Category Archives: # A-Z of Food#

The Culinary Alphabet…A-Z…The Middle Letters Y and Z…

Welcome to series 3 of the Culinary Alphabet A-Z…Where the middle letters today are Y and Z…

The end …the final post in this series… which has been great fun to research and write I have been ably supported by both Chel and Pete and I thank you for your contributions over this series…Take a bow!

Let’s go and see what I have found…

Beyaz Peynir…

Similar to feta cheese this Turkish white cheese is a brined cheese made from unpasteurised cows, sheep or goats milk. Beyaz peynir is produced in a variety of styles, ranging from non-matured cheese curds to a quite strong mature version. It is eaten plain, for example as part of the traditional Turkish breakfast, used in salads, and incorporated into cooked foods such as menemen, börek, gözleme and pide.

Biryani…

A family favourite I have made my version of Biryani for many years…A delicious mixed rice dish it is made by adding rice and spices to meat. Eggs and/or vegetables, such as potatoes, are also added in certain regional varieties as with many such dishes it will vary from region to region…

Claypot…

Claypot cooking is an ancient method of cooking that uses a two-part (top and bottom) unglazed clay pot that has first been soaked in water. When heated to a high temperature, steam is created, adding moisture to whatever is being cooked and retaining nutrients.

Romertopfs are a popular clay pot and lovely way to cook as is the Moroccan Tagine…

Bo zai Fan or Clay pot rice is also a classic Cantonese dish that combines traditional cooking methods with Chinese food staple rice.

Gruyere Cheese…

Is a smooth-melting type of Swiss cheese that’s made from whole cow’s milk and generally cured for six months or longer. Gruyère is a great table cheese, a term that refers to any cheese that can be eaten in slices, like on a sandwich or as part of a cheese platter. It also happens to be an excellent melting cheese, which is why Gruyère is one of the two main kinds of cheese (Emmental is the other one) used in preparing the traditional fondue recipe.

Gruyère cheese is a firm cheese with a pale yellow colour and a rich, creamy, slightly nutty taste. It features a few small holes, or “eyes”, characteristic of Swiss cheese, which are formed by gas bubbles released by the bacteria that are used in making the cheese.

Honeycomb…

Honeycombs are made from beeswax, a substance created by worker bees. When the temperature is right, worker bees secrete wax scales from special glands in their body. Then they chew the wax with a bit of honey and pollen to produce the beeswax.

One of my favourite things is honey fresh from the comb and I am very lucky to be able to source them wild here…I do however have concerns about the honey bee population worldwide as bees are one of our top pollinators and if they die and become extinct it won’t bode well for the human race…

It seems between insecticides, parasites and the Asian Giant Hornet hives are being slaughtered…I came across this article and it’s interesting in that Asian honeybees (Apis cerana), another Apis species, have evolved with Asian giant hornets, and have behavioural adaptations to protect their hives from Asian giant hornet slaughter attacks. If an Asian giant hornet enters the hive, Asian honey bees are able to surround and form a “ball” around the hornet. They kill the hornet by vibrating their wings, warming the “ball” cluster and the hornet within it, thus elevating the temperatures at the centre of the cluster to about 120°F. However, European honey bees (Apis mellifera) are defenceless against slaughter attacks, as they do not possess these defence strategies.

Johnnycakes…

A popular street food…the Johnnycake comes in many versions and is known by a few different names…not just in name though, but also in ingredients and preparation. .. grandmother’s johnnycakes, for example, were fluffy, not very sweet, and medium in size… But there are recipes that omit flour altogether and call for sifted cornmeal, boiling water, and pork fat. And if you venture into the Caribbean, you will find a version that’s more like a fried dumpling made of flour, baking powder, sugar, butter and water.

Thyme…

One of my favourite herbs…a Meditterean herb with dietary. medicinal and ornamental uses…Thyme is thought to have antibacterial, insecticidal, and possibly antifungal properties…People used thyme throughout history for embalming and to protect from the Black Death.

Forms of thyme include fresh, dried herbs and essential oil.

Idiazabal…

Idiazabal is a pressed cheese made from unpasteurized sheep milk, usually from Latxa and Carranzana sheep in the Basque Country and Navarre. It has a somewhat smokey flavour but is usually un-smoked. The cheese is handmade and covered in a natural hard, dark brown, inedible rind.

Bazin…

Bazin is an unleavened bread in the cuisine of Libya prepared with barley, water and salt. Bazin is prepared by boiling barley flour in water and then beating it to create a dough using a magraf, which is a unique stick designed for this purpose.

The traditional way to eat Bazin...It looks like a giant dumpling, made of barley flour, and is served in the middle of the plate surrounded by a stew.

Calzone or Pizza

A pizza folded in half to make a pocket which s filled with a variety of different fillings…Pretty much anything that goes on a pizza can go into a calzone.

The dough is pretty much the same just with a pizza the whole pizza is covered with topping with a calzone only half is covered with filling and it’s then folded over…

Mezze…

A  selection of Greek or Middle Eastern cuisine …small dishes served with an aperitif while enjoying a leisurely snack or watching the sunset…

That’s all for today this is the last post in this series ...I hope you have enjoyed it but I will be back next week with a new A-Z…Thank you for reading and leaving a comment which I always look forward to as I love to chat…

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CarolCooks2 weekly roundup… 9th-15th January 2022-Monday Musings, Health, Ezekiel Bread, Stale Bread and Saturday Snippets,

Welcome to my weekly roundup... 2022 is settling in …we are mid-way through January I do
hope this is the year where we see the end of Covid or find ways to live with it as we do flu and
other communicable diseases…

What is in store for you then this week if you are catching up…  Culinary A-Z was going to be the final one but I decided there was too much for one post so next week will be the final one, Monday Musings, and let me tell you Spam begone and it is singe figures…Friday review and Stale Bread…we should all be at zero in our homes but those stats were shocking at the sheer volume of waste and Saturday Snippets is always a joy to write for me…I hope you enjoy!

Monday Musings…

Whose heart doesn’t melt at the sight of pretty little kittens, puppies or babies…but please allowing them to take over and call the shots…you have to read this …I mean however much you love those kitties that wouldn’t happen on my watch…but then it was on social media…I rest my case…

CarolCooks2…My Monday Musings…10th January 2022.

I always or my body does benefit from a detox it makes you feel so much better,  less bloated and lighter of body and spirit…Thanks to Sally over at Smorgasbord Health she has made it easy for us…So please head over and have a read…

Smorgasbord Health Column 2022 – The Gentle Detox – Introduction and Phase One – Before you begin your weight loss programme

Culinary A-Z…This week it’s the letters W & X…

This is the last but one post in this series…I have covered the wax coating on many of our fruits and vegetables and their safety, Chowder which is a lovely creamy soup, Arrowroot, Bratwurst Sausages and a few other items with the middle letter of W or X…not an easy one and out of the goodness of my heart I saved Kiwi Fruit for Pete Springer who always contributes to these posts…x

The Culinary Alphabet…A-Z…The Middle Letters W and X

You may have noticed that I haven’t included the #bloganuary daily posts in this roundup…I just thought it would be too much…those of you who regularly read and comment on my posts have been reading and commenting on #bloganuary and for that, you have my thanks x

However, it’s still not too late if you feel you wish to participate in the WordPress Bloganuary Challenge 2022 where everyone is provided with a writing prompt each day… just click the highlighted link and sign up…

Carol’s Green Kitchen is back…this week was the first post of the year I hope you enjoy it!

Yes, I’m back not with a bread recipe although I do have one all ready for next months Green Kitchen but back with Ezekiel Bread which some of you have tried and not liked or have liked but said it has a different texture to normal bread… all interesting and a learning curve some kitchen hacks and the safety aspects of waxed fruits and vegetables…

Carol Taylor’s Green Kitchen…January 2022 …Kitchen Hacks, Waxed Fruit and Vegetables and Ezekiel Bread

My Friday food review was on “Stale Bread” and how it is top of the list when it comes to food waste…in the UK almost 900,000 tonnes of bread is thrown away every year…that is 24 million slices of bread every single day…

That is a travesty when children are staving not just around the world but probably in your home town…In the US (2016) 20% of bread is wasted in kitchens plus 12% in stores that is a lot of bread…

In my house, that figure is 0%...ZERO WASTE…nil..none…ever…every single scrap of bread is used…Do you have zero bread waste or is your household a contributor to those 24 million slices of bread in the UK alone which are thrown away every day…

CarolCooks2…Friday Food Review… Stale Bread…

Saturday Snippets…

Where I can truly unleash my muse because I never know what I will discover…This week it was the word “Year“…

Preparations are underway here for Chinese New Year…The year of the “Tiger“…one-hit wonder “The Year 2525” a song I hadn’t listened to for years…and lots of other trivia …

Saturday Snippets…January 15th 2022…Today’s one-word prompt is “Year”

That’s all for today…Thank you for joining me and I look forward as always to your comments…Have an enjoyable Sunday see you next week xx

 

 

CarolCooks2 weekly roundup… 2nd-8th January 2022-

Welcome to my weekly roundup...And welcome to a New Year I hope 2022 is a better year, a
the year where we see the end of Covid or find ways to live with it as we do flu and other
communicable diseases…

What is in store for you then this week if you are catching up…  Culinary A-Z, Monday Musings, and let me tell you Spam begone and I will tell you how…A review and sausage recipes…and Saturday Snippets…I hope you enjoy!

My first Monday Musings of the New Year…where I discuss plastic straws and today when shopping there was a whole end isle of plastic straws(which) I thought were banned…

I also received some bamboo straws and a lovely ickle brush so I can clean the straw properly after using…Plus how to get rid of spam ..a cocktail recipe, some music…I hope you enjoy x

CarolCooks2…My Monday Musings…3rd January 2022.

Today we have the start..the beginning of back on wagon talk, healthy eating after all the Christmas goodies my body is groaning and feeling bloated…This is not a New Resolution unless they float your boat it is just getting back to pre Christmas Covid eating…both have played havoc with my diet I don’t know about yours…too much fresh from the oven bread……

CarolCooks2…Healthy eating… How to shift those Christmas and Covid kilos…For good!

The Culinary Alphabet is nearing the end now…only W, X, Y, Z to go and unless I can find any more dishes/ingredients I will probably put these 4 letters in one post and waffle a lot…haha

Young Pete Springer very cleverly found two more for the letter V…the first one was Guvec which is an earthenware casserole dish that is wide and of medium height, it can be glazed or unglazed and used in the Balkan, Turkish and Levantine cuisines…

Giouvetsi…is a meat and pasts dish cooked in a Givec…but to complicate matters further there is also a dish called Turkish Guvec made with eggplants, potatoes, red onions, garlic, tomatoes, oregano, paprika which sounds delicious…Mmmmm one to try…

I hope you enjoy this rather shortened version of the Culinary Alphabet x

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

Over to Smorgasbord…where Sally is doing a rewind of some posts that we did back in 2018  I enjoyed contributing the recipes…this week it is Vitamin A…and I must say Vitamin A is abundant in food which I love like Apricots, carrots and trout…

Please head over and enjoy...I think we all need a rewind I know I do and a reminder of what we should be eating to maintain a healthy body…

Smorgasbord Health with Sally Cronin and Carol Taylor – Cook from Scratch to prevent nutritional deficiency – Vitamin A – Carrots, Liver, Apricots, Trout. Eggs, Frittata

Friday is my review day it could be a product or an ingredient that I am looking at in more depth…this week it is a trip down memory lane where I extol the virtues of my nanna’s food grinder…I will also tell you that I had a comment on this post that I didn’t understand…I’m old and not up to date with many of the modern ways and apps so before responding (and) how glad am I..phew…I asked my son…just as well…my answer was an Ahhhh :)…I left it at that…But that is why I love blogging I learn something each and every day

To understand what I am talking about you will have to read the comments on this post…I would love to know who knows what I now know…hehe x

CarolCooks2…Friday Product Review… Spong National #25… Food Grinder…

Saturday Snippets…

My most fun post of the week to write…I have a fascination with words and connections I love how a word has connections to so much…a great learning curve and I am always being surprised…just as a few of you were to receive an incomplete Saturday Saturday Snippets on Thursday…you wouldn’t want to be inside my brain at the moment it bordering on chaos…lol

Enjoy, have a lovely Sunday…stay safe and well if you venture out…As always I look forward to your comments …

Saturday Snippets…8th January 2022…Today’s one-word prompt is “New”…

The end…another week finished…did you know there will be 13 New Moons this year so hopefully it will be a magical year…Love Carol x

 

 

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

 

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

So what’s in store? In this series the A, B, C, etc will be the middle letter, for example, Jarlsberg, Korma, Apple, Navel Oranges 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 V was quite easy I just couldn’t think of very many…Have fun guys finding some more… Looking forward to what you come up with …

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

Dover Sole…

It is one of my favourite fish although I haven’t eaten it for a long time…

Why is Dover sole so expensive?
Because it has a rare and unique flavour, Dover Sole is expensive. Not only is it because fish
lovers can’t get the flavour anywhere else, but it also attracts non-seafood eaters.
Since its flavour appeals to many so different people, it’s a popular choice in restaurants.

Chevres…Goats Cheese.

Fresh and young chèvre is soft, creamy, and spreadable, with a mild, buttery flavour and a colour similar to cream cheese. The longer it ages, the drier and more crumbly it becomes, developing stronger, tangier flavours and aromas, and the colour deepens to a golden yellow.

Gravlax…

Gravlax is fresh salmon that’s been cured with a combination of salt and sugar…homemade Cured Salmon Gravlax recipe can be made with a small fillet or whole side of salmon and costs a fraction of store-bought and of courses has a superior taste.

Latvian Cheese…( Jāņu siers)

A Latvian sour milk cheese made with goats milk, traditionally eaten on Jāņi, that is the Latvian celebration of the summer solstice. This cheese fits under the European Quality Schemes and is classed as a “Traditional Speciality Guaranteed.”

Laver Bread…

Laver Bread is otherwise known as “Welshman’s Caviar” and most possibly the only bread you can spread on toast…described as thick, sticky and nutritious it is made by boiling laver a green-black seaweed that grows along the Welsh coastline.

Some eat the seaweed raw but most prefer the taste when the seaweed has been boiled for about 6 hours and then kneaded into a paste. it may be this kneading which is the reason it is called laver bread.

It is either fried in bacon fat then mixed with oatmeal to make laver bread cakes/biscuits or spread on toast…

In 2017 the European Commission bestowed the laver bread with a protected food designation which it shares with other iconic foods like Stilton Cheese( UK), Baklava(Turkey), Feta Cheese(Greece) and Waterford Blaa(Ireland).

Liver…

My mother always cooked using either pigs or lambs liver she always served it with bacon and onions and with a thicker gravy than normal…maybe it was the flour she coated the liver with before she fried it and as she always made her gravy in the meat pan so as to scrape up all the lovely drippings it is that what made the gravy thicker…

Liver is one of the most nutrient-dense foods high in vitamin A, folic acid, iron, and zinc….chicken livers are often called a superfood…

A simple Chicken and Mushroom Pate ( one of my grandson’s favourites) and so quick to make.

Ingredients:

  • 450gm/11b Chicken Livers.
  • 4 Chestnut Mushrooms finely chopped.
  • 220gm/8oz Butter.
  • 2/3 cloves garlic finely chopped.
  • 2/3 shallots finely chopped or small brown onion.
  • 1 tbsp Brandy.
  • 1tsp Mustard Powder.
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper.
  • 1 bay leaf and 3 cranberries for decoration.

Let’s Cook!

Melt 4oz of butter in a pan add chopped onions and cook until soft but not coloured. Add mushrooms about halfway through cooking.

Add garlic and chicken Livers and fry until cooked through.

Add Brandy..my hands wobbled at this stage and I deviated slightly from the said recipe…I put 2 spoons in..haha.

Season well with salt and freshly ground pepper.

Place the Liver mix and 2oz of remaining butter in the food processor and blend until smooth.

Taste and season again with salt and freshly ground pepper.

SAM_6863

Put in Ramekin or small dish, decorate with bay leaf and 3 cranberries ( I used small lime leaves as had no fresh bay leaves.

Chill and serve and enjoy!

I always use chicken livers rather than pigs or lambs liver with which I make pate, liver and bacon and a Thai spicy liver dish which hubby eats and sweat profusely as it is quite no…very spicy but I think his love of liver overrides that…smile…

Livno Cheese…

Livno cheese falls into the category of hard whole milk cheeses that mature under bark naturally for at least 60 days. It is made of cow, sheep, or a mixture of cow’s and sheep’s milk, in coils.

The cheese has a strong aromatic scent and the taste is fall, spicy after walnut kernels, a little salty, specific and well defined. The rind of the cheese is medium-hard, tough, but it can be cut relatively easily. The colour is yellowish. Livno region is characterized by mountainous and rugged conditions for keeping cattle, where the collision of continental and marine airflow results in the growth of high-quality grasses, which give Livno cheese a yellowish colour (no colour) is added and its specific walnut kernel flavour.

This article from “slow food” shows how the decline of the production of this cheese came about…

Navel Orange…

How did the navel orange come about its name? …The navel orange actually grows a second “twin” fruit opposite its stem. The second fruit remains underdeveloped, but from the outside, it resembles a human navel—hence the name. Navels are part of the winter citrus family. They’re seedless, peel easily, and are thought to be one of the world’s best-tasting oranges.

Navel oranges are one of the healthiest fruits you can eat, filled with Vitamin C, fibre, potassium and low in calories.

Savoy Cabbage…

One of my favourite cabbages…easily recognisable the Savoy cabbage has wrinkly leaves. … They’re shaped into a tight, round head, like conventional green or red cabbages, but the leaves have the distinctively wrinkled appearance of Napa cabbage leaves. Savoy varieties are milder-flavoured than regular green cabbage, but the two can be used interchangeably in recipes.

Thank you for joining me as we near the end of this culinary A-Z…There will be a new A-Z soon to be revealed and my Green Kitchen will be resuming from Thursday 13th January and will come out every 4 weeks on a Thursday…as always I look forward to your comments and your input Pete and Chel throughout this A-Z series…x

CarolCooks2 weekly roundup… 12th- 18th December 2021…Culinary A-Z, Music, Recipes and more…

My Culinary A-Z is nearing the end of the alphabet…Christmas Music featuring more
versions of “Silent  Night” plus Christmas recipes and more…

I cannot believe how fast we are speeding towards seeing in another New Year …this week has been a funny ole week not much happened in the kitchen towards the festive jolly on the 25th… Right now, there are  7 days until Christmas 2021! …Jeez, that crept up…

Welcome to my weekly roundup...This week last week has been a little colder again in the mornings and darker but the days have been warmer the chillies are ripening well and the bananas are plenteous …

What is in store for you then this week if you are catching up… some more versions of “Silent Night”…Christmas Recipes,

The week started with a  Christmas rewind from Sally over at Smorgasbord…for the remainder of the week, it was some reblogs and I just winged it the rest of the time…I didn’t even cook very much just made a chicken and mushroom pie and some sausage rolls from the leftover pastry… some weeks are just blips when nothing much gets done and this was one of them…but Hey Ho please tell me it can only get better…

With special guests and the catering done by moi…Thank you, Sally, for sharing my mince pies and a lovely egg nog recipe from which I found a recipe for Advocaat something I haven’t seen for sale here and also haven’t drunk for many a year but have suddenly had a fancy for …my age I’m guessing …

Smorgasbord Christmas Celebrations Rewind – The First Day of Christmas with guests Mary Smith, Jacquie Biggar #Food Carol Taylor – Mince Pies and Egg Nog

Cooking your first turkey can be pretty daunting unless you have been around a kitchen all your life as it is generally a tad bigger than cooking a chook for two …Which is why we have also included a cooking calculator for a turkey and a step by step guide to cooking the perfect turkey.

Turkey is also healthy meat to eat...It is first and foremost a lean source of protein – 4 oz. gives you 65% of your daily protein requirement and has about half the amount of saturated fat that red meat does.

Please head over to Smorgasbord where Sally will tell you all about the benefits of including turkey in your diet…#recommended read.

Smorgasbord Health – Christmas Cook From Scratch Rewind – Sally Cronin and Carol Taylor – #Turkey – Perfectly Roasted

The Culinary A-Z…

Wednesday it was time for the next letter in my Culinary A-Z…with the letter U…

The letter U was a tad easier than I initially thought…there is Gouda Cheese, Squab Pigeon,  Potato Croquette, Legumes and so much more…I hope you enjoy the journey x

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

Silent Night…

Silent Night is a beautiful Carol and one of which there are many great versions some modern and some contemporary which are worth a listen as they are really very good..I do hope you enjoy my choices x

CarolCooks2…Silent Night continued…with some contemporary and modern versions.

The Twelve Days Of Christmas…

Day 4 of The Twelve Days of Christmas...with Sally’s special guests …the food today is some lovely warming Carrot Soup and some Champagne to wash it down please head over to Smorgasbord to read about today’s special guests and their favourite Christmas present…it is where Sally treats us to her tales of Christmases past and believe me when I say some of them are highly entertaining and will bring a smile to your face…#recommended read.

Smorgasbord Christmas Celebrations Rewind – The Fourth Day of Christmas with guests Norah Colvin, Amy Reade #Food Carol Taylor, Carrot Soup and Champagne

Saturday Snippets…

Saturday Snippets this week featured “Merry” as my one-word prompt…I do hope you enjoyed reading the little gems I found which had a connection to “Merry ” it was an interesting word to research…

Here’s just a little something to bring you some cheer it certainly brought a smile to my face…

They look very smart in their Christmas outfits such cute dogs that belong to Tori…Thank you Tori for the images …

 

 

 

 

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.

Hakusai…

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…

Hamburger…

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.

Langoustine…

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.

Legumes…

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 ..my self I tend to use tinned kidney beans.

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

Loquats…

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…

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!

Pampushki…

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.

Prune…

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.

Roule…

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.

Saute…

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.

St.Maure..

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.

Squid…

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.

Strudel…

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…

Tequila…

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

Truss…

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