Tag Archives: Authentic recipes

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

 

 

 

Eggplant, Garlic,Horseradish and a Mai Tai…

You may think that is a strange combination however there are lots of National Days and months relating to food…There really are…Today is the last day of the National Eat your Fruit and Vegetables Month as well as the last day for the National Eggplant, Garlic and Horseradish Month…It is also National Mai Tai Day today…and why not?

Therefore I am going to share my favourite recipes using the above vegetables and fruit and after that, I will surely need a Mai Tai…Just saying…

Eggplants...A very popular vegetable here which come in all colours shapes and sizes…from tiny pea eggplants to the big purple ones.

They are used as an ingredient in curries, stir-fries, dips, pickled and eaten raw…

One of my favourite ways to eat them is pickled…I love pickles and pickled with cabbage they are very nice…

To Pickle:

Layer Cabbage, Green Onions, eggplants and salt in the dish add a little water. Mix it all together with your hands. I use lovely yellow eggplants on this occasion but any of the small eggplants can be used except for the pea eggplants.

We then leave the dish covered on the kitchen top or in the sun for 1 day.

Pickled cabbage with egg plants

Then drain and lightly rinse and add more salt if required. Cover and leave for 2/3 days or until it reaches your ideal taste. With pickled cabbage, it is purely down to personal taste some like it saltier or sour more than others. Just play with it and you will soon discover your ideal version.

My daughter in law who is Thai doesn’t like it as sour as we do… she doesn’t like the Winegar taste as she puts it… Once it reaches your required taste it is ready to eat.

This recipe is suitable for vegetarians and vegans.

Garlic…I love garlic and always use far more than any recipe states again garlic is a popular vegetable here which belongs to the onion family and has many proven health benefits. I also think it is the reason why mosi’s don’t bite me…

It is used in curry pastes, curries, stir-fries, dips and sauces, pickled and eaten raw here …Thais eat more raw vegetables than cooked I would say at every meal…This is a good example a small fish called Batu which is like mackerel an oily fish and one Lily loves.

Batu and vegetables

As you can see the plate is made up of far more veggies than fish the dip is made from eggplants which are BBQ’d and then ground with garlic and aromatics like fish sauce, shrimp paste, chillies it varies…

My garlic recipe is a favourite here I always have a jar or three in the fridge and they get dipped in as and when…

Pickled Garlic…

  • 8-10 garlic bulbs
  • 500 ml white wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar
  • 90 gm sugar
  • 1 tsp salt…I always use salt mined here locally or Himalayan salt.
  • 1 tsp per jar of either mustard seed or fennel seeds (optional)

2 x 250-300 ml jars with good lids

Separate the bulbs of garlic into cloves and peel.

In a saucepan bring the vinegar, salt and sugar to the boil, stirring occasionally to make sure the salt and sugar are dissolved. Add the garlic cloves to the pickling liquid. Bring it back to the boil and simmer for five minutes.

Transfer the garlic cloves to sterilised jars. Add the mustard or fennel seeds if using. We actually couldn’t decide Fennel or mustard seeds so I normally do some of both they are equal in taste to us. Carefully fill the jars with the hot pickling liquid. Seal.

pickled garlic

The garlic will be ready to use in about a week but improves over time.

Horseradish…a root vegetable known for its taste and odour…I love horseradish as a sauce with beef or as a flavouring it adds that bit of oomph to a dish…I use it with fish, beetroot and in a seafood sauce…It is not a flavour that Thais like too much it is a different heat to chillies a bit like wasabi…

horseradish-3599860_640

It often grows wild in many places and can be brought ready-made as a sauce, grated or as a root which is how I buy it here…This is one of my favourite recipes…

Smoked Trout, Horseradish and Apple.

Ingredients:

  •  8 oz smoked trout with all skin and bones removed.
  •  1 cup sour cream
  •  ¼ cup prepared horseradish
  •  1 clove garlic finely chopped
  •  2 tbsp Olive oil
  •  1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  •  2 tbsp spring onions finely chopped
  •  1 tbsp fresh parsley chopped
  •  ¼ tsp salt
  •  1 dessert apple peeled, cored and finely chopped
  •  A pinch cayenne pepper

Let’s Cook!

In a small bowl whisk the cream, horseradish, garlic, oil, and vinegar together until well blended. Add the spring onions, parsley, salt, and cayenne pepper and mix well.

Gently fold in the apple and the trout…Taste and adjust the seasoning.

Serve with crackers or as crostini.

Enjoy!

Let’s celebrate National Mai Tai Day…

A tropical, fruity rum-based cocktail…which goes down well on a lovely balmy sunny day which at the moment has got up and gone and the heavens have opened…it is now lovely and cool but definitely not the weather to sit outside with a sundowner…

The lovely yellow cocktail is made using star fruit and a Carol Special Mai Tai…

Also known as Carambola it is a lovely fragrant fruit ..Take I star fruit and slice it… add to the glass reserving a slice for decoration…If you have a rounder glass then it is better as you need to muddle the star fruit to release the juice…Squeeze the juice of 1 lime and muddle again…Add a pinch of rock salt and some sugar syrup about a tbsp depending on your taste I probably add a little less then add a measure of vodka yes this Mai Tai uses vodka…gently stir add some ice and stir then top up with soda or sprite. Add more ice or vodka(shhh) if required…

Add a straw and a slice of star fruit to the glass…Enjoy!

That’s it for today…Tomorrow it is the 1st day of National Pickle and picnic Month…It is also National Ginger snap Day…In July there are lots of ice cream days and alcohol days scotch included…and one I hadn’t heard of National Penuche Day…WELL…for a fudge lover I didn’t know this …nice surprise says she licking her lips…Penuche is a fudge-like candy made from brown sugar, butter, and milk, using no flavourings except for vanilla. Penuche often has a tannish colour, and is lighter than regular fudge. It is formed by the caramelization of brown sugar; thus, its flavour is said to be reminiscent of caramel.

Photo credit: thehoneybunny on Visualhunt / CC BY-NC-ND

Photo credit: thehoneybunny on Visualhunt / CC BY-NC-ND

Yummy is what I have to say…Who would have thunk xxx

Thank you for reading this post I hope you have enjoyed reading about the vegetables that I can get here in Thailand 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.

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!

Be safe and stay well xxx

CarolCooks2…This week in my Kitchen…Carbonara, Gumbo and lime Meringue pie…

Welcome to this week in my kitchen…I am doing a lot of testing at the moment for my cookbook so those recipes will be revealed when I have finished testing and writing in the meantime I am cooking meals which we love and for me are quick and easy to cook…

This week in my Kitchen (1)

Carbonara is one such meal and then I get egg whites so the request was for a lime meringue pie…Limes because they are grown here and plentiful.lemons not so much and they are generally imported so bearing in mind my eat local pledge I use limes but I also prefer limes…

Carbonara…

I have seen so many versions of Carbonara and tasted a few as well..some were to die for and some quite frankly I felt like killing the chef!

I was watching Masterchef  “The Professionals” a while ago and one of the quickfire tests they were given was to make a Carbonara in 15 mins. What an eye-opener and these were trained chefs so it’s no wonder that some of us do not know the proper way to make  Carbonara and folks that included ME!

Not any longer I set to and made one the right way…NO CREAM…..The outcome was everyone loved it! Since then I have made it this way although I have slightly adapted it…I just use just egg yolks and not a combination of whole eggs plus extra yolks. If I can get pancetta I use pancetta if not I use cooked ham or bacon.

A good traditional Carbonara does not need cream just egg yolks and a little of the pasta cooking water.

Ingredients: Serves 2

  • 130 g spaghetti
  •  2/3 clove garlic finely chopped
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 100 g of cooked ham.
  • 30g fresh grated parmesan cheese
  • Freshly cracked black pepper

 

Let’s Cook!

Separate the eggs and put egg yolks into a bowl, finely grate in 30 gm of Parmesan, season with pepper, then mix well with a fork and put to one side.

Cook the spaghetti in a large pan of boiling salted water until al dente..remove the pan from the heat.

Peel a clove of garlic, then chop finely, add it to the pan and leave it to flavour the fat for 1 minute. If I am using pancetta I just crush the garlic if not I just gently cook my finely chopped garlic and then remove the pan from the heat until I am ready to heat up the ham.

If you use ham instead of Pancetta then cook very lightly as ham is already cooked so really you are just warming it through.

I don’t discard the garlic as in the traditional recipe…I leave mine in the pan…I also sometimes add chilli or a few sliced mushrooms…Just because I can…

Drain the pasta reserving some of the cooking liquid and add the spaghetti to the pan. Toss well over the heat so it really soaks up all that lovely flavour, remove the pan from the heat.

Make sure you remove the pan from the heat as if the pan is too hot then the eggs WILL scramble.

Add a splash of the cooking water to the pan and toss well, season with pepper, then pour in the egg mixture – the heat from the pan will help to cook the egg gently, rather than scrambling it. Toss well, adding more cooking water until it’s lovely and glossy.

Serve with a grating of Parmesan, an extra twist of pepper and a little chopped flat-leaf Parsley.

A little tip which I did this time was to add a little of the cooled pasta water to the egg yolk and parmesan mixture it just makes it easier to stir into the pasta as it becomes quite thick when you add the parmesan to the egg yolks which may be why the original recipe used whole eggs as well…I find using just the yolks makes the sauce richer and this is how everyone likes it…

Enjoy!

Now to use the egg whites…

Lime/ Lemon Meringue Pie.

Lime lemon meringue Pie

Prepare your pastry making sure you use ice-cold water from the fridge and wrap in clingfilm and put in the chiller for at least 20 minutes.

  • 225g plain flour
  • 100g butter, diced
  • pinch salt

Sift your flour into a bowl with a pinch of salt. Rub the butter into the flour until it resembles breadcrumbs. Add your iced water a little at a time how much depends on the flour you use. Draw the mix together with your fingertips shape into a round and then wrap and put in the chiller for at least 20 minutes. I aim to work my pastry as little as I have to something my mother taught me.

Remove from the chiller and roll out your pastry to fit your pie dish, line your dish.

Some prebake at this point and some don’t …I have done both depending on the time I have or what my filling is…If I don’t prebake I stand the dish on a baking tray so as to make sure there are no  “soggy bottoms”

For this pie, I pre-bake the pie case…I cook the pie case on 190 degrees for about 25-30 mins if you just lightly scrape the edge of the pie it should just flake away.

Now let’s make the filling…

For the filling:

  • 1 1/2 cups of sugar
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch/Arrowroot
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup fresh lime juice or lemon juice
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2tsp butter at room temperature
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 2tsp lime zest.

Let’s Cook!

Combine sugar, cornstarch or Arrowroot if using, water and lime juice. Whisk until smooth.

Stir in butter and egg yolks. Then gradually add boiling water.

Bring the mix to the boil, reduce heat and simmer for 5 mins.

The mix should be fairly thick and glossy, if you want to add green colouring at this point then you can.

I didn’t so my filling was a lemon colour because of the egg yolks.

Pour into the pre-baked pastry case.

Meringue Topping:

  • 3 Egg whites
  • 3/4 cup sugar.

Let’s Cook!

Beat egg whites until they form stiff peaks. Add half of the sugar and beat until stiff and then fold in rest of sugar. Put on top of lime/lemon filling and make sure edges are sealed.

Bake in preheated oven on 175 until the top is golden. About 10/15 mins depending on your oven.

 

Enjoy!

National Soup Month… 

I have been seeing all these lovely pictures of snowy scenes although I am sure the reality is that it is freezing…Which means soup is on your menu…If you would love to share your favourite soup recipes then, please do…

Gumbo… is a dish where anything can go into it and ideal for sitting on the stove and having a bowl when you can snatch the time.

It is the national dish of the state of Louisiana and can be made with meat, seafood or both and it has its roots in many cultures French, Spanish, West African and Choctaw.

Originating in Southern Louisiana during the 18th century and whether it is meat, shellfish or a mixture it contains what the Louisianians call ” The Holy Trinity of vegetables” namely celery, bell peppers and onions.

It is a thickened stew using either Okra, a roux( flour and fat) which is the French influence or the Choctaw spice called file which is dried, ground Sassafras leaves.

Anise and arrowroot can be used as a substitute just use anise sparingly...The file powder is a thickener and added when you add the tomatoes and again at the end of cooking…If you are using anise keep tasting and use sparingly you can always add you cannot take away so tasting as you go is key…I have seen it for sale online…

gumbo

There are many variations of this dish and everyone will tell you theirs is the original and passed down through the generations but they are all tasty and often unique to the locality.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of flour
  • 3/4 cup of bacon drippings
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped celery
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 1 chopped green bell pepper
  • 3/4 cloves of garlic chopped/crushed
  • 1 lb andouille sausage sliced (or sausage of your choice)
  • 6 beef bouillon cubes or 3 quarts homemade stock
  • 3  quarts of water if using stock cubes
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • Salt to season
  • 2 tbsp Tabasco sauce
  • 1/2-1 tsp of cajun seasoning
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 tsp thyme
  • 2 tsp file powder
  • 1 can tomatoes
  • 1 can of tomato puree
  • 2 tbsp white vinegar
  • 1 lb okra chopped in inch pieces.
  • 1 lb crab meat
  • 3 lb shrimp
  • 2 tsp file powder.

Let’s Cook!

To make roux whisk the flour into 3/4 cup bacon drippings, whisking and cooking until the roux turns a deep brown 20/30 minutes. Be very careful that you do not burn it or you have to start again.

When you remove the pan from the heat continue to whisk until the roux has stopped cooking.

Put your chopped celery, onion and bell peppers into the roux as well as the chopped sausage bring the roux to a soft simmer and cook for a further 10-15 minutes until the veg is soft. Set to one side.

In a large pan bring the water or stock to the boil whisking until the bouillon cubes have dissolved if you are using them.

Mix in the sugar, Tabasco sauce, cajun, bay leaves, thyme, tomatoes and tomato puree. Simmer for 1hr in total but at 45 minutes stir in the 2 tsp file gumbo powder.

Meanwhile, melt the remainder 2 tbsp bacon drippings in a pan and add the Okra with the vinegar. Cook over medium heat for 15 mins.

Remove the Okra with a slotted spoon and add to the gumbo mixture. Mix in the crab, the prawns and Worcestershire sauce simmer for 45 minutes.

Just before serving stir in the remainder 2 tsp of file gumbo powder.

Serve with steamed rice.

Enjoy!

N.B  

If you have homemade stock then you can use that and also instead of sausage or fish you can use chicken, in fact, you can use any mixture of meat/fish that you choose.

I hope you have enjoyed the recipes if you have any questions please just ask…

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!

Christmas…’ Tis the season of love and laughter…and a Salty Dog…

The magic which is Christmas...I try although it is hard when it is sunny and no one else celebrates it…But Chrismas is in my soul and I hope that I can share some of the magic I have always felt with you and of course make you remember and smile…

Christmas Eve...As a child was such a special time…The decorations were all up and the tree had been brought in from the garden and decorated…Christmas Eve was when Mr Brown used to bring a fresh Capon( a castrated) male chicken fattened for eating he also used to bring me jigsaws or books all passed down but books he knew I would like on Botany, Biology or history for example and jigsaws..big jigsaws which took a while to do as they were hard…He would have a couple of hot mince pies and a toddy or two with my dad…Then dad would go out and come back a few hours later with the fruit… lovely oranges, cox’s apples and bananas, pick and mix sweets, dates, figs and nuts then they would all be put out in the best dishes in the sitting room…Ready for Christmas Day…

I can’t remember having anything special for Christmas Eve Dinner…we would, of course, put out a mince pie for Santa and a carrot for the reindeer…

Of course, if you live in Italy...They do love their food…The Christmas Eve dinner is seafood as they celebrate the Feast of the Seven Fishes…La Vigilia…The meal is traditionally made up of only fish or shellfish — seven varieties, as the name suggests — and vegetable dishes… Octopus, anchovies, salt cod, and clams are among the common ingredients, but the most traditional ingredient is capitone (eel). Seafood pasta dishes are also part of the menu.

Those recipes look amazing…I do love fish and seafood…What About Christmas Day?

After indulging in Cenone Della Vigilia, Italians still make room for Christmas lunch. This typically consists of the first course of pasta in broth, followed traditionally by eel or, in more recent times, roast turkey. For dessert, sweetbreads are typically served, such as panettone and pandoro.

Jeez, that is two days of a lot of food…

In Germany, it’s a tradition for people to eat potato salad and sausages on Christmas Eve. Potato salad there are so many versions made with either crushed new potatoes, peeled potatoes cubed and boiled, cubed and boiled in their skins or steamed.

Whatever potatoes you use I add to mine some chopped spring onions and or shallots maybe some crispy bacon, just enough mayo not too much and stir through I always do mine when the potatoes are still warm…Season really well with salt and fresh black pepper add some lemon or lime juice an easy one to knock up and again a nice accompaniment. This year I will be adding pickle juice to mine as I have heard that it adds a nice zing…

If you are Russian…

Then you fast…known as the Nativity Fast…is a period of abstinence and penance practised by the Orthodox and Catholic Churches, in preparation for the Nativity of Jesus (December 25)

The fast typically lasts until after evening service or when the stars come out. After the fast, some might eat a traditional Russian dish called kutya. Kutya consists of grains, honey, and poppy seeds, shared from the same bowl to symbolize unity. No meat is allowed.

Oftentimes, a house blessing is also part of the Christmas Eve tradition — a priest will sprinkle holy water in each room and pray for everyone to have a safe and blessed year.

The French…Most families in France have a huge feast on Christmas Eve. The traditional dinner includes meat such as duck or goose, as well as side dishes like foie gras and oysters. The meal ends with the Buche de Noël, a rolled sponge cake decorated to look like a Yule log.

Iceland has one of my favourite traditions…Iceland’s tradition of exchanging books on Christmas Eve then spending the evening reading them… The holiday season starts off with the delivery of the Bokatidindi, which is a catalogue of every single book published in Iceland.

The tradition began in during WWII. Paper was one of the few commodities not rationed, and Icelanders could indulge in their love of books (and in giving books as gifts) as they weren’t in short supply.

Food definitely plays a huge role in Christmas celebrations wherever you live in the world…I feel bloated just writing this up…

All that food needs to be washed down...How about a Salty Dog?

Maybe more suited to a tropical climate but hey ho…You have central heating, don’t you? A classic cocktail that has become somewhat underappreciated in recent times, the Salty Dog is the perfect cocktail to enjoy while making the most of every last bit of summer sunshine or just because…

Incredibly easy to make the ice-cold Salty Dog is well overdue a revival. So, where did this fruity delight come from?

The Salty Dog was originally created as a variation of the Greyhound cocktail. George Jessel added a salt rim to the popular combination of gin and grapefruit juice sometime in the 1950s, as a way to increase the palatability of the drink for those who were less than fond of the bitter grapefruit taste. The Salty Dog soon became more popular than the Greyhound, but it does mean that the histories of both drinks are intertwined since the creator of the Greyhound had a hand in the fortunes of the Salty Dog.

Rumour also has it that the Salty Dog was first created sometime in the 1950s by the same bartender who invented the Bloody Mary. The story goes he wanted to change up a greyhound into something more sophisticated. However, the same tale involves George Jessel( The Toastmaster) as the inventor who actually was an actor from the 1920s by the 1950’s he was no longer famous and liked to tell the story as a way of keeping his notoriety. Which means that the actual creator may be lost to history which is often the case…

Salty Dog was also mentioned in the Savoy Cocktail book in the 1930s, the Greyhound is thought to have been created by the author of the book series, Harry Craddock. Originally from London, Craddock had moved to America to further his bartending career. He spent most of the 1920s and 1930s in the States, returning home when prohibition hit and working at the famous Savoy hotel.

It is thought that the Greyhound was created just before the move since gin was a more popular spirit overseas than vodka, which is now the preferred spirit for most in this drink. It became a popular drink at the Savoy hotel but really came into its own when Jessel adapted it to create the Salty Dog.

To be honest…Its origins don’t really matter too much as it is a lovely cocktail…at Christmas, I just love making cocktails…

That’s all for today…See you tomorrow at my house for some more Christmas recipes and titbits…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.

The environment is also something I am passionate about and there are now regular columns on my blog this year. It is important that we are mindful of the world we live in…

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 wonderful festive season and a Merry Christmas xxx

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CarolCooks2…Weekly roundup…Recipes, Health…My weight loss journey…B4 and after and more…

Welcome to this weeks roundup...I have lots of goodies you…something for everyone I hope…Recipes…Pumpkins… It is National Pumpkin Month, some health facts from Sally, of course, Whimsical Wednesdays when I indulge myself…no, not chocolate…. memories…

Grab a drink it is time to settle down, relax and have a read something for everyone…Enjoy!

food and lifestyle blog

Before I get going I am also of again tomorrow on another jolly…One of my besties birthdays…Sunny Chon Buri, near Pattaya here we come…Lots of fun xx But don’t worry I have pre-scheduled… I just may not answer your comments quite as quickly…xx

Monday…The start of the week sees me sharing any updates and opinions on Climate Change and the environment…

It was also the last day of the month…Where does the time go? October already…

What did this post bring? A mixture of news some sobering and some great news…I do think we underestimate the power of the individual… we are great at what we do… so all you out there who are doing your bit quietly in your own homes give yourselves a big pat on the back…You are

https://carolcooks2.com/2019/09/30/latest-recycling-and-environmental-news-30th-september-2019/

Tuesday…After writing about what to do and eat…I thought it was about time I showed you my before and after pictures…To show you that kicking out all the diets and just eating sensibly…Does work…xx

No fancy pictures just the reality…

https://carolcooks2.com/2019/10/01/healthy-eating-my-personal-journey-no-fads-just-commonsense/

Wednesday…

Starting with a new series of health and eating…

In this series, we look at cooking and your diet from a different perspective. Usually, we emphasize the health benefits of food and how they can be incorporated into your diet. But, what happens if you do NOT include them in your diet.

We now pick up the series after the summer with the minerals that are essential to our health.

We wanted to share with you what happens if your body is deprived of individual nutrients over an extended period of time.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/10/02/smorgasbord-health-column-cook-from-scratch-to-prevent-nutritional-deficiencies-with-sally-cronin-and-carol-taylor-minerals-calcium/

Wednesday is also the day for my Whimsical Wednesday where I indulge myself in memories, great tunes, maybe a recipe..anything goes it could be weird or wacky…just a happy place to be…

https://carolcooks2.com/2019/10/02/whimsical-wednesdays-with-carol-4/

Thursday…Saw a change from my travel and traditions as it is National Pumpkin Month…It will also be Halloween on the 31st…It is also the day that Britain leaves the EU…Will we or won’t we? 

I am sure there are many opinions on that but I am sticking to pumpkins and everything pumpkin related…Thank you for your recipes Tori…the first one to share isn’t she a little star? xxx

National pumpkin moth banner

https://carolcooks2.com/2019/10/02/whimsical-wednesdays-with-carol-4/

Friday…Store cupboard basics…Week 5…

The battle of the cans or glass jars…and a little about BPA…

https://carolcooks2.com/2019/10/04/this-week-in-my-kitchen-store-cupboard-basics-part-5-bottled-canned-goods/

Saturday…Sees the next instalment of Sally’s look at the female reproductive system…#recommended read…

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/10/01/smorgasbord-health-column-the-female-reproductive-system-an-overview-of-health-issues-sally-cronin/

That’s all for this week I hope you have enjoyed the roundup…I look forward to your comments as always…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 are now regular columns on my blog this year. It is important that we are mindful of the world we live in…

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

Carol is a contributor to the Phuket Island Writers Anthology: 

Connect to Carol

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

 

 

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – The Food And Cookery Column with Carol Taylor – Soups in 25 minutes – Smoked Mackerel and Tomato and Cannellini Bean with Cavolo Nero

I love a bowl of soup and these two are quick to make and tasty…with some noodles, rice or nice crusty bread they make a filling meal…Enjoy!

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

Soups in 25 minutes – Smoked Mackerel and Tomato and Cannellini Bean with Cavolo Nero

Welcome to Carol’s Cookery Column where taste and nutrition go hand in hand and can be cooked in a trice…

Soup can be eaten whatever the weather as a starter or as a snack even as a main meal if it is a substantial one served with lots of fresh crusty bread or with the addition of rice or noodles as it is served here…

I know for many of you… Autumn is here which although often brings some lovely sunny days it turns a tad cooler in the evenings….

However for those of us (me) who are experiencing warmer weather soup is eaten a lot here and is a staple in the Thai diet…think Thai chicken noodle soup or Tom Yum…it seems that no matter what the weather many people enjoy a bowl of…

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