Category Archives: Cooking from scratch

CarolCooks2…weekly roundup 13th September -19th September 2020… Recipes, Health, Whimsy, Coconuts and Acapella……

Welcome to this week’s edition of my weekly roundup of posts…Especially for you just in case you missed any posts during the week… whatever your time zone grab a coffee or a glass of wine…Take a pew, get comfy… have a read… I hope you enjoy it!

 

Relax and Enjoy! (1) Weekly Roundup

Monday always starts with news and my views… always something new to discover…This week was no different…this week was my last post on Climate Change I won’t be banging this drum any more maybe just a triangle ..at times…

However, Wikipedia tells me… The triangle can always be heard clearly above the sound of the orchestra or band…hehe..x

https://carolcooks2.com/2020/09/14/climate-change-and-health-my-last-post/

Tuesday: 

This really is a short week…my muse has gone on holiday…

bangtao-beach-Phuket

Wednesday: Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Food Column – Carol Taylor – A – Z of Food ‘R’ for Rice, Ras el Hanout, Rhubarb, Ricotta Cheese and Rice Noodles

I can be found over at Sally’s where she is kindly reposting my series on the Culinary Alphabet where this week it is the letter R…

Of course rice my favourite carb is featured and so much more so please head over to Sally’s for a read and while you are there please say hello…x

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2020/09/16/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-food-column-carol-taylor-a-z-of-food-r-for-rice-ras-el-hanout-rhubarb-ricotta-cheese-and-rice-noodles/

Thursday:

My muse is still on holiday…

Fruity Friday: The Coconut…

Where it seems no one cares whether or not it is a fruit, seed or a nut as it is unanimous that it is a deliciously healthy drink and the milk/cream makes lovely curries…

https://carolcooks2.com/2020/09/18/fruity-fridays-the-coconut-is-it-a-fruit-a-nut-or-a-seed/

Saturday Snippets :

Where it’s my chance to indulge myself in whimsy not sure it came off without my muse for company…I definitely don’t like how the images look now in the Classic Editor…all designed to make us want to use the block editor…well this lady who normally embraces change is not embracing this…so there… WP…I am going to bring out the Maggie Thatcher in me and tell you in no uncertain terms “the lady’s not for turning”

https://carolcooks2.com/2020/09/19/saturday-snippets-19th-september-2020/

That’s all for this weeks roundup a rather short week… I do hope you have enjoyed it and I look forward to your comments xx

God bless you all in these turbulent times…especially those of my readers who are affected or in the path of these wildfires in California…Please stay safe…x

When this is all over my hope for the future is a cleaner world… I do want to see communities, and caring for your neighbour becoming the new norm…WORKING TOGETHER INSTEAD OF WORKING AGAINST EACH OTHER…Being kind to each other…Loving someone whatever their religion or skin colour…Can we make this happen? We have to but in the right way…Are we willing to make a stand? Personally, I would love to see lessons learnt ..realistically I have my doubts…

Thank you for reading be well and stay safe 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 well being.

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!

Thank you once again for reading this post I hope you all stay safe and healthy xx

Fruity Friday’s… The chilli and yes it is a fruit!

Red-chilli-dried-green-hot

Oh Yes! It is a fruit!

I expect you were wondering when I was going to get around to one of my favourite fruits, The Chilli Pepper… Chillies are in season all year round here…although a pepper’s hotness is generally determined by genetics, the environment can play a role. Long hot days cause peppers to produce more capsaicin, the specific alkaloid that delivers the spicy kick…The chillies I am picking at the moment have certainly racked the heat up a bit..they are spicy hot babies…

This wonderful versatile fruit which some love to hate… Are the fruits from the flowers of the Nightshade plant family. Mainly eaten as a vegetable but most definitely it is a fruit.

Chilli peppers are a rich source of spicy-hot capsaicin. They are also very high in antioxidant carotenoids, which are linked with many health benefits. … Capsaicin: Is one of the most studied plant compounds in chilli peppers.

Did you know? Chilli has seven times the Vitamin C of an Orange. Also, a big bowl of chilli can help you lose weight? It is because the capsaicin in the chillies and peppers used to make a chilli raise your metabolic rate…

chilli-con carne-chilli peppers

Chilli Con Carne

  • 500 gm lean minced Beef ( I use pork) as I can’t get minced beef here.
  • 1 tbsp Olive oil
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 1 red or yellow pepper chopped
  • 3-5 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
  • 2-inch piece of fresh ginger finely chopped
  • 1-3 heaped tsp hot chilli powder (or 1 level tbsp if you only have mild)
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1-2 bay leaves
  • 1 pint of fresh-made beef or vegetable stock
  • 400 gm fresh chopped tomatoes
  • 1/2 tsp dried marjoram
  • 1/2 tsp sugar…I sneak this in when no one is looking as it brings out the sweetness of the tomatoes.
  • 2 tbsp tomato purée
  • 410 gm can red kidney beans, drained or pre-soaked dried kidney beans.

Let’s Cook!
Put the olive oil in a large pan and heat add the chopped onions, garlic, ginger, bay leaves and cumin seeds cook until onions are translucent about 5 minutes.
I like to add my cumin seeds with the onions as it brings out their full flavour and we love cumin.
Add the minced meat and cook, stirring until nicely browned.
Add the tomatoes, stock, peppers and tomato puree stirring in well and bring to a soft simmer.
Add the paprika, marjoram and sugar.
Cook for 20 minutes now this is where I taste and add more chilli and usually more cumin seeds and then add the drained kidney beans and cook for a further 30 minutes.

Serve with steamed rice and sour cream sprinkled with smoked paprika ( optional)

Enjoy!

Now what can be better than a Smokin hot chilli sauce this recipe was gifted to me by my friend Susan and it is awesome…Thank you, Susan, it is now my go-to chilli sauce…

Chilli- hot-red-fiery sauce

Let’s Cook!

This recipe is a sort of add how many chillies you like or it depends on how big your hands are…lol

Take a half kilo of Cayenne peppers or peppers of your choice.

A large handful of garlic cloves, peeled and blanched…it is not a requirement but the sauce will be less acrid if you blanch the garlic.

Smoke the chillies and garlic over charcoal mixed with smoked applewood for 2 hours.

Then put in a blender with a cup of organic live cider vinegar, a cup of sugar and half a tsp of salt.

Just look at that lovely rich, red colour, it looks amazing.

After you have made your first batch you might want to play around with the quantities to suit your taste …but that is the fun and what cooking is all about. The high sugar content makes it great for BBQ’s and helps with the preservation.

Put the sauce into sterilized jars.

It is then ready to use as a spread on your bacon sandwich, to coat your meats and is a great base for chilli or my friend Susan makes her version of Mole by adding cocoa powder, nuts, and some Mexican spices.

Play around with flavours you might find something new and exciting. Maybe blanch some red bell peppers and char them with the chillies and garlic.

NOTE:

If the sauce starts to ferment, bubble up then loosen the lid and let it do its work…I wouldn’t eat the sauce while this going on and fermenting but it will settle down on its own and you will be left with a lovely mature sauce with a deeper flavour, albeit less sweet.

Have fun and enjoy!

Do you like something a tad sweeter??? Then this Thai Sweet chilli sauce may be for you??

Sweet- chilli-sauce

This recipe makes about half cup of sauce which is ideal for me because if I buy a bottle I end up throwing it away either because I have had it in the fridge or cupboard so long or I have read the label.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup of rice wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar plus 2 tbsp.
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 3 tbsp fish sauce
  • 2 tbsp sherry if you don’t have sherry then this article gives you replacements for sherry in cooking
  • 2 cloves of garlic grated/ minced or very finely chopped
  • 1/2 -1 tbsp dried chilli crushed ( 1 tbsp is hot) or chilli pepper flakes.
  • 1 plus 1/2 tbsp cornstarch or arrowroot dissolved in 3-4 tbsp water.
  • Optional… Sometimes I julienne a small piece of carrot or red pepper and add to the mixture during the reduction period of cooking.

Put all the ingredients into a saucepan except for the cornflour mix. Stir to combine and bring to a rolling boil. Reduce the heat to a slow rolling boil and cook for 10 minutes or until the mixture had reduced by half. Lower the heat and add the cornflour mix, stirring until the sauce has thickened.

Taste and adjust the seasoning more sugar if not sweet enough for you and if not hot enough then more chilli.

This is so quick and easy to make and far superior to shop-bought sauces and without the preservatives.

Enjoy!

Chilli plant- hot- spicy- Thai chillies

One of my favourite fruits…The chilli…

The chilli and lots of other fruits are in season in September and of course, eating fruits in season brings many benefits to your health and the taste…of course, depending on which zone you are in the world fruit seasons and types vary to what they do here…what doesn’t change is why we should eat the fruit in season …I have listed the benefits below but it really is a no brainer as fruit in season is glorious…

  1. Richer flavour – Produce that is picked when it’s fully ripened tastes amazing. If your product is coming from across the US or another country, it is picked before it’s ripe. As it travels to your local grocery store, it ripens in a cardboard box, often after being sprayed by chemicals to prevent it from ripening too quickly…who hasn’t been tempted by those strawberries out of season and at a far higher cost both in pennies and their carbon footprint to find the taste was a great disappointment…Hands up I have in the past but no more…I have learnt that lesson the hard way…
  2. Better nutrition – When produce is picked before it’s ripe, the nutrients do not fully develop in the flesh of the fruit. Plants need the sun to grow and picking them before they are ripe cuts off the nutrient availability. Genetic modification is also sometimes used, which can alter how the crop was naturally supposed to be consumed. Also, if you eat seasonally, you are guaranteed to consume a variety of produce, which will assist you in eating a healthier, balanced diet.
  3. Environmentally friendly – As produce is transported from other areas, it requires gas to get the product to the store. This fuel charge is something often added to the cost of the food upon delivery, not to mention what this does to the carbon footprint.
  4. Community benefit – Buying your produce from local farmer’s markets and Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is a great way to build community, but also allows you to feel more connected to where your food is coming from and who is growing it…I think we owe our families that and ourselves…

Don’t forget it is National Organic Month…if you missed my post yesterday explained what constitutes an organic product…

Thank you for reading, I do hope you have enjoyed it…  I am looking forward to your comments. Thanks, Carol 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.

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!

Have a great weekend, stay safe and be well xx

 

 

The Culinary Alphabet with a twist…The letter E (agrafE)

Good morning everyone and Pete… time for another post which is this crazy idea from one of my fellow scribes…but food fun…E is a doozy…

Did you know?

There are 95069 words that end with E…of course, not all food-related but there are quite a few so I have not gone for the obvious many of your favourites will not be here …Brownie being one but never fear chocolate is still featured…

Abalone…

Image by 덕효 홍 from Pixabay

Or sea snails…I have never tasted these I have seen them on cookery shows and posh menus…it is also illegal to take abalone from the ocean. Numbers of abalone are now at critically low levels because of over-exploitation. Poaching is the biggest threat to abalone. People in local communities are either paid money or given drugs by large syndicates to illegally remove abalone from the ocean.

95% ​of abalone comes from aquaculture, eating non-farmed abalone is truly a rarity…

Agrafe…

Image by congerdesign from Pixabay

A winemaking term for the metal clip used to secure the cork in a bottle of champagne or sparkling wine…That was a new one for me…I didn’t know that …

Aubergine…

Is actually a colour — aubergine — that resembles the purple of the aubergine or as it is also known as the eggplant. … Apparently, way back in the 1700s, early European versions of eggplant were smaller and yellow or white. They looked a bit like goose or hen’s eggs, which led to the name “eggplant.”

 

It looks to me like the earlier European versions have had a revival or never went away as we get lots of small..tiny eggplants here and in all colours…yellow included…

Buckle…

The history of this is fascinating and shows how one dessert has many names depending on where you come from… this one has some great names…such as cobbler, pandowdy, grunt, slump, buckles, crisp, croustade, bird’s nest pudding or crow’s nest pudding.  They are all based on seasonal fruits and berries, in other words, whatever fresh ingredients are readily at hand.  They are all homemade, simple to make and rely more on taste than fancy pastry preparation.

Early settlers of America were very good at improvising.  When they first arrived, they bought their favourite recipes with them, such as English steamed puddings.  Not finding their favourite ingredients, they used whatever was available. That is how all these traditional American dishes came about with such unusual names.

The early colonist was so fond of these juicy dishes that they often served them as the main course, for breakfast, or even as a first course. It was not until the late 19th century that they became primarily desserts.

Calzone…

A folded pizza…I’m sure someone will tell me it is not just a pizza…half-moon shaped and stuffed with cheese, meat and or vegetables, fried or baked and often served with a marina sauce.

Cerviche…

This is more to my taste …raw fish cured in lime or lemon juice spiced up with chilli peppers, onions, coriander, tomatoes…like a fish salsa…

Deglaze…

Just a posh word for adding cold liquid to a hot pan and releasing all the lovely stuck on bits of meat and juices is how you make the best gravy for your Sunday Roast…

Did you know? Those brown bits are called Fond which is the French word for bottom…

Ganache…

Dieters beware this glaze or icing is made from chocolate and cream…it can be used to glaze pastries or fill pastries…

Lattice…

Lattice is the pretty topping for pies…very easy to do and just adds that little extra…

My individual latticed apple pies…

Pottage…

Is a term for a thick stew of vegetables, grains and or meat/fish this dish goes back to medieval peasants who grew what they could and cooked it slow to produce a thick stew or soup, which they ate with dark rye bread…It filled the tummy on a cold day…

Poutine…

A dish of french fries, gravy and cheese curds… originating from the Canadian province of Quebec

Not something I have eaten but it looks delicious…

Sardine…

A small oily fish which is part of the herring family…hubby loves sardines on toast as do the grandkids…according to the FDA sardines contain less mercury than other fish they are also as high in Omega 3 fatty acids as pink salmon…

Shitake…

An edible mushroom native to East Asia…it is also considered to be a medicinal mushroom in some forms of traditional medicine. They grow naturally on decaying hardwood trees…you can purchase them both fresh or dried… it is said that dried they provide a deeper more balanced medicinal effect…Here they can be sauteed and served as a side dish, they are often sliced and added to miso soup, added to stir-fries and used to make a stock base for Kombu broth, a delicious, balanced, health-promoting broth.

shitake mushroom

They are also quite a meaty mushroom although I love mushrooms and do eat these they are not among my favourites …

Treacle…

A treacle tart is…sigh…Treacle is an uncrystallised syrup made during the refining of sugar. The most common forms of treacle are golden syrup, a pale variety, and a darker variety known as black treacle. Black treacle I use in my Christmas cakes and puds and also gingerbread…

A slice of treacle Tart with custard

The golden syrup I use sometimes in a steamed pudding or make a tart with breadcrumbs and served with vanilla custard…sigh…not good for the waistline but a delicious treat…

That’s all for this week see you in two weeks for the letter F (aperitiF)…Yes, please!

Please stay safe as it seems in some places lockdowns are being introduced again…not good 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 well being.

The environment is also something I am passionate about and there will be more on this on my blog this year

Exciting for me hence the title of my blog, Retired No One Told Me! I am having a wonderful ride and don’t want to get off, so if you wish to follow me on my adventures, then welcome! I hope you enjoy the ride also and if it encourages you to take a step into the unknown or untried, you know you want to…Then, I will be happy!

Please stay safe and well and follow your governments safety guidelines remember we are all in this together xxx

How Covid-19 has changed our eating and buying habits…

COVID-19 …although devastating to many has meant that many have also discovered the joy of eating food and sharing it with their loved ones…Family time has come to the fore and people are eating together again.

People have come together and are organising food for families in need…Although individual donations to food banks have decreased company donations have gone up.

1.8 million people are now in a situation where they can’t afford to feed their families and food poverty will rise even higher. Food banks are even more important during Covid-19…

Hospitality is in crisis...in every town, village and city…Businesses are either closing or rethinking how they deliver their food to the customer…Orders are taken either on-line or in person at a distance and delivered by your friendly chef or waiter…

Bridlington in the Uk was known as the lobster capital of Europe…Because borders have closed their market has dried up…Restaurants have had to quickly adapt or go out of business…They have had to adapt and provide takeaway menus which are the same as their menus in their restaurants…Fresh lobsters delivered to their doors…

The locals are loving it...restaurant meals delivered to their doors or to pick up…these are the businesses that will survive…

Quality Eats without the seats has become the new norm…

The smaller venues have adapted quicker and faster than the big chains…I think it is great that businesses are thinking of new ways to get food to their customers and their customer base is changing it is not the huge companies it is the local people…Door to door deliveries are taking place again it is almost as if the ways of my childhood are making a comeback to survive farmers and restaurants are having to rethink their policies…

Fresh fruit direct to your door…customers are seeing the changes and they are loving it…

They are delivering milk fresh from the cows only 12 hours old daily to local homes and the customers are loving it…knowing just how fresh their milk is…They are getting to know the farmers and the restaurant owners…

It has also made the Uk government rethink their strategy they have realised that now is the time to think hard about a new food strategy…

Going forward…people need to learn how to build up a pantry without stockpiling …which means then there is food for everyone.

The food, farming, countryside Commission which is an independent body has been set up to look at radical changes… by focussing attention to implementation – turning ideas and recommendations into practical actions and real change.

With partners in governments, businesses and communities, there’re helping to convene collective leadership on the difficult questions and resource communities to become more resilient and adaptable for the changes ahead.

https://ffcc.co.uk/what-we-do#current-work

Tesco…the Uk’s largest supermarket is tackling food waste…

They have linked up with the environmental charity Hubbub to run the six-week experiment in which families will receive advice on meal planning and food storage along with recipe tips for using up leftovers.

The results from 55 households will be used by Tesco and Hubbub to offer advice and practical steps to help cut food waste, which on top of its negative environmental impact typically costs a family of four about £60 a month.

The UK has signed up to a global sustainable target of halving food waste by 2030.

Consumers are being asked to rifle through their bins in order to weigh and record their daily food waste, in an ambitious trial that aims to reduce the 6.6m-tonne mountain of food thrown away by UK households every year.

The trial takes place at a time when the UK lockdown has led to a dramatic change in the nation’s shopping and cooking habits. New polling of about 2,000 adults for Tesco found that 67% now felt differently about food. Almost a third of respondents (29%) said the pandemic had made them value food more.

“Lockdown has driven the biggest change to the nation’s food habits in generations, and many of us have experienced shortages for the first time,” said Aoife Allen of Hubbub. “Cutting food waste has proved a stubborn challenge and we are a long way from the goal of halving food waste.”

Supermarkets have been criticised for wasting food in their supply chains that could be diverted to food banks. Tesco was the first to publicise its figures.

Although this is not the first time that a UK supermarket has attempted to try this to cut food waste and indeed we all know that supermarkets waste the biggest amounts of food every day due to sell-by dates on food.

Will it be different this time? Have the COVID-109 restrictions and quarantines changed how consumers see food?

Yes, the lockdown has thrown up new challenges and in July the government’s waste advisory body, Wrap, said self-reported food waste was up by 30%, reversing progress made at the start of the pandemic as consumers threw away less food while confined to their homes.

In Tesco’s research, 35% of people said they reduced their food waste during the lockdown and 75% said they had kept this up since restrictions were lifted. Nearly two-thirds (61%) were cooking with leftovers every week, while 32% were planning meals and almost a quarter (22%) were batch-cooking and freezing more.

Only 3% of those who cut food waste during lockdown said they did not plan to continue these new habits in future. This sounds promising and maybe Tesco’s drive to cut food waste will be more successful than Sainsbury’s was in 2018.

I am excited and hope that we will see radical changes throughout the whole world as people realise that it really is good to eat with family…to cook from scratch… to buy local…to know their suppliers and maybe just maybe supermarkets will also change …

A brave New World?

Thank you for joining me today I hope you are all keeping safe and well…x

About Carol Taylor: 

Enjoying life in The Land Of Smiles I am having so much fun researching, finding new, authentic recipes both Thai and International to share with you. New recipes gleaned from those who I have met on my travels or are just passing through and stopped for a while. I hope you enjoy them.

I love shopping at the local markets, finding fresh, natural ingredients, new strange fruits and vegetable ones I have never seen or cooked with. I am generally the only European person and attract much attention and I love to try what I am offered and when I smile and say Aroy or Saab as it is here in the north I am met with much smiling.

Some of my recipes may not be in line with traditional ingredients and methods of cooking but are recipes I know and have become to love and maybe if you dare to try you will too. You will always get more than just a recipe from me as I love to research and find out what other properties the ingredients I use contain to improve our health and wellbeing.

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!

Thank you once again for reading this post I hope you all have a fabulous week and stay safe these are troubling times xx

 

 

 

CarolCooks2…weekly roundup 30th August -5th September 2020… Recipes, Health, Food labels, Whimsy, and …The return of the Wolverines…

Welcome to this week’s edition of my weekly roundup of posts…Especially for you just in case you missed any posts during the week…

Take a pew and get comfy… have a read… I hope you enjoy it!

Relax and Enjoy! (1) Weekly Roundup

Monday always starts with news and my views… always something new to discover…This week was no different…Food Labels…

There are many reasons why food labels are not fit for purpose…The fact that only people who can generally read them are those with 20/20 vision, of course, we want to know what is in our food as if it is chicken I want to know chicken is the main ingredient…I want to know the source of my chicken as the way they are reared is vastly different depending on where they come from and the processing..regulations vary from country to country and of course, I don’t want my chicken to come from 1,000’s of miles away I want to be assured of its global footprint and health.

That is just for starters…

https://carolcooks2.com/2020/08/31/food-labelling-part-2/

Wednesday:

Found me over at Sally’s where it was time for the next letter of my journey through the alphabet and the letter Q…surprisingly there were lots of yummy foods beginning with Q…I also learnt that queso means cheese…doh! however, that just sums me up at the moment…I half wrote a post for Tuesday and it sits in drafts…I don’t like September it is my birth year and although I think age is just numbers..mine are totting up and I don’t like it… it is unsettling me or is it this Covid-19 or a combo but unsettled I am…

Anyways pop over to Sally’s and enjoy Q…

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2020/09/02/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-food-column-carol-taylor-a-z-of-food-q-for-quince-quail-quenelles-and-quesadillas/

Thursday: How healthy is your breakfast?

Breakfast or brunch is most peoples first meal of the day…For some, it is a slap-up breakfast with all the trimmings and for others a snatched cup of coffee…

In this post, I look at breakfasts around the world and they certainly all have their differences and they all have foods which I would love to eat…

I unravel the breakfasts a little and dig a little deeper to find out more head over and have a read…

https://carolcooks2.com/2020/09/03/how-healthy-is-your-breakfast/

Friday: Tamarind…

One of my favourite fruits as the taste changes as it matures and each taste is different from the last and equally as glorious… I was asked which fruit I could compare it with and I couldn’t it has a unique taste of its own…

fresh young tamarind fruit

 

Picked young like this the fruit is white and slightly tinged with pink, a nutty taste with just a hint of its more grown-up taste of sweet and sour… Like this, they are available for a very short period of time literally a couple of weeks a beautiful snack…

When it ripens it becomes brown and sticky with an awesome sweet and sour taste…

Again they can be eaten as they are and are found in all shops dried in packets with or without the obligatory chilli and with or without the very hard black pit.

For more info and recipes on this lovely fruit please click the link and enjoy!

https://carolcooks2.com/2020/09/04/fruity-fridays-the-tamarind-2/

Saturday Snippets:

Yesterday I think I got some of my mojo back…Saturday Snippetts was more on point…Was it James Veicht who cracked me up it was an oldie but one I hadn’t seen and as I absolutely hate spam it was great…Toasters is all I will say I also defined the word Toast!….

Dr Zhivago was on the same page as Chuck Berry and John Lennon…Long Live Rock n Roll...my era…Omar Sharif used to make my heart flutter and methinks I will have another watch of that great film…It is also national organic month so there will be more on that in the coming weeks…you knew ..didn’t you? the very rare wolverines are back and Sally talks to us about statins in the Health Corner…scary…All in all a jam-packed Saturday Snippets I hope you enjoy! xx

https://carolcooks2.com/2020/09/05/saturday-snippets-5th-september-2020/

I also extend my apologies as I didn’t post the wild mushroom soup or the jalapeno stuffed pork loin…I will this week…I also had the biggest fail I have had in the kitchen for a long time…I absolutely ruined the paella although the power outage didn’t help what a disaster it was awful…I am not going to live that down here for a very long time…Ooppps xx

God bless you all in these turbulent times…be safe and stay well…

My hopes…for the future…

When this is all over my hope for the future is a cleaner world… I do want to see communities, and caring for your neighbour becoming the new norm…WORKING TOGETHER INSTEAD OF WORKING AGAINST EACH OTHER…Being kind to each other…Loving someone whatever their religion or skin colour…Can we make this happen? We have to but in the right way…Are we willing to make a stand? Personally, I would love to see lessons learnt ..realistically I have my doubts…

Thank you for reading be well and stay safe 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 well being.

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!

Thank you once again for reading this post I hope you all stay safe and healthy xx

Fruity Friday’s…The Tamarind

 

 

I just don’t know where the time goes it’s Friday again and this week I am showcasing the lovely Tamarind…The Tamarind is very plentiful here and used in many Thai dishes …I love just eating the fruit it has quite a sour taste but I like it…It is sold in little packs here on the markets the seeds already removed or as a paste to add to food. It is also sold dried and sugared as a snack food and although sugared is still has quite a sour taste…

This rather plain brown podded fruit does, however, have the capacity to elevate your food to something else.

Tamarind like many fruits and vegetables has a long history of healing and aiding stomach disorders and is used as a laxative.

Tamarind preparations are used for fevers, sore throats, inflammation of joints and sunstroke. The leaves dried or boiled are made into poultices to help reduce swollen joints, sprains, boils, haemorrhoids and conjunctivitis.

Tamarind is also great as a marinade for meat as it breaks down and tenderises tougher cuts of meat. It is used to make jams and syrups it is also one of the secret ingredients of Lea & Perrins  Worcestershire sauce which is a fermented sauce which has many uses.

Great for smoothies a mango and tamarind smoothie is very nice it also has many other culinary uses.

This little dip is a recipe from Bali given to me by my grandson’s girlfriend it is very easy to make but made more special by the addition of tamarind. 

Called Rujak sauce it is lovely with mangoes.

  • Take 200 gm of palm sugar shaved.
  • 15 gm of tamarind flesh and 5 tbsp of water leave to infuse for 5 mins and then drain and keep the tamarind flavoured water.
  • 6 or more Thai chillies.
  • 1/4 tsp shrimp paste and 1/4tsp salt.

Blitz all these ingredients together and you have fiery little sauce.

It is hard for me to pick a favourite dish made with Tamarind this recipe for Beef Rendang is a recipe given to me by my friend Mamik and it is very nice the beef is amazing. It is also my go-to recipe if I want that special dish to impress although there are many ingredients and it has quite a long prep time it is so worth it and as I said earlier if I am having guests a really lovely dish. You can see how rich and flavoursome that meat looks and it tastes amazing…

beef rendang

Ingredients:

  • 2” Galangal
  • 2” Ginger
  • 1 kg beef (Bottom Round)
  • 1-litre  Coconut Milk (3 sm tins and made to one litre with water)
  • Grind together and put on one side, 1 tbsp Coriander seeds, 1 tsp Cumin seeds and 1 tsp white peppercorns.
  • 2 Star Anise.
  • Half cup toasted coconut (pound in the pestle until oil is released and it looks like a paste.)
  • 1 Turmeric Leaf (Leave the leaf whole but tear side to stem along the leaf) this releases the flavour.
  • 2 stems lemongrass crushed along the stem.
  • 2 Lime leaves.
  • Soak 1-2 tsp Tamarind pulp in a little water and set aside for later.

Curry Paste:

Blitz the next 4 ingredients together to make the curry paste.

  • 2cm Fresh Turmeric.
  • 10 Shallots
  • 5 Cloves Garlic
  • 10 large red chillies (de-seed if you want a milder curry)

Let’s Cook!

Cut the beef into large cubes.

Put a tbsp oil of your choice in a cooking pot (I use a wok). Add Curry paste, ground coriander seeds, cumin and white peppercorns plus add chopped ginger, turmeric and galangal stir for 5 mins, add beef and stir to combine. Add coconut milk/water mixture and stir to combine.

Slowly bring to a gentle simmer, add torn turmeric leaf, lemongrass and lime leaves and star anise.

Cover the pan and cook until meat is tender at least 3 hrs on a low simmer, stirring occasionally.

Add the ground coconut paste about a half-hour before the end of the cooking time and also the tamarind liquid and this is when the magic happens and the taste goes from just another curry to something wonderful.

When the meat is cooked and tender remove the turmeric leaf and lemongrass stalks although if we are not eating the curry until the next day I leave them and remove them before we eat the curry.

This curry should traditionally have a very thick paste and is also best eaten the next day to allow the flavours to develop.

However, as Europeans prefer a thinner sauce you can choose not to reduce down as much.

Enjoy!

Another of my favourites is Miang Kham although I have made this at home some markets sell all the little bits ready cut in bags with the sauce much easier and they taste just the same as much of the food sold on the markets here is made in home kitchens and sold from a market stall…

miang-kham-1188212_1920

 

Ingredients: Filling:

  • 3/4 cup grated coconut (this is often available in the baking section of most supermarkets) if you are not as lucky as me and can buy from our local fresh markets.
  • 2 small limes, unpeeled (try to get limes with thin skin), cut into small cubes
  • 6 tablespoons shallots, peeled and cut into small cubes
  • 6 tablespoons roasted peanuts
  • 6 tablespoons small dried shrimps
  • 4-5 fresh Thai chillies, cut into small slivers
  • 4 oz fresh ginger, peeled and cut into small cubes.

Ingredients: Sauce:

  • 1 tablespoon shrimp paste, roasted until fragrant
  • 2 oz fresh galangal, cut into slivers and roasted until fragrant (see note below)
  • 1/4 cup grated coconut, roasted in a low-heat oven until lightly brown
  • 4 oz small dried shrimps.
  • 2 oz shallots, peeled and coarsely cut
  • 1.5 teaspoons fresh ginger, sliced
  • 8 oz palm sugar (broken into small chunks)
  • 2 tablespoons table sugar
  • 1 tbsp tamarind soaked in 3 tbsp water for about 10 mins.
  • salt for seasoning

Let’s Cook!

The Sauce.

In a pestle and mortar, pound together the shallots and galangal until fine (note about galangal: it’s ok to use dried galangal as long as it’s placed in a dish of lukewarm water for a few minutes to reconstitute). Add roasted shrimp paste, ginger, coconut and dried shrimp, and continue pounding until smooth. Remove the mixture and place in a pot with 1.5 cups water. Bring to a boil over medium heat, add palm sugar and table sugar, then reduce heat and simmer, wait until reduced to 1 cup or a bit less. Add tamarind liquid. Taste, and adjust by adding a bit of salt. Remove from heat and transfer to a small bowl.

Wrapping Leaves

Your choice of what leaves to use is up to you. Some use lettuce or spinach leaves due to ready availability, but to get an authentic flavour you should use the fresh Betel Leaves.

To serve:

Roast the coconut in a low-heat oven until lightly brown. Spoon the roasted coconut into a serving plate. In separate small bowls, arrange each filling ingredient listed above. With a fresh wrapping leaf in hand, fold it once across the bottom then sideways to form a pocket. Place about 1 teaspoon toasted coconut in the leaf together with a small amount of each filling to create a bite-sized quantity. Spoon the sauce on top, pop in your mouth and enjoy!

Although this can be a little time-consuming to prepare it is well worth it.

Lastly a beautiful salad with a Tamarind Sauce.

Yum Takrai (Spicy Lemongrass Salad)

Thai Lemongrass Salad with tamarind dip

 

Ingredients:

  • 15 stalks fresh lemongrass.
  • 14 cup finely chopped ginger
  • 2 tbsp. toasted cashews
  • 2 tbsp. whole dried shrimp
  • 12 tbsp. fish sauce
  • 12 tbsp. fresh lime juice
  • 1/2-1 12 tbsp. sugar
  • 1 tbsp. whole dried shrimp, finely ground
  • 4-6 red Thai chillies stemmed and thinly sliced
  • 2 shallots, very thinly sliced lengthwise
  • 3 raw stemmed long beans, cut into 4″ pieces for garnish.

Let’s Cook!

Trim and slice lemongrass very finely. Transfer lemongrass slices to a medium bowl, separate rings with your fingers. Add ginger, cashews, shrimp, fish sauce, lime juice, sugar, ground shrimp, Thai chiles, and shallots, and toss well. Garnish with long beans. Serve on Banana Leaf or Betel Leaf as in my picture.
We also serve with a tamarind sauce made by combining 3 tbsp tamarind pulp with cup water in a small pan, bring to boil and simmer 5 mins.
Remove from heat and stand 15 mins you can help break tamarind down with a spoon, strain through sieve extracting as much liquid as possible.
Add 2cm peeled finely chopped ginger and 2 cloves finely chopped garlic, 11/2 tbsp palm sugar,2 tsp fish sauce,1 tbsp chilli/garlic sauce and 1 tsp soy sauce to tamarind liquid. Bring to boil, simmer 5 mins.
Whisk 1 tbsp cornflour with little water whisk into sauce cook 1 min or until thickens.
Taste and adjust seasoning add more sugar if required.
Keeps in an airtight container in the fridge for up to one week.
Enjoy!
Now if you ever get the opportunity to try young tamarind fruit are you in for a treat it is both
beautiful to look at and tastes amazing…
fresh young tamarind fruit

The fruit inside starts off white and tastes nutty and as it ripens it goes pink and you can slightly taste a sourness, the last stage when it is dried and you get the dark sticky tamarind is maybe the tamarind you see for sale in bright red boxes in your supermarket.

Thank you for reading this I hope you enjoyed learning about this beautiful fruit……Thank you 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.

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!

Have a great weekend, stay safe and be well xx