekly roundup…The month of May …a spring month in the northern half of the world, and a fall month in the southern half. The month of many food days/months…National Asparagus, Egg, Salad, Salsa( today its mango salsa) and Strawberry Month to name a few…all foods I love which means there will be some recipes…We are experiencing our rainy season with some fabulous tropical storms…the trees and the grass are loving it though and it is a tad cooler…My scheduling is going well I have never scheduled so far ahead…

Monday Musings…

One of my favourite posts as I can highlight other blogs or something I have watched or read…last week I shared National Mental Health week which is important to keep in the spotlight especially now people are talking about mental health and not sweeping it under the carpet…it could affect any one of us, there was the Eurovision Song Contest and it may have been a political vote but I see it as solidarity and standing behind Ukraine…plus the UK came 2nd what surprise that was…there were some beautiful images of the Joshua True plus I didn’t know they used to be pollinated by Giant Sloths who ate the seeds of the tree and spread the seeds through their dung…isn’t nature wonderful…

Monday Musing’s 16th May 2022…

Tuesday I invited you to join me in my kitchen and it was a hot one today a lovely Chicken Jalfrezi…hot because the recipe includes green chillies and chilli powder not for everyone I know but some of you like a bit of spice… if you do I hope you enjoy it!

CarolCooks2 in my Kitchen…Chicken Jalfrazi…

A-Z of World Cuisine…this week it was a virtual tour of Croatia…

Croatia is heavily influenced by Italian Cuisine so lots of pasta, truffles, and olive oil not forgetting the seafood but there are also traditional Croatian dishes like Black Risotto which is very popular here…

CarolCooks2…A-Z World Cuisines…Part 15…Croatia…Famous for its Black Risotto…

Next, we take a trip over to Sally at Smorgasbord Magazine where she tells us about all the benefits honey offers…

Smorgasbord Health Column – Food Therapy – #Honey -#Propolis – Thousands of Years of History and Health by Sally Cronin

I am repeating my store cupboard basics for those of you who didn’t see it the first time around but also because I am hearing more and more about shortages and empty shelves in stores around the world because of the war in Ukraine and the longer it goes on the more it will rebound on us..prices are rising and some products are getting scarce…

There are steps we can take and I know I live in hopes but also know that some will stockpile and that is so wrong…we all have to eat…I also abhor waste..food waste particularly when there are people including children who are still starving and going to bed hungry and waking up hungry…which means we have to put on our thinking caps and decide before we absolutely have to how we can change the eating habits in our household …we need to decide what foods we should be eating which foods we can go without and plan accordingly…we don’t need all the processed foods and sweet treats… if we do this now as gas and fuel prices are rising already …not only will it ease our budget but it will improve your health.

Buy cuts of meat or fish pieces and make a lovely fish stock or pie ..season those cheap cuts of meat with herbs and spices from your storecupboard or garden…we need to start thinking now about where we can adjust before we really have to…

Dried goods keep almost indefinitely, try something you haven’t cooked with before like couscous or other grains and store a packet or two to ring the changes …

This week in my kitchen…Store Cupboard Basics…Part 2…Pasta and Noodles…

Processed foods are not all bad…but some are …we need to know the difference…for me in a food crisis because I believe there could be one at some point plus a health crisis…health services around the world are struggling because of lifestyle diseases…diseases that can be preventable if we take ownership of our health instead of relying on medication…of course, I do not advocate just stopping taking subscribed medication but speak to your doctor and ask how can I help myself…it can only benefit you and your health.

CarolCooks2…Friday Food Reviews…Real Food v Processed Food…

Finally, because it is National Salsa Month... mango is in season here plus there are some lovely local grown avocadoes to be had…time to make salsa…

Mango and avocado salsa with red onion.

Ingredients:

  •  1 mango, diced
  •  1 medium avocado, diced
  •  ½ medium red onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 red bell pepper (optional)
  •  ½ bunch fresh coriander (about 1/2 cup chopped)
  •  Juice 1 medium lime (about 2tbsp)
  •  1/4 tsp salt and a pinch of black pepper, to taste.

Let’s Cook!

In a medium bowl, combine diced mango, avocado, finely chopped red onion, chopped bell pepper if using and chopped coriander. If you like a hint of spice like me then add chopped chilli.
Squeeze 2tbsp of fresh lime juice over the top and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Toss gently to combine and serve.

If not serving right away, cover and refrigerate.

Serve with corn chips or some crispy potato peelings…

Thank you for joining me today I do as always look forward to your comments have a wonderful Sunday xx