Category Archives: The Culinary Alphabet

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Carol Taylor’s – Culinary A – Z Rewind – ‘D’ for Dates, Dragon Fruit, Drupes, Durian and Dirty Rice.

My thanks go out to Sally for resharing one of my early A-Z’s this time it’s the letter D… it has been a few years since I wrote these posts and it’s serving as a refresher for me and I must admit I am enjoying the re-read…I hope you are too if you have read them before and if you are new readers I hope you enjoy them…To read the full post with recipes please click the highlighted link below…Thank you once again Sally your sharing of my favourite posts is much appreciated…

http://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2022/08/03/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-carol-taylors-culinary-a-z-rewind-d-for-dates-dragon-fruit-drupes-durian-and-dirty-rice/

 

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Carol Taylor’s – Culinary A – Z Rewind – ‘C’ for Calabash, Cajun, Curry, Cloud Eggs, Chilli, and Calamari

Welcome to a repeat of the wonderful Culinary A – Z  where today I am taking you on a culinary tour of the letter C …Sally is very kindly rewinding this series…thank you, Sally…I am showcasing some of the amazing variety of food we have available to us today from around the world, plus delicious recipes like Thai Squid Salad, and Cloud Eggs to showcase them. I hope you enjoy!

Once again thank you, Sally…to read the original post please click the highlighted link below…

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2022/07/20/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-carol-taylors-culinary-a-z-rewind-c-for-calabash-cajun-curry-cloud-eggs-chilli-and-calamari/

 

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

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

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

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

 

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Carol Taylor’s – Culinary A – Z Rewind – Almond Milk, Arrowroot, Aubergines dip #Thai and Avocado Guacamole.

Thank you, Sally, for repeating my culinary A-Z it is much appreciated and through this series I now thoroughly enjoy a drink of Almond milk as many of the foods I introduced during this series were not always ones I regularly used…Almond milk is now one of my favourite nut milk and nuts…Arrowroot has been a staple in my larder for a few years and guacamole is one of my favourite ways to eat avocado…

Aubergines I have had a love-hate relationship with over the years but gradually I have learnt how to prepare them correctly and how best to use them…and I am building up a collection of recipes which we love using the aubergine …

For a reminder or if you are new to this site and missed this series head over to Smorgasbord to read the full original post by clicking the highlighted link below…xx

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2022/06/22/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-carol-taylors-culinary-a-z-rewind-almond-milk-arrowroot-aubergines-dip-thai-and-avocado-guacamole/

 

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

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

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

Let’s go and see what I have found…

Beyaz Peynir…

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

Biryani…

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

Claypot…

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

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

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

Gruyere Cheese…

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

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

Honeycomb…

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

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

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

Johnnycakes…

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

Thyme…

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

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

Idiazabal…

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

Bazin…

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

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

Calzone or Pizza

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

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

Mezze…

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

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

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

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

This was going to be the final post in this series which has been great fun to research and write I have been ably supported by both Chel and Pete and I thank you for your contributions over this series…but when I totted everything up there were more than I initially thought so at least I get another post out of this…A bonus I say!

Let’s go and see what I have found…

Arrowroot…

 

So many of these tubers look alike and when they are dried and in powder form, it’s even harder to distinguish one from the other by sight alone…Used as a thickening agent for sauces, puddings, and jellies, as well as an ingredient in baked goods like cookies and cakes… I admit to having a fondness for Arrowroot biscuits when a child dipped in tea… Additionally, it’s a popular replacement for wheat flour in gluten-free recipes.

Bratwurst…

When is a sausage not a sausage? When it’s a Bratwurst…I was first introduced to a Bratwurst many years ago by a dear friend Pauline who was married to a German man…It was Pauline who also gave me the recipe for spiced red cabbage…its very true for me that many of my memories of people I have loved I reminisce and remember them through food…

There are over 1500 varieties of Wurst, Germany has long been the world’s Sausage Capital.  One such Wurst, the Bratwurst, claims around 40 different varieties itself and has a proud heritage going back hundreds of years where it was first officially documented in 1313.  Yes, the savoury Bratwurst is synonymous with Germany itself and has remained a cultural icon for centuries.

 

The term Bratwurst is derived from the Old German word Brät (meaning “chopped” meat) as well as the more contemporary verb braten (meaning “to fry”).  While some kinds of sausages are eaten poached, the Bratwurst is first poached and then always pan-fried or grilled.

Buckwheat…

Despite having ‘wheat’ in its name, buckwheat is actually a seed and sometimes referred to as a ‘pseudo-grain’. Processed into groats, buckwheat has the appearance of small, nugget-type granules that can be used in the same way as rice.

You can also find buckwheat as flour, noodles or even flakes, making it a versatile substitute for wheat flour.

Chowder…

My favourite chowder was the seafood chowder I had when we were in Ireland it was a beautiful bowl of deliciousness and the last one I ate was cooked by an American friend again a lovely clam chowder…

The word chowder is a corruption of the French chaudière (“cauldron”), and chowder may have originated among Breton fishermen who brought the custom to Newfoundland, whence it spread to Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and New England.

A chowder is a rich, hearty soup with seafood or chicken that starts with a base of salt pork or bacon and a mix of vegetables like onions, celery, and potatoes. Most chowders are creamy, but one in particular-Manhattan clam chowder-has a tomato base…Although I enjoyed the chowders I have eaten I do prefer tomato-based recipes and would love to try a Manhattan Chowder for that reason…

Marrowbones…

Marrowbones have seen a rise in popularity over the last few years…A Marrowbone is the culinary and butchery term for either the Femur, Shank or Tibia bone of a cow that is cut for eating. In Butchery, the smaller the bone, the less Marrow.

As the Femur is the largest bone in the animal, it has the best Marrow to Bone ratio. As the Femur Bone is straight, this allows for easy and uniform cuts for Butchers and easy cooking to the precious Marrow when eating.

Seaweed…

Edible seaweed is a popular, healthy low-calorie food source. Often associated with Japanese cuisine, marine algae have been harvested for thousands of years for culinary and medicinal purposes in China, Korea, and other countries with significant coastlines. Seaweed is now a regular ingredient in smoothies and dried seaweed snacks are a popular alternative to chips in Asian countries…

Although seaweed is soft and pliable in the water it is most often dried for preservation, requiring most to be rehydrated in liquid, like water or broth, before eating.

 

One of our favourite seaweed snacks is the sea caviar or as it is called here grape bunch seaweed…it is quite rare and harvested by hand diving …It gives a lovely pop in your mouth and with the chilli sauce, it is nice…I actually only got 1 small piece as Lily and Aston both love it and disappeared with the pot of chilli dip and the dish and it was soon gone xxx Has anyone else tried this…I know my blogging friend Thelma has she eats it with salt, vinegar, ginger root, and chilli which sounds rather nice…It always reminds me of bunches of green peppercorns …Have you tried this sea caviar???

Patata Naxou…

Are Greek Potatoes…However, a potato is not just a potato on the island of Naxos.  It is one of its main local products, and one of Greece’s best, thanks to the island’s natural abundant water supply.

On Naxos you can find the potato boiled, stuffed, barbecued, souffled. It even has its own festival — every year at the beginning of August — that showcases its many tasteful varieties.

On Naxos, potatoes have a long history. It goes back to the fertile land making Naxos – since the 1950s — the official potato seed producer of Greece. According to research, the potato has been cultivated on Naxos since the 1700s.

Toxic Foods…

There are many foods that can be toxic if we either don’t prepare them correctly as in Kidney beans …raw red kidney beans have the highest concentration of lectins. Lectins are a toxin that can give you a bad stomachache, make you vomit, or give you diarrhoea. It only takes 4-5 raw kidney beans to cause these side effects, which is why it’s best to boil your beans before eating or use tinned kidney beans.

Elderberries taken as a syrup or supplement is fine, but eating unripe berries, bark, or leaves of elderberry may leave you feeling worse instead of better. They have both lectin and cyanide, two chemicals that can cause nausea, vomiting, and diarrhoea…

I love Rhubarb ...pie or crumble with custard it is a delicious dessert…but beware as eating leaves has become very popular in recent times and the rhubarb leaf looks very inviting, HOWEVER…Rhubarb leaves contain oxalic acid, which binds to calcium and makes it harder for your body to absorb it­­. In turn, your bones can’t grow the way they should, and you’re at risk for kidney stones, blood clotting problems, vomiting, diarrhoea, and coma.

Green potatoes… The leaves, sprouts, and underground stems (tubers) of potatoes contain a toxic substance called glycoalkaloid. Glycoalkaloids make a potato look green when it’s exposed to light, gets damaged, or ages. Eating potatoes with a high glycoalkaloid content can cause nausea, diarrhoea, confusion, headaches, and death…I won’t even get started on the shrooms if you go foraging…Know your shrooms…

I love nutmeg grated on rice pudding or a little in fruit cakes and bread enhances the taste … Nutmeg adds a nice, nutty flavour when you add it in small amounts to baked goods. BUT eaten by the spoonful, it can cause big problems to your system. Even as little as 2 teaspoons can be toxic to your body because of myristicin, an oil that can cause hallucinations, drowsiness, dizziness, confusion, and seizures.

The hard stone in the centre of cherries is full of prussic acid, also known as cyanide, which is poisonous…Avoid crunching or crushing pits as you nosh on your cherries…Apple seeds also have cyanide, so throwing back a handful as a snack isn’t smart. Luckily, apple seeds have a protective coating that keeps the cyanide from entering your system if you accidentally eat them. But it’s good to be cautious. Even in small doses, cyanide can cause rapid breathing, seizures, and possibly death.

It all makes scary reading and if in doubt do your research…I have certainly found a few things in this post which I will be researching…the findings of which will either be in Carol’s Green Kitchen or the topic of my Friday Reviews…

Waxed…

There are a few foods that are waxed or have a waxed covering…Some fruits and vegetables are waxed before shipping to retain moisture or to give a high shine like apples …examples are citrus fruits, bell peppers, eggplants, melons, parsnips the list is quite long…

The materials used to wax produce depend to some extent on regulations in the country of production and/or export. Both natural waxes (carnauba,[12] shellac, or resin[4]) and petroleum-based waxes (usually proprietary formulae)[3] are used, and often more than one wax is combined to create the desired properties for the fruit or vegetable being treated. Wax may be applied in a volatile petroleum-based solvent but is now more commonly applied via a water-based emulsion.[5] Blended paraffin waxes applied as an oil or paste are often used on vegetables…Source Wikipedia.

Another reason to grow your own or buy from farmers markets where you can check with the grower…

Some cheeses are also coated with wax which is not edible…many are now BPA free but check and although you can’t make candles from the cheese wax there are other uses…SEE this Thursdays Green Kitchen.

That’s all for today’s Culinary A-Z …I hope you have enjoyed it…I have left a couple for you Pete as I know you love the challenge…Next week the A-Z  will be the last one in this series…Y and Z…

I look forward to your comments as always…Carol xx