Category Archives: Fruity Fridays

Tropical Friday…The Mango!

Mangoes known as Mo Muang in the Thai language are in season again and are eaten here both green or ripe.

They are one of my favourite fruits and my new addition to my garden is the purple mango which I am willing it to grow and fruit I am so looking forward to sampling this beautiful fruit…

Whether the mango is eaten green or ripe, they are sliced and a dip made from sugar, salt, and chilli used to dip your slices of fruit in…

 

There are many stalls here selling ready prepared fruit in bags and it is always accompanied by this little bag of chilli mix…It comes as standard here…haha…it is also Lily’s favourite dip the more chilli in it the better for her…

Sticky rice with Mango is probably one of the most iconic Thai desserts and on most restaurant menus from the little cafe to the poshest restaurant.

 

To make this at home is very easy… First, steam some glutinous rice.

To prepare the milk:

 Heat 1 cup of coconut milk in a pot over medium heat. Stir constantly and let the coconut milk simmer. DO NOT let it boil hard as coconut milk will curdle. Also, make sure that the coconut milk you buy is 100% pure as I have been informed by my son that where he lives in the UK all coconut milk sold is not 100% and that definitely separates on heating to high.

Then add  2 tbsp of sugar and 2 pinches of salt. Remove from heat. Pour 3/4 of the hot coconut milk over  1 cup of the hot sticky rice. Let it sit for 5 minutes. The hot sticky rice will absorb all the coconut milk. The rice should be a little mushy.

 Spoon the rest of the coconut milk on top of the rice at the serving time.

Enjoy!

Smoothies here are made from just mango or the mango is mixed with other fruits all very nice and fresh… I have also been experimenting with making my own protein drinks…

 

Doesn’t that fruit look lovely and fresh?? I am watching it ripen from my bedroom window to pick the fruit methinks might be a problem unless I can get someone to shin up the tree although we do have a hook on a long pole to retrieve the fruit of our palm tree I just don’t want it to land on the floor with a bang and get bruised…

Mango is such a versatile fruit I make my own mango chutney it is lovely in a mango salsa or as a mango and mustard dip. What do you make from your mangoes???

Mango and Mustard Dip is lovely with chicken or fish Goujons or a nice piece of grilled white fish.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup of fresh mango puree
  • 1/4 cup of mayo
  • 3 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1-2 tsp Chilli flakes
  • 1 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • Salt to taste

Just put everything in your blender or a bowl and whisk it together and there you have it … with the chilli, I would add 1 tsp and taste before you add the second.

Mango used as a sauce or in a savoury dish is also lovely and this is my Mango Chicken which I featured on the Recipe Hunter a while ago it is a firm favourite in this house.

https://carolcooks2.com/2018/06/24/thai-mango-chicken/

Lastly, if you are not sure how to prepare a mango…Easy when you know how x

 

I hope you have enjoyed this culinary journey with the marvellous Mango …

I hope you all have a lovely weekend wherever you are… I am now off to make choc chip cookies with Lily xxx

Thank you for reading have a lovely day xxx

 

 

 

 

Tropical Fridays…The Passionfruit.

 

This sort of wrinkled egg-shaped fruit is not exciting to look at but what a little powerhouse of nutrients and all things good it is.

When the skin goes wrinkly it is when the Passionfruit is at its sweetest.

Its name came from South American Catholic missionaries who believed that the blossom of the passion fruit was a reminder of Christ. That the corona symbolised a crown of thorns, the stigma, the nails on the cross, the sepals and the petals which numbered ten were the apostles with the exception of Judas and Peter. The stamens were Christ’s wounds. I think that is a lovely explanation of how the passion fruit got its name.

Passion fruit grows in any frost-free warm climate around the world.

Cultivated since ancient times and always enjoyed for its sweet slightly tart flesh.

It has Vitamin C in abundance; in fact, a single serving of passion fruit has more than 100% of the required intake of vitamin C for a healthy diet.

One serving of passion fruit satisfies one-quarter of our potassium needs immediately thus it is proven to relax tension in our blood vessels and promote an increase in blood flow so it is indeed a little powerhouse.

But as with anything moderation is also a factor and as with all fruits they contain natural sugars so people with diabetes should be aware of their sugar levels.

But with passion fruit, it is very obvious that this little fairly unassuming looking fruit is packed with many benefits for our health and wellbeing.

This is not the first time I have written about Passionfruit well it was a recipe for passion fruit butter but when I make it this time it will be from homegrown fruit.  Prior to growing our own I always buy my fruit from the Royal Project Shop which I support whenever I can as it supports local grown organic crops.

The Royal Project (1969) is a non-profit organisation founded by his late Majesty, King Bhumibol Adulyadej to solve the problem of deforestation, poverty and opium production by promoting alternative crops in Thailand. 

The produce there is top quality so fresh and organically grown although nothing tops growing your own the fruit and vegetables which come from this project are beautiful and only sold in the season… I love this shop as I never know what I will find there are no guarantees the project sends what it picks as the fruits and vegetable are ready and the costs are kept very low. Affordable organic foods at low cost…

Passionfruit can be used as a topping for cheesecakes, smoothies, icecreams, glazes or just eaten straight from its shell…

Mixed with Ginger and apple cider it makes a beautiful glaze for chicken breasts.

Ingredients:

  • 4 chicken breasts
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 shallot  finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp ginger finely chopped
  • 1 to 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 1/2 cups passion fruit pulp (divided)
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar (divided)
  • 2 tbsp apple cider
  • 1 tbsp vinegar
  • 1 tbsp sauce
  • 2 tbsp  Arrowroot or cornstarch
  • salt and black pepper to taste
  • Coriander to garnish.

Let’s Cook!

Sprinkle the chicken breasts with salt and pepper.

In a large sauté pan, melt the butter over medium-low heat. Add the shallot and the ginger, and cook on medium heat for a few minutes, stirring, until shallot and ginger are softened.

Add the chicken stock, 1/2 cup of the passionfruit pulp, and 1/3 cup brown sugar. Add the chicken breasts in a single layer. Add more chicken stock if required to ensure that the chicken breasts are just covered with liquid. I leave the skin above the liquid as I like to brown/ crisp my chicken skin.

Bring the cooking liquid to a slow simmer. Cover and cook the chicken breasts for 15-20 minutes,  until just cooked through meanwhile prepare the sauce.

Pour off all but 1 cup of the cooking liquid from the sauté pan. Add the remaining 1 cup of passion fruit juice, apple cider, vinegar, soy sauce, and 1/3 cup brown sugar. Whisk in the arrowroot powder

Bring the sauce to a boil, whisking constantly, and cook until it the sauce has thickened about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Pour the sauce over chicken breasts and serve. Serve with rice or new potatoes and lightly steamed vegetables.

Enjoy!

This next recipe came about quite by chance my daughter was telling me what she had for her birthday breakfast… I hadn’t heard of passion fruit butter/curd at that point…But as she was raving about it and how good it was …I thought must be good and it was … Served with a slice of homemade banana bread it is a lovely thing…The slightly tart taste of the passion fruit pairs nicely with the sweetness of the banana bread.

Passionfruit Butter/ Curd:

Ingredients:

  • The pulp of 5 large passion fruits. ( I used my frozen pulp) thawed of course and half cup.
  • 150g butter.
  • 100g  sugar.
  • Juice of half a lemon.
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt.
  • 5 eggs beaten.

Let’s Cook!

Melt butter and sugar in a heavy-bottomed (or enamel) saucepan over low heat. Add lemon juice, salt and passion fruit pulp. Mix well. In a bowl, whisk all 5 eggs lightly. Increase heat to medium-low and add the eggs to the passionfruit mixture, whisking with a whisk. Continue cooking for a couple of minutes, whisking continuously. Once smooth, stir with a wooden spoon while cooking. The butter is ready when the mixture becomes thick and coats the back of the spoon (pouring cream consistency/store-bought pouring custard consistency). Remove from heat. Fill in lidded jars and store in the fridge for up to two weeks.

Enjoy!

Of course, the passionfruit mixed with rum makes a lovely Mojito… Cheers!

Passionfruit Mojito

Ingredients (serves one)

  • 50 ml White Rum
  • 1/2 a lime
  • 1 1/2 passion fruits
  • 3 sprigs of mint
  • Dash of soda water
  • 2 tsp caster sugar
  • Crushed ice

Let’s mix and muddle

Muddle together the limes, sugar and the pulp of one passion fruit.

Add the leaves from 2 sprigs of mint and muddle some more.

Fill the chilled glass with crushed ice. ( I always keep some glasses in the fridge) Just in case…lol

Pour over the White Rum and a dash of soda water.

Stir together.

Garnish with half a passion fruit and a sprig of mint.

Cheers!

Passionfruit is one of my favourite breakfasts served with some Greek yoghurt…

Lily loves hers with a sprinkling of fish sauce she is a very experimental child but it works..my fault for encouraging them to try different combos of food…sigh…

BUT my all-time favourite and now I have a blow torch was when we were in my favourite hotel in Bangkok …I had a passionfruit mocktail(no )surprises there and it was topped with half a passionfruit which the bartender had brûlée the top of it…it was a wonderful thing…

What is your favourite passionfruit recipe ??? Please let me know in comments x

 

Fruity Friday…#fruits…The Cotton Candy Berry…

Often especially at weekends and holidays the small traders with produce from their farms come and sell their wares at the markets you can normally tell as they have small amounts of fruits and vegetables which are hand-tied in little bundles. Lucky for me as this is where I first discovered this little known fruit one which is difficult to find and either grow wild or comes from a tree in the garden…Back Yard fruits as they are known here…

smart

The second time I came upon this little fruit and one that I always remember as it was also the day where we pulled into a small roadside eating place and clever clogs somehow managed to leave her fingers in the car door…a painful experience I do not wish to repeat…It was definitely an ouch moment…

It is a tiny fruit quite sour when not fully ripened but one which as I like sour fruit rather than sweet…I also think Lily takes after me as she loves sour and eats limes without batting an eyelid…

Known as Tak̄hbf̄rạ̀ng (ตะขบฝรั่ง), krop farang, ta kob farang, takhop farang here in Thailand it is also known as the Panama Berry, Capulin, Japanese cherry, Jam fruit, cotton candy berry, calabur tree….  in fact, I don’t think I have ever seen a tree with so many names around the world. A huge tree with wide sweeping branches both the birds and the bats love this little fruit.

It bears creamy-white flowers with prominent bright gold stamen. The flowers last for just one day. Fruits are prolific round and green, ripening to red. They actually resemble tiny pomegranates when they mature.

When fully ripe the flavour is said to be very sweet …Fruits fall easily when ripe and may be collected by laying a sheet under the tree and shaking the branches.

These make excellent tarts and jams or can be squeezed for a refreshing drink. An infusion of the leaves also makes a nice tea.

In Brazil, the trees are planted over river banks. The dropping fruits attract fish which are easily scooped up by fishermen lounging under the tree’s shade.

Used in traditional medicine to block pain…I am now thinking it must have been the leaves of this tree which I was given pounded into a pulp to ease my jellyfish sting which it certainly did and that was painful it is said to block your nerves from sensing pain.

Although it perpetually flowers and fruits all year round I am guessing the fruit is slightly sweeter this time of year as it seems the only time I see it on the market or street stalls… it has a high vitamin C content…

So far I haven’t come across a large enough quantity to make jam or tea …as the tree grows too big for my garden it would do well down on the farm which means it is on my shopping list it is also a tree which loves to spread its branches so an ideal tree for shade on a hot day…

Thank you for dropping in today…I hope you all have a fantastic weekend and stay safe…Carol x

 

 

 

CarolCooks2 weekly roundup…4th April-10th April 2021…#Recipes, Whimsy, Music and Lifestyle Changes

Recipes, Whimsy, Music and Lifestyle Changes…

Welcome to this week’s edition of my weekly roundup of posts…Especially for you just in case you missed a few posts during this last week…we are now into April…Time is marching on…thus far we had some humdingers of storms and the thunder here is certainly the loudest ever…a burst pipe…WP to deal with and their planned and unwanted changes by us the loyal customers…a plethora of sad news all in all one of those months so far…

Just in case you missed any or love to catch up like I do… snuggle deep be kind to yourselves …I think we all need to do that… get comfy in your favourite corner with your favourite drink tea/coffee or hot chocolate although depending on where in the world you live it could be a glass of wine or two…Cheers!

Meatless Monday’s…

Where I shared one of my favourite Kofta recipes made with green bananas…which are unripe bananas…

Bananas are generally cut while still unripe here which is good as it then gives you chance to make various recipes as the bananas go through the different stages of ripeness…

Meatless Monday’s…Green Banana Koftas…

Tuesday…

I headed over to Smorgasboard Health 2021 where Sally was talking cravings…those of us who have had children can probably remember having some strange cravings but also at times we still get cravings, don’t we…?

If it something strange that you are craving then Sally has the answers…an interesting and informative read on cravings…Please head over and have a read…Sally always makes you very welcome …

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2021/04/05/smorgasbord-health-column-revisited-what-causes-your-cravings-part-four-coal-dirt-and-other-strange-stuff-by-sally-cronin/

Wednesday… Series 3 of the Culinary Alphabet…WHERE the middle letter is C…

So what’s in store? In this series the A, B, C, etc will be the middle letter, for example, Brawn, Cabbage, and Yucca… how easy that will be who knows I am sure some of the letters of the alphabet could cause the grey matter to rebel or implode…haha…

I also don’t want to use plurals to form a word as I may need that word for another letter and it’s sort of cheating I think…unless of course I really get stuck…which I am sure will happen…

The Culinary Alphabet …..Series 3… the letter C…

Thursday…Week 8…in my Kitchen…made from scratch…Vegan Non-Dairy Cream and Cream Slices.

I am always surprised how easy it is to make some of the processed and manufactured foods we may buy at home...Thus saving not only money but omitting chemicals in our foods. This non-dairy cream is one of them…the vegan tag and dairy-free tag is a bonus … we are neither in this house it is just something I make…  for starters cream is very expensive here and coconut cream is not…

coconut- palm-

laden with coconuts

Coconuts are two a penny they are so plentiful…Coconut water or milk can be purchased fresh here you can watch it being made while you wait and the cartons are 100% just milk or cream no additives and the man of the house who loves his cream does not know the difference when I serve him this dairy-free version…

CarolCooks2…Week 8…in my Kitchen…made from scratch…Vegan Non-Dairy Cream and Cream Slices.

Friday…I have been lucky and blessed with good skin I have however had friends who have not…Acne can cause much stress, especially for teenagers…

In this helpful and informative post, Sally’s covers the causes and some remedies…

Smorgasbord Health Column – Family Health A-Z – Acne – Teenage and Adults by Sally Cronin

Fruity Friday’s…Bamboo…

Bamboo…(Mai Pai)…is grown everywhere here and is one of the most versatile plants I know…We have all seen those pictures of a cute Panda eating bamboo, haven’t we…?…

But bamboo has so many other uses and the shoots of bamboo are delicious in stir-fries and curries…one of my favourite vegetables…which happen to be in season at the moment as I saw so many bamboo shoots today on the market.

There are nearly forty different species of bamboo growing in Thailand and with its wide variety of use, this plant could be considered the most important Thai plant. With bamboo being so common that we can see it everywhere, we take it for granted and tend to forget how much we rely on it daily, not only in the villages but in the cities as well.

Fruity Friday…Bamboo…

Saturday Snippets…A shortened version this week…

R.I.P Prince Phillip, Duke of Edinburgh…

Well, that’s it for today…Thank you so much for dropping by…see you next week …Love Carol xx

Fruity Friday..how does my garden grow…Chocolate Habaneros…

There are no silver bells and cockles shells…but I have seedlings… my garden is growing…welcome to an update…

Having found a new market place I am filling my garden with some unusual plants and fruits…from seeds to seedlings all is well…if only I didn’t have to share my seedling with the birds…sigh…if I didn’t feed them I could understand…

Hubby had a good idea to try and thwart the little darlings…  my seeds and tiny seedlings I have transferred to my second kitchen…most Thai houses like mine have them… a sort of enclosed but open-air kitchen if that makes sense…A gas hob which is great for Thai stir-fries and my second oven but there is still lots of room for my seedings it is warm and humid and the birds can’t feast on my seedlings… they are out of the sun it’s like a greenhouse…

This purple mango is so beautiful I know I have a few years to wait for the fruit but it will be worth it…

One of the beautiful purple mango trees now has its permanent spot… I am still deciding on where to put the other one but for now, it is in my plant nursery…the brightly coloured little rainbow treasure chilli seeds which I planted in the eggshells last week have just started to peek their heads through the soil… one yesterday and another 4 today …

I can’t wait for these to start fruiting I wonder how hot they will be but they also look so pretty…

Our Chocolate Habanero chilli plant arrived yesterday smaller than I hoped but strong and with lots of little offshoots…

The Chocolate habanero is from Jamaica. It is also known as “Congo Black” or “Brown Scotch Bonnet”. The plant grows to about 1 metre in a pot and would probably grow bigger in the ground. … This is one of the hottest Habaneros measuring over 400.000 SHUs units.

The long pepper has now been staked and is climbing there are also quite a few little long peppers appearing…

The purple melon is a little sturdy seedling but growing well a few months and they should be well established…Pepino melons like most purple fruits and vegetables are a good source of beta-carotene, vitamin C, and potassium, and are rich in dietary fibre.

Again I eagerly await the fruit as it is supposed to be very nice…I have decided my first dish will be a nice salsa…

The white Taiwanese Bitter gourd has been planted, so they will start appearing within the next 7-10 days…fingers crossed…

taiwanese white papaya

These are stunning looking fruit and I can’t wait for them to start growing I am also hoping they fruit quite quickly as most gourds do, unlike the mango which takes about 5 years to fruit. I am struggling to find very much information about this beautiful white gourd…

The coriander and grapow (Holy Basil) are growing well…

Today I will be planting some more Horapa seeds, a Thai sweet Basil…both these basils are true annuals which mean it has to be replanted each year…

Thai - Basil- horapa

I have discovered a Clove Basil which is a new one for me…hopefully, I can get some seeds or seedlings…

Clove Basil has much larger leaves than regular basil and is nicknamed “tree basil” the plant can reach 3 metres tall hence its name. It is an aromatic perennial herb the oils in the leaves give off an intense clove aroma with the occasional notes of thyme. Mature plants develop edible, white flowers that have a slightly feathery appearance and are bitter compared to the sweet and spicy leaves.

Thank you for reading this post if you have tips on growing any of these or you have grown any of these plants and fruits please leave a comment I love to chat and any tips are gratefully received…Carol x

 

 

 

 

 

Fruity Friday’s…Snake Gourd (Buap Nguu)

The snake gourd or Buap nguu, serpent gourd, chichinga or Padwal are some of the other names it is known under.

Native to south-east Asia it is a vine that grows around a tree or trellis and then unfurls its large white frayed flowers. Then the fruits grow straight down towards the ground.

Snake gourds can grow up to 5 feet in length often a stone is tied to the small gourd to help it grow straight down as otherwise, it can grow into all sorts of shapes.

It turns orange when it is fully ripe but this is when it is very bitter so it is usually used in curries and raitas before it ripens fully.

Fully ripe fruit is quite inedible, orange and mushy, although the red, jelly-like substance surrounding the seeds can be eaten much as a tomato sauce in recipes or used in ayurvedic medicine. Seeds are often used as fodder for livestock but are toxic to humans.

The leaves, tendrils and other leafy parts are used as vegetable greens lightly steamed or raw.

Did you know?

 Because of its length, it is used to make the traditional didgeridoo in Australia.

This one looks quite creepy I think and I was quite expecting to see a snake so I go along quite gingerly watching where I tread.

snake gourd 1

The snake gourd has a naturally occurring waxy white surface so rub some salt on the surface before cooking or using it to remove the waxy white surface.

Not a vegetable that I cook with very much but I do make raita which is lovely and cooling as an accompaniment to hot, spicy curries.

Snake Gourd Riata.

  • 2 cups of natural yoghurt.
  • 2 small snake gourds diced.
  • 4-5 green chillies
  • 2tbsp grated fresh coconut
  • 10-15 shallots finely chopped.
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 2 tsp urad dal powder/paste
  • A handful of coriander leaves chopped
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil as required.

Let’s Cook!

Heat some oil on a medium flame and fry the mustard seeds and urad dal for 20 seconds.

Add green chillies and chopped shallots saute for 2 minutes, add diced snake gourd cook for 1-2 minutes and add grated coconut and mix well.

Remove from the heat allow to cool slightly, stir in yoghurt and add salt to taste.

SAM_6995

Garnish with coriander and serve.

The snake gourds strange names and appearance have often caused it to be overlooked for its health benefits. It is proven to be very effective at improving the strength of the body’s immune system, reducing fevers and treating diabetes. Currently, there is ongoing medical research into other health benefits of the Snake Gourd.

Update on my garden and new seedlings…

Having discovered a new Marketplace here which has lots of rare and beautiful fruits and vegetables some of which are seeds and some are plants(seedlings) I am in my element.

My Thai Purple Melon arrived and is happily repotted… smaller than I thought but hopefully, it will grow and thrive… my seeds for the beautiful rainbow treasure chilli arrived the other day…and I have potted them in eggshells…I am eagerly awaiting to see them pop their little heads above ground…

Thank you for reading this post I do hope you have enjoyed it…If you have used or seen this snake gourd and cook with it please share in the comments as you know I love to chat…Love Carol xx