Category Archives: Authentic recipes

This week in my kitchen…Tried and Tested Recipes…

 

Welcome to this week in my kitchen…Still lots of tropical showers …Everything is growing like crazy …sun and rain has that effect…

I don’t buy tinned goods often mainly just baked beans which hubby loves and I have not made any to his taste yet..and tomato puree  I always do my own tomatoes fresh for spag bol and chilli etc…But the puree it is easier to buy a tin…However, tin openers here are the worst ever cheap and last 5 minutes…I saw this video as there have been occasions when the cheap can opener has died making no more than a minuscule opening and then hubby has dangerously resorted to knives and the like…This made me smile and I thought it was an ingenious idea…Not so hubby but you can’t please everyone all the time can you…haha

They make it look so easy, don’t they?

In my kitchen this week…Shepherds Pie an old family favourite…This recipe has been around forever… well a good few years and no two people make it alike… I change my recipe every time I make it …The term Shepherds Pie refers to a pie made with lamb and if it is made with beef it is known as a Cottage Pie …The topping is potato and not a pastry crust which one could be forgiven for thinking as a pie normally does have a pastry crust…Not in England or Ireland when it refers to this pie…My mother used to make hers with the leftover lamb from Sunday lunch which was minced and then she added carrots and onions, gravy and topped with potato.

The term cottage pie was in use by 1791, when the potato was being introduced as an edible crop and something the poor could afford… the term cottage meaning a modest dwelling for rural workers.

The term shepherd’s pie did not appear until 1854 and was initially used synonymously with cottage pie, regardless of whether the meat was beef or mutton. However, in the UK since the 20th century, the term shepherd’s pie is used only when the meat is lamb we do love to be proper us Brits…haha

As for a recipe just cook your mince with onions and add any vegetables you like i.e mushrooms, peas, carrots, sweetcorn and make a gravy just like when you make a stew cook it for about 10 mins then pop the meat mix into an ovenproof dish top with mashed potato and if liked add some grated cheese and or breadcrumbs to give it a crispy top when it browns  in the oven .

Home made Shepherds Pie

Serve with steamed vegetables or just some crusty bread…If you like to add a little gravy or sauce…Some people like ketchup and some brown sauce there is no right or wrong way just however you like it …Just get the name right if talking to a Brit…haha

This Orange Pork is a family favourite or you could use chicken although I was reading today that as regards to your cholesterol a new paper out said there was no difference between red meat and chicken and turkey in the tests they had conducted… What I love about this is the rice it is a way of getting vegetables into your diet by adding to the rice.

Orange Pork with Watercress Rice…

Orange Pork with Watercress Rice

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups of rice
  • 1 ¼ lb Pork tenderloin cut into cubes
  • 3 cups of coarsely chopped watercress reserving a few sprigs for garnish.
  • 4-6 cloves of garlic finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 3 tbsp of oil
  • 3 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 2/3 cup Orange marmalade
  • A ½ cup of finely julienned ginger
  • Salt and pepper to season

Cook the rice and toss in the watercress with ½ to 1 tbsp oil, cover and leave to stand for at least 10 minutes.

Season the pork and with the pan on medium heat add the oil and add half of the ginger and cook until the ginger is golden, drain and set to one side.

Add the pork and brown for 3-4 minutes and then remove from the pan. Add the remainder of the ginger and the garlic and cook for 30 seconds add the marmalade, fish sauce and lime juice bring to a slow rolling boil stirring until it is syrupy then return the pork to the pan simmer for 1 minute and serve over the rice.

Garnish with the crispy ginger and watercress sprigs.

This was very nice I wasn’t sure about watercress but the heat of the rice just wilted the watercress and it was very nice even hubby liked it….Me, I might add some chilli flakes next time…Just saying…

I love to eat fish and while we were shopping and having a mooch around the fish stalls I spied this beautiful fish with a broad yellow stripe down the middle one of my favourite fish is back in season…

The Yellow Tail fish or Amber Jack is native to the North East Pacific from Japan to Hawaii. It is also not related to the Yellowtail Tuna.

In Japan, this fish is eaten cooked or raw and known as Hamachi or Buri.

As you know I am firmly in the camp of eating healthily and choose my fish carefully …I steer clear of farmed fish and only eat locally caught straight off the boats or fish which is responsibly sourced. It doesn’t mean however that it is expensive which a lot of people seem to think …You can buy fish responsibly and at good prices by researching your local markets or even buying frozen.

This fish has extra lean, firm white meat and if you want a lighter meal then it is a lovely tasting fish with a mild flavour.

For two servings.

  • 2 x 150 g pieces of yellowtail fish.
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Sea salt to season…..I use a mineral salt which is farmed close to my home.
  • 1 egg white whisked until it is foamy.
  • 3 tbsp sesame seeds.
  • Oil for frying…I use coconut oil.

For chilli, lime and soy sauce.

  • 60 ml Soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp honey……
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 chilli, deseeded and finely sliced..guess who leaves the seeds in? Moi
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • A drizzle of  sesame seed oil
  • Fresh coriander leaves to serve

Preheat the oven to 180 °C.

Season the yellowtail fillets with a little salt and freshly milled black pepper. I cut the fish into steaks…BUT next time I will leave as a piece it will be easier for the Sesame seeding. I didn’t think it through when I cut the fish into steaks..yep I boobed. My sesame seeds didn’t all stay put.

Dip the seasoned fish into the egg white and coat both sides with sesame seeds.

Heat a little coconut oil( or oil of your choice) in a frying pan and sear the fish for about a minute on each side or until the sesame seeds are golden brown. Remove the fish and place in a roasting pan.

Cook in the oven for about 10 minutes or until the fish is just cooked through.

Meanwhile, make the soy sauce reduction. Place the soy sauce, honey, garlic, chilli, lime juice and sesame oil into a small saucepan and bring to the boil.

Put the soy sauce, honey, garlic, chilli, lime juice and sesame oil into a small saucepan and bring to the boil.

Cook for about 2–3 minutes or until the sauce has reduced slightly and has thickened so it coats the back of your spoon.

Remove the garlic clove and set to one side…

Once the fish is cooked, remove it from the oven and serve immediately, drizzled with a little soy sauce reduction.

Sesame crusted Yellowtail fish

Served with jasmine rice, steamed pak choi and fresh lime wedges.

Enjoy!

I do hope you have enjoyed these recipes which are all tried and tested in my own kitchen xx

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!

More and more of my blogging friends have joined me on MeWe…A social media site which is fairly new and which promises much without the restrictions some other social media sites are choosing to impose on many of us…Join me if you will on  mewe.com/i/caroltaylor3 

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

Blog: https://carolcooks2.com/
Twitterhttps://twitter.com/TheRealCarolT
Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/carol.taylor.1422

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/caroltaylor56/pins/

Thank you once again for reading this post I hope you all are having a great weekend and have a creative week ahead xx

 

This week in my kitchen…Bread Pudding, Jalapeno Poppers and Coorg Mango Curry…

Here comes the rain again it is low season here and although the mornings are lovely and bright and sunny as the day goes on the clouds come in and the tropical storms start…This morning I was up bright and early so as to get to market before the rain descended…Hubby cleared the debris from last nights tropical storm it was quite windy and the trees took a bashing so he had some branches to dispose of but nothing serious and no plants damaged as they came down…I still haven’t got used to how very loud the thunder is here it always manages to make me jump at some point…

As it has been a bit dull and dreary hubby has been indoors and not in the garden so much he has been picking and routing through the fridge etc so I thought it was time to use up some of the bits of bread in the freezer…I save all the crusts and ends of a loaf and use to make either breadcrumbs or as was the case yesterday Bread Pudding. This recipe is one which has been passed down through the generations from my nan from her mum to her daughter etc, etc and you can make a small one or a big one in fact when I cooked the lunches on a local building site it was what attracted my hubby to our canteen…My bread pudding…40 years later he is still enjoying it…

bread-pudding-old -fashined recipe

 

Ingredients:

2/3 Ib of bread ( brown /white) or mixed.

1 tbsp Mixed Spice.

2 eggs beaten

3 oz butter melted.

12/16 oz  dried fruit (sultanas or raisins)

Let’s Cook!

Put bread in a large mixing bowl and cover with water or mix or milk and water to soak.

When soft I squeeze the bread out in a colander to get as much liquid out as I can. Normally I have my little helper( Lily) getting stuck in and squeezing the bread dry…Kids just love the mucky bits…lol

Nanny always pours the melted butter in and Lily adds the dried ingredients and gives the mix a good stir… I do miss my little helper…

bread-pudding-old fashioned-recipe

I like lots of spice and fruit so if I think it needs more at this point then I add it is one of those dishes where you can add what you like for example if I have had some other fruit left over as in cranberries or blueberries I would add them.

Put in hot oven 180 degrees for 1 hour if the top seems to be browning too quickly then reduce the heat a little. It should rise up a little by end of cooking. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with sugar.

This is when I invoke my rights to cooks perks and have the 1st bit..to try of course as it’s yummy hot and straight from the dish. But I gave up my cooks perks yesterday as I only have one stubborn pound to shift to get down to the next stone…

It is also great served with custard or cold if there is any left..haha. It also uses up all your bits of stale bread.

Today I made a new curry the recipe came from Trupti @ MyCulinary Saga...Called Coorg Mango Curry…Pop over and have a look Trupti has some lovely recipes…

Mangoes are very plentiful here and everywhere you go are all types of mangoes the squirrels are also enjoying the mangoes on our tree I just haven’t been quick enough or lucky enough to catch him on film yet…haha

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 semi-ripe mangoes
  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp Red chilli powder
  • 1/2 tsp Coriander powder
  • 1/4 tsp Cumin powder
  • 1 tbsp grated palm sugar
  • Salt to taste

For the seasoning:

  • 1 tbsp Oil(I used ghee)
  • 1/4 tsp Mustard seeds
  • 1/2 tsp Cumin seeds
  • a pinch of Fenugreek seeds ( I used fennel)
  • 4-6 Curry leaves
  • 2-3 cloves of Garlic, crushed or finely sliced
  • 1-2 Green chillies, slit and deseeded
  • 1 medium-sized Onion, sliced thinly

Let’s Cook!

The original recipe recommended washing the mangoes and cutting up leaving the skin on…The skin on my mangoes was quite marked so I removed the skin and cut up roughly.

To the mango add chilli powder, turmeric powder, coriander powder, cumin powder and salt. Mix well and let it marinate for 10 minutes.

Heat oil/ ghee in a pan on medium heat. Add mustard seeds, cumin seeds, fenugreek (fennel)seeds to it and when it sputters, add the green chillies and curry leaves followed by garlic and sliced onions. Fry until the onions are soft and translucent.

Add the marinated mangoes and mix well. Then add about a cup of water and cook the mangoes with lid covered on a low heat for approx 5 minutes my mangoes took a little longer it depends on the ripeness of your fruit.

Add the palm sugar and cook until it thickens about 5/10 mins.

Coorg Mango curry

Serve hot with bread or rice…

N.B I fried some curry leaves for the top as a garnish…

I liked this curry ... I try to have a couple of meat-free days a week…Hubby wasn’t as keen he likes his protein so he had Thai green curry… Thank you Trupti a recipe I would make again…

I also was just in time to pick up a few bags of jalapenos when I went shopping they don’t come in on a regular basis and fly off the shelves at The Royal Project Shop so the boys struck lucky and snacks this week were Jalapeno poppers

A lovely crispy moreish little snack…

Stuffed jalapenos cooked

Back by popular demand was my Chicken and Prune Tagine/Stew…I am so pleased that the men in the house loved it and I don’t have to be sneaky about the prunes although I couldn’t get away with brown rice they are so fussy men at times aren’t they?

Ingredients:

• 4 large Chicken breasts, skinned and cut into cubes
• 1 tbsp Vegetable Oil I used coconut oil
• 1/2 tsp Ground Allspice
• 1/2 tsp fresh ground Black Pepper
• 1 tsp Ground Cinnamon
• 2 tsp Cumin Seeds
• 1/2 tsp Ground Nutmeg
• 1 tsp Ground Turmeric
• 200g/7oz pitted Prunes
• 2 large Onions, sliced
• 1 tbsp freshly grated Ginger
• 3 Garlic Cloves, crushed
• Salt to taste
• 14fl.oz fresh Chicken Stock

Let’s Cook!

Heat the oil in a large heavy bottomed pan then add the chicken pieces and brown on all sides.

Add the spices, garlic, ginger and onions and cook stirring over medium heat until the onions have softened.

chicken and prunes tagine cooking gently

Add the stock and season with salt then bring to a slow rolling boil and reduce the heat to very low, cover and cook for about one-hour stirring occasionally.

At the end of the cooking remove the lid and increase the heat to reduce the sauce.

Chicken and Prune Tagine with rice

Serve with rice or couscous…

You would think being hot here that I would be making more salads, wouldn’t you? but not this week it must be all the rain and storms… It is making the men hungry…

Thank you for popping in I hope you enjoy the recipes…Until next time xxxx

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!

More and more of my blogging friends have joined me on MeWe…A social media site which is fairly new and which promises much without the restrictions some other social media sites are choosing to impose on many of us…Join me if you will on  mewe.com/i/caroltaylor3 

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

Blog: https://carolcooks2.com/
Twitterhttps://twitter.com/TheRealCarolT
Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/carol.taylor.1422

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/caroltaylor56/pins/

Thank you once again for reading this post I hope you all are having a great weekend and have a creative week ahead xx

 

 

 

 

 

Week 10…In my kitchen…Jackfruit and Jerk Fish…

Welcome to this week in my kitchen …Our high season is here which means it is very hot in the kitchen so methinks it is time to dust off the BBQ and cook in my second kitchen which has doors at either end and is more open so if there is a breeze when it blows through so much cooler.

My jackfruit tree has fruit and for the first year, I have flowers on my curry trees and apparently when it fruits they are edible something new to try…

Jackfruit is also becoming a popular alternative to meat for vegans, vegetarians and anyone wanting to adopt a healthier lifestyle as when cooked the texture is similar to pulled pork.

When ripe jackfruit is eaten as a fruit but unripe jackfruit is prepared as a vegetable. Young jackfruit is used in stews or curries, boiled, roasted; or fried and eaten as a snack. The seeds can also be eaten as a snack after being boiled and then roasted.

Spicy jackfruit salad which in Thai is called Tam Khanun or Tam banun it is made by pounding boiled jackfruit with chilli paste and then stir-frying.

First step over and that was cutting the Jackfruit…I can guarantee if you use an oiled knife and grease your hands the latex doesn’t stick…You do have to keep re-greasing the knife though but any which attached itself came off easily with the cooking oil…

My jackfruit slices are now simmering gently on the stove…

Once they are tender and cooled down enough for me to remove the outer skin I will be doing so…

Ingredients for Tam Kanun:

  • 400 gm green, young Jackfruit
  • 100 gm minced pork (optional) if vegetarian or vegan.
  • 5 kaffir lime leaves
  • 1 tbsp chopped garlic
  • 10 Cherry tomatoes cut in quarters.
  • 3- 6 tsp Chilli paste ( depending on your taste)

To serve:

  • 2 spring onions sliced
  • 5 dried birds eye chillies fried
  • 1 tbsp fried garlic.
  • 1 tbsp coriander

Let’s Cook!

Once cooked drain the jackfruit well, pound in a pestle and mortar and set to one side. I had heard cooked this looks like pulled pork and it does…Or tinned tuna…

Heat a little oil in a pan and fry the garlic until it is nicely browned add the chilli paste and stir-fry for a minute.

Add the minced pork ( if using) and stir-fry until it is cooked 3-4 minutes stirring frequently. Add the tomatoes and the jackfruit stir-fry to combine well add the kaffir lime leaves and remove from the heat.

Serve with sticky rice and the fried garlic, chillies, spring onions and coriander as garnish.

The first time I made this dish… We were very pleasantly surprised if I hadn’t cooked it and it was put in front of me I would never have known it was Jackfruit…Truly ☺ What do you think??

Tam Kanun Spicy Jackfruit Salad… we all loved it and I would definitely make it again.

The ripe Jackfruit arils (pictured) below are eaten here with sticky rice just pushed into the centre.

♦♦♦♦♦

Sourdough…Update I am feeding it twice daily and it is definitely a lot livelier so we may (fingers crossed) get our first loaf this weekend…What am I going to call it after giving me so much trouble either Matilda or Phoenix ( Sally’s ) suggestion…What do you think???

♦♦♦♦♦

As you know our in-laws bought a few bananas when they came so Banana bread it was…I love Banana bread but could eat it until it goes out of favour so I am limiting myself and

encouraging everyone else to eat it…haha…The passionfruit butter is always a hit when I make it we all love the sweet and tart taste of the passionfruit…

Recipe for Banana Bread and Passion fruit Butter

♦♦♦♦♦

Last week on my trip to the market I bought the lovely Majong fruit which is now in season, green mango, lots of herbs and some fish, Passionfruit is abundant at the moment but I gave that a miss the apples are very nice at the moment nice and crisp and a little bit tart…I also picked my cheese up and a lovely piece of blue cheese which was new in…I have had to be very strict with myself as it needs to last and it is a large 750 gm piece which means I can do some cooking with it.

mackerel green mango marian fruit and herbs

Down on the Farm…The fruit and vegetables on the farm are doing well we have 2 new baby turkeys and the radishes are ready to pick…Nice and hot apparently…Grandad will love these…

 

♦♦♦♦♦

This week’s Curry:-  Jerk Fish.

Does Jerk Fish count? Well, it has some heat and as fish is quite abundant at the moment here goes I hope you enjoy as much as we did…spicy, spicy skin but the fish, sweet and lovely.

Jerk Fish:

Ingredients:

  • 3 medium size Perch.
  • I tbsp Allspice berries or ground allspice.
  • 1 tbsp black peppercorns
  • 2 bay leaves.
  • 1 large pinch ground cloves.
  • 1/2 tbsp muscovite sugar.
  • Few sprigs Thyme picked and chopped.
  • Few sprigs fresh coriander chopped.
  • 3-6 birds eye chillies finely chopped.
  • 2 clove garlic finely chopped.
  • 3cm fresh ginger.
  • 2 spring onions.
  • zest of 1 lime.
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 11/2 tbsp honey.
  • 2 tbsp golden rum ( optional)

Slash fish 3 times across diagonally and put in oven proof dish and put on one side.

Pound allspice, peppercorns and bay leaves together. Mix in cloves, sugar and honey. Add herbs, chillies, garlic, ginger and bash together.

Tip into a jug and add chopped tops of spring onions, lime zest, a drizzle of oil, a pinch of salt and the rum if using. Mix well.

Pour marinade over the fish and massage well in both sides( it’s a good idea to wear gloves for this )SAM_7116

Leave in fridge to Marinade for at least one hour.

Pre-heat oven to 220 degrees or gas 7. Cook for 20-30 minutes until slightly charred and cooked.

SAM_7119   Serve with Lime slices, Salsa and rice or new potatoes. This marinade can be used with Chicken or Pork.

Next week I will ( I hope) to be showing you how well my taco cases turned out made with Crispy Pork skin…We love crispy crackling and the thought of a taco shell made with it has all of us salivating here…Wish me luck…

We are waiting for little Lily to come it is her weekend and then next week she is coming to stay for two months or so she tells me as the schools here have their long holiday during the high season…Happy Days….

That is all from me this week in my kitchen…Tomorrow is my market shopping day I wonder what new fruits or vegetables I can find…I always look forward to Saturdays xx

Thank you for reading I hope you are enjoying my week in the kitchen…

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

Blog: https://carolcooks2.com/
Twitterhttps://twitter.com/TheRealCarolT
Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/carol.taylor.1422

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/caroltaylor56/pins/

Thank you once again for reading this post I hope you all having a great weekend xx

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Cookery Column with Carol Taylor – How to Cook the Perfect Sunday Roast

Sunday Roast…There are those who cook a great one and there are those whom just the thought strikes fear into their heart…Never fear…CarolCooks2 and a roast dinner…haha…Come with me and all will be revealed…

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

How to cook the perfect Sunday Roast.

Sunday Roast…They range from the best to the worst they also strike fear into the heart of many people…Some people thing it is the easiest meal in the world to cook and then find out it isn’t…

Why?

Meat…Depending on what meat you are cooking it could take anything from an hour to three plus hours…

Potatoes…Who doesn’t love a nice golden, crispy potato with a soft fluffy inside?

Vegetables… Most are cooked in a flash…

But they all have different cooking times and methods …Getting them all perfect and ready at the same time is no mean feat.

If Yorkshire (puddings) come into the equation then…That can throw a spanner in the works…They should be well risen and golden… Flat and stodgy doesn’t cut it!

We used to cook one of the best roast dinners in the area when we had our…

View original post 1,481 more words

Be my Valentine…?13th February…

Valentines Day Roses, hearts and flowers and maybe a cuddly toy…

It hasn’t always been like that…There are lots of tales surrounding Valentines Day but no definite actual this is really what happened…

The ancient Romans shall we start there?… The Romans celebrated the feast of Lupercalia between the 13th and 15th of February…Those Romans and their orgies are legendary the men sacrificed a dog and a goat and then whipped their woman with the hides from those poor animals. It seems the woman themselves were up for a beating and actually stood in line as they believed it would make them fertile…

It didn’t stop there as Emperor Claudius executed two men called Valentine on the 14th February on different years in the 3rd century A.D. The church then made martyrs of the two men…and honoured then with Valentines Day…A day of fertility and love…

Valentine’s day today is not quite so bloody it is more hearts and flowers.

Who still gets taken out on Valentine’s Day??

I never have as my husband has always said you are not my Valentine you are my wife… Which again if you look at the original meanings he is right…

When the kids got older they used to nag him though until he bought me something…haha…My first gift …A red devil complete with horns…and me so quiet, shy and retiring…haha

cartoon red devil

 

 

So for everyone who is staying in either because of the weather or just because here are a few suggestions and recipes…

For starters, if it is chilly where you live or because you love soup then a lovely bowl of tomato soup with heart-shaped croutons is just the thing.

Or do a lovely heart-shaped swirl with some soured cream which would look very pretty.

If you are seafood lovers then a lovely seafood platter is easy to do and looks quite spectacular.

seafood platter

Some smoked salmon, a few plump mussels, lovely grilled prawns, soft squid there is so much lovely seafood to choose from just a little of each arranged on a platter with maybe a nice drizzle of seafood sauce or a chilli sauce.

This quick little soy sauce is a nice to drizzle …just finely cut a clove of garlic and a small piece of fresh ginger, fry in a small pan , stirring to release the flavours add scant tbsp soy sauce and half to one tbsp honey stirring and cook for 2 mins, sometimes I add a squeeze of lime..just taste and play with the flavours. Then drizzle as pictured…

Main course:

This chicken dish is one we make often and it is quick and easy and served with rice or potatoes and some lightly steamed vegetables it is very nice.

Lemon Chicken with caper sauce.

Lemon Chicken

Ingredients:

• 4 Chicken Breasts (skinless)
• 2/4 cloves garlic.
• 1 tbsp capers ( rinsed)
• 2 tbsp chopped parsley.
• Half lemon sliced.
• 1/4 cup lemon juice.
• 1/2 pint chicken stock.
• 5 tbsp Olive Oil.
• 2 tbsp Butter.
• Parsley for garnish.

Let’s Cook!

Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Dredge chicken in flour and shake off excess flour.

In a large skillet over medium high heat add 3 tbsp olive oil. When the oil starts to sizzle, add 2 pieces of chicken and cook for 3 minutes.

When the chicken is browned, flip and cook the other side for 3 minutes. Remove and transfer to plate. Add another 2 tablespoons olive oil. When oil starts to sizzle, add the other 2 pieces of chicken and brown both sides in the same manner. Remove pan from heat and add chicken to the plate, set to one side.

Into the pan add the lemon juice, stock, capers and garlic.

Return to stove and bring to boil, scraping up brown bits from the pan for extra flavour.

Check for seasoning and add lemon slices and parsley.

Return all the chicken to the pan and simmer for 5/10 minutes depending on the size of breasts. Remove chicken to a platter.

Add 2 tablespoons butter to sauce and whisk vigorously. Pour sauce over chicken and garnish with parsley.

Serve with boiled rice or potatoes of your choice and steamed broccoli and cauliflower.

Valentines Dessert

This is where I am normally too full for anything else but if you fancy a dessert…Then chocolate covered strawberries are very nice…Or just a bowl of fresh strawberries like these ones I picked up at my local market…

fresh strawberries

Simple and delicious as they are or if you have a fondue set then go for it and dip them in chocolate at the table…

Or a lovely strawberry mimosa…Just blend 2 cups of strawberries with half a cup of water and then strain through a sieve. Chill.

Pop a strawberry in the bottom of a champagne flute, half fill with the strained strawberries and carefully top up with your favourite champers…Garnish with a fresh strawberry and there you have it… Strawberry Mimosa…

Or using the same strawberry puree to make a lovely Daiquiri… I think will go down very nicely…My preference is a strawberry Mojito…

strawberry mojito

Happy Valentine’s Day…

What will you be making or does your other half cook???

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

Blog: https://carolcooks2.com/
Twitterhttps://twitter.com/TheRealCarolT
Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/carol.taylor.1422

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/caroltaylor56/pins/

Thank you once again for reading this post I hope you all have a great week xx

CarolCooks2…Weekly Roundup…Spoiler Alerts, Sourdough and Just Living!

Welcome to my weekly roundup of posts I hope you have all had a productive week with lots of creative thoughts, no kitchen disasters and if you have please tell…haha

My week started with a look at my life through the years…Reliving memories I  also got a bit maudlin but overall a good life …

You know the routine by now…Settle down in your favourite chair, grab a drink and enjoy!

great reads a weekly roundup lady with electronic reader

You are the Author of your life…What did you do??? To find out about me…

Hopscotch and who made that elastic band thingy?? Jacks? Stilts? Runouts?

hop scotch

https://carolcooks2.com/2019/02/04/you-are-the-author-of-your-life-what-will-you-make-it-about/

No More Diets! Healthy Eating!...Have I been giving myself a talking to?? Oh Yes! Practice what you preach talking to…But you know what I feel better for it and have had a good week…Upped the walking and exercise knocked the sundowners on the head for now…I also worked out how much I would save …Yikes…Two months and I have funded a new laptop…

Any lost or misplaced kilos/lbs are a bonus…The papaya salsa is so tasty and my new favourite smoothie …Spoiler Alert! Tomatoes and Passionfruit…

papaya salsa

https://carolcooks2.com/2019/02/05/healthy-eating-no-more-diets-8/

It is now time to pop over to Sally’s for my Winter Warmers which this week for those of you experiencing bitter cold weather some hearty Stews and Casseroles.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/06/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-food-and-cookery-column-with-carol-taylor-winter-warmers-stews-and-casseroles/

Time for some music from Les Miserables…I dreamed a Dream…A beautiful song and lyrics…Waste Not! Want Not! Looks at the reality…Heartbreaking…

Tissue Alert!

https://carolcooks2.com/2019/02/07/waste-not-want-not-week-10/

Last week in my kitchen Things got Hot and spicy…Sourdough ..Take 2…A bit slow…Yesterday I went out and bought some different flour …Let’s see what today brings…I am not giving up…

Some new fruit for me also came into its growing season… The lovely Tamarind… Not strictly true as thus far I had only eaten and used the dried one…That lovely sticky tamarind which works in so many different dishes…This is the young tamarind before it is dried isn’t it pretty…Lovely colours…Sort of unicornish colours…Don’t you think?

fresh young tamarind fruit

Every time I go to the market I discover something new, different…

https://carolcooks2.com/2019/02/08/week-6-in-my-kitchen-sourdough-take-2-is-still-alive/

Lastly, Sally with her no-nonsense look at health…In life, some have had many operations others like me…Just two..Tonsils and one other… I openly admit I was scared..petrified is a better choice of word…Why? I wanted to first wake up…Secondly have no complications…The statistics are scary…I could spend hours and write a War and Peace length post but the bottom line is we need to prepare our bods the best way we can to give ourselves a fighting chance…

If you were in the Brownies, Girl Guides, Scouts, Woodcraft folks…Be prepared was the motto…

To get the low down and how to prepare head over to Sally’s and she will lead the way…

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/05/smorgasbord-health-column-new-statistics-on-surgery-recovery-that-are-shocking-and-preparing-for-an-operation/

Spoiler Alerts!

whats next post it note

Chinese New Year…Part 2…Fibre are we getting enough? Cigarette Butts, Golden Lily Oolong No. 12 …That’s it! 

No more spoilers…You will have to wait and see…xxx

Enjoy your Sunday and thank you for reading …xx

If you liked what you read please let me know in comments I love to hear all your comments xxx

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

Blog: https://carolcooks2.com/
Twitterhttps://twitter.com/TheRealCarolT
Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/carol.taylor.1422

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/caroltaylor56/pins/

Thank you once again for reading this post I hope you all have a great week xx

Week 4…In my kitchen…

Welcome to week 4 in my kitchen…Where do the weeks go?? Did I tackle that big cupboard? Actually, no not yet… I have turned the kitchen around completely…My kitchen is sort of in two parts plus one…So part one holds my sink and ceramic hob and built-in cupboards separated by maybe it was supposed to be an open plan dining area?  The problem being there is nowhere to put an oven in part one so my lovely wooden table was against the wall to hold the tabletop oven… Confused yet…haha.

As I have a new oven it had to go that side so I have ( with) hubby’s help…Moved the table top oven into the second kitchen as I never know when I might need an additional oven… My lovely table is now in the middle  (where) it should have been in the first place…I now have my lovely big work surface to work on again instead of a small top and also more room as if someone is using the hob I am not in their way…More workspace plus my big cupboard is this side of the kitchen…Thais love cupboards at least when they are building European style houses…They also like to build two kitchens in case you were wondering…The second one to house the gas hob for their stir fries…

my kitchen

Which means generally the Thai wife is happy in her kitchen and husband happy in his one… Which means two cultures exist in harmony…

Let’s Cook!

A take on Tom Yum Soup… This is one of my favourite Thai soups and so easy to make from scratch. It also brings back memories of a certain lady…Keeleigh who when she visited us could not get enough of this fabulous soup…I am sure she would also love this version…

  • 2 litres of water
  • 4 stalks of lemon grass
  • 1-inch chunk of galangal
  • 10 kaffir lime leaves
  • 10 Thai chillies
  • 5 cloves of garlic
  • 85 gm salmon per person
  • 100 gm noodles of your choice per person
  • 300 grams of oyster mushrooms
  • 2 medium tomatoes cut into quarters.
  • 5-6 shallots halved if really small if a little bigger quartered
  • 1 and a half tsp of sugar
  • 7 – 10 tbsp of fish sauce (depending on your taste)
  • Juice of 5 -8 limes.
  • A handful of cilantro ( Coriander)
  • Half hardboiled egg per person…optional

N.B  I recommend using the lowest amount of limes and fish sauce and Taste! Adjust if necessary as everyone’s taste varies.

Let’s Cook!

The first thing to do is put about 2 litres of water in a large pot to boil.

Then I like to start by squeezing my limes. This is not the first step of the recipe, but it’s best to have your limes squeezed so when you need them later, you don’t need to rush to squeeze them all.

Take your stalks of lemongrass, and first tear off the outermost leaf and throw it out. Then, I like to use a rolling-pin or the handle end of a knife to lightly pound the lemongrass to release the flavours. Then just slice it diagonally into 1-inch strips or so.

Take about 1 thumb-sized chunk of the root part of galangal, and chop it into slices.

Coarsely break about 10 kaffir lime leaves – no need to cut them, just tear them – which is going to help release their flavour.

Peel about 5 cloves of garlic.

I used about 10 Thai birds eye chillies for this recipe, but you can use however many you’d like. First, take off the stem, and then you can either just slice them in two pieces, or give them a little pound on your cutting board like I did (just be careful of flying seeds). You can also remove the seeds if you still like the chilli flavour but not as much heat.

Throw the lemongrass, galangal, kaffir lime leaves, garlic and chillies into the water.

You can put the lid on just so it starts to boil which releases the herb flavours quicker.

Boil your soup with all the herbs in it for about 10 minutes.

Then add your mushrooms, which you should pre-rinse beforehand.

Cook for 4-5 minutes.

.Add tomatoes and onions.

 

Cook for further 6-8 minutes.

Now add your noodles and after 2 mins add your salmon and cook for a further 5 mins until salmon is just poached…

Remove from heat and gently stir in fish sauce, lime juice, sugar and cilantro.

Taste and adjust if necessary.

This delicious soup is now ready to serve. Garnish with half a boiled egg and some coriander… Enjoy!

tom yum salmon

If you are doing an original Tom Yum with prawns only add your 500 gm of prepared prawns and cook for 2-3 mins max ( if overcooked the prawns will sink to the bottom of the pan. If you get any scum on the surface of soup it’s from the prawns then just skim off with a spoon. Then remove from heat and gently stir in fish sauce, lime juice, sugar and cilantro.

Taste and adjust if necessary.

Enjoy!

Pigs Trotters…Not on the menu this week maybe next week…

Today at long last I have started my sourdough starter…Something I have kept putting off but hubbies favourite baker and they are few and far between here…Upped and left…As cut bread doesn’t feature on either of our radars …This has to be done…

♦♦♦♦♦

Our chicken dish this week was Thai Green Curry… A curry which is a staple in this house and everyone likes it…To get the recipe

Thai-green-curry

As a treat, this recipe also includes the recipes for 5 authentic made from scratch curry pastes…

As I have been trying to find some nice flavoursome meatless recipes I came across this one and as Larb is a favourite here I decided to give this version a go… The initial reaction from the meat eaters in this house was not one of joy…haha

Made using the shiitake mushroom which is great in stir-fries, soups and with pasta, it also apparently makes tasty veggie bacon.

12 oz shiitake mushrooms cut into 1/2 in pieces…Remove stalks and reserve for stir fry etc

3 spring onions chopped

1-inch piece of ginger, grated

1 clove of garlic finely diced

1 small shallot sliced thinly

1 tsp dried chilli or 1 fresh chilli finely sliced

1 tbsp fish sauce

A handful of mint leaves

Lime Juice plus wedges to serve

Few peanuts roughly chopped.

Oil to cook mushrooms.

Let’s Cook!

Add 2 tbsp oil to pan over a medium to high heat add mushrooms and cook for 3-4 mins, shake and cook for another 3-4 mins until mushrooms are crispy…Do not add salt or they won’t crisp.

Add ginger and garlic and remove from the heat.

Add spring onions, chilli, fish sauce and half the nuts stir to combine and add mint leaves.

Taste and add a squeeze of lime juice adjust seasoning if required…

shiitake mushroom Thai larb

 

Serve with wedges of white cabbage, lime and peanuts…

Larb is also traditionally eaten with sticky rice…

Our verdict…It was nice even hubby and he is a die-hard meat eater…I would definitely make it again.

Have a great weekend and please share with us anything you have made this week or even any kitchen disasters all your comments make my day xxx

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

Blog: https://carolcooks2.com/
Twitterhttps://twitter.com/TheRealCarolT
Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/carol.taylor.1422

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/caroltaylor56/pins/

Thank you once again for reading this post I hope you all have a great weekend xx