Tag Archives: Authentic recipes

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

Blog: 
Twitter

Facebook

Pinterest: 

Email:

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…

View original post 1,257 more words

Smorgasbord Food and Cookery Column with Carol Taylor – How to add fuss free flavor to your food.

My thanks to Sally for hosting me again…I do hope you all enjoy and find some new ways to spice up your food…It is nice to ring the changes isn’t it?…Enjoy!

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

Welcome to the Food and Cookery Column with Carol Taylor who lives in Thailand and infuses the spices of her adopted home into her recipes for all the family.

How to add fuss free flavor to your food.

To make delicious family food you don’t need to spend a fortune on fancy ingredients which cost a fortune. Most of us have access to a whole range of simple herbs, spices and aromatics which we can use to accentuate and bring maximum flavor to food.

I will tell you how to match the seasoning to the ingredient without spending a fortune…

It could be a stuffing, glazing, infusing, dry rubbing or marinating and viola it takes that simple dish to another level…

Making a bouquet Garni…

Is one of the simplest and easiest things to make…It is a classic flavouring for soups, stews and casseroles. All you need is a piece…

View original post 1,373 more words

This week in my kitchen…Homemade Sausages and Sausage Spice mixes…and a smoking hot chilli

The sea caviar was popular last week…A lesson to self…Don’t put it in the fridge…

By now I am in sunny Phuket well I hope it will be…We are here until Tuesday and meeting up with my daughter who is travelling over from Australia so that will be lovely…I will reply to your comments on my return as I am not taking my laptop and although I will have my phone it is not easy…Getting old and I like a properly sized keypad…haha…

What has been cooking in my kitchen this week then? Chilli Con Carne was on the menu the other night…After my epic disaster with the last one, I was relegated to being the sous chef and chopping vegetables…

Home made chilli con carne

I have added the link for chilli just in case you missed the recipes last time and there is also a recipe for a vegetarian chill made by my friend Richard…

Just lately my phobia about food when I don’t know its origin or who made it has got worse maybe it is because I am reading and researching more about food…My phobia stems way back from childhood when we were on our annual holiday to Great Yarmouth and for many years we stayed at the same guesthouse…I have many happy memories apart from this one…Mrs Horne was the lady who owned the guest house and she did all her own cooking and baking with the help of her mother…

This particular evening homemade meat pies were on the menu…Bear in mind I was about 8 years old and my father was a stickler for manners and eating up our dinners.

Cutting open my pie …This green stuff came out…My reaction was horror and at the top of my voice, I said I am not eating that it is green…My father’s reaction was to tell me through gritted teeth to be quiet and eat it!

My mother on glancing at my plate quietly picked up and returned to the kitchen telling my father… she can’t eat that…What transpired was that a very apologetic old lady came out of the kitchen and explained that with the bit of pastry left over she had made herself a greengage jam pie…That was what landed on my plate with potatoes and gravy…

Needless to say for an 8-year-old it scarred me for life…haha…From that day to this anything which I don’t know the origin or if it looks or sounds suspect in any way invokes that feeling of horror and I can be turned off anything in a trice…Hence why I have always cooked from scratch…So there you have …A humble greengage pie covered in gravy…gave me my phobia…

Hence I always make my own sausages or buy them from a friend here who makes her own sausages ( I have watched) she was married to a German gentleman so makes really lovely German sausages also many of the markets here make their own sausages which means natural sausage casings are freely available…

Sausages frying

A quick tip on how to spot a natural casing is if the sausages on display are not all a uniform shape but all slightly different and maybe wider at one end from the other.

Firstly I will give you two recipes for Sausage spices which are easy to make as most people have the spices in their store cupboards and it helps with the rotation of your spices as they do lose their flavour if they sit in your cupboard for an extended period…

These mixes are lovely if you are buying your meat already minced… I will also give you a recipe for making your own sausage meat from scratch.

Sausage Spice Mix

This spice mix is enough for 1lb of meat once mixed in the meat chill for about 3 hours as the meat must get really cold before filling your casings…but of course if you want to make a larger amount then store in a sealed container but remember not to use fresh garlic but dried if storing which is why with this mix I just make as required.

Ingredients:

  • 3 ½ tsp of Paprika
  • 1 ½ tsp of salt
  • ½ tsp of fennel seeds
  • 1 tsp of freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ tsp of red pepper flakes ( optional)
  • 1 tsp of garlic granules ( I use fresh garlic)

Mix all the spices together or if you like your fennel a bit finer then blitz or grind in a pestle and mortar then use as required.

Italian Seasoning

This Italian seasoning is very nice if you don’t have Italian seasoning but have dried oregano and rosemary then use those…

Ingredients:

  • 2 tsp dried parsley
  • 2 tsp Italian Seasoning
  • ½ tsp Fennel Seeds
  • 2 tsp of salt
  • 1 tbsp of minced garlic
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 2 tsp minced shallot

Mix all the ingredients together this mix is enough for 2 lbs of meat.

A Quick Tip I always make and cook a small patty just to check the seasoning and adjust if required.

Sausage Casings.

Natural sausage casings are generally made from pigs intestines although sheep’s, goat or cattle are sometimes used. The intestines are scraped, flushed and washed with salt and water either by hand or machine and have been used for centuries.

A video showing how to clean the casings.

 

Organic food regulations only permit natural casings.

As I stated above you can spot whether or not natural casing is used in sausage production as the sausages will not all have a uniform shape.

Artificial Casings.

Artificial casings are made from collagen often from cattle skin, cellulose or plastic (not eaten)

If you buy a lot of sausages you may notice some have a plastic skin which has to be removed or it separates when cooking.

Vegetarian Casings.

Are 100% plant-based and used in Halal or Kosher food making.

The Sausage.

I expect you were wondering when I would get to this part… I think making sausages is a great idea as you can introduce so many flavours and spices which to buy are generally expensive and unless you are buying Artisan ones the other ingredients are probably questionable…

Ingredients:

  • 2 ¾ lbs Lean Pork…Hip or shoulder
  • 1lb 2 oz Belly Pork
  • 1lb 2 oz Pork back fat
  • 3 oz salt
  • 1 ½ tsp dried sage
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • 6 oz breadcrumbs or medium oatmeal
  • 250 ml iced water
  • 6 metres (20 feet) 28–35mm (3⁄4–11⁄2in) sheep or hog casings, soaked and one end knotted

 

A quick tip If you put the Pork fat into the freezer for 30 minutes, it will mince more easily without melting.

Let’s make Sausages

Chop the meat and fat into chunks and chill thoroughly.

Mince the meat and fat through a coarse mincing plate onto a deep, wide tray when mincing alternate pieces of meat and fat.

Mix the salt and spices with the bread crumbs or oatmeal if using and sprinkle this mix over the minced meat and get those hands in there and start to mix. Drizzle in the iced water and mix thoroughly to ensure the spices are distributed evenly.

Now make your little tester patty and cook…Taste and adjust the seasoning as required.

Now mince the mixture again through a fine mincing plate.

If you are lucky to have a filler nozzle then fit it and fill those casings making sure it is not too tight or they will burst when you make your links.

Twist the end of the sausage to close it and decide on the length you desire for each sausage and pinch the sausage easing the meat away to form a gap in the casing then twist the sausage twice…Remember when you do the next sausage twist in the opposite direction or the links will unravel easily.

If you have any air bubbles then prick the skin at that point using a cocktail stick or a sterilised needle. If the mixture is too loose within the skin squeeze from the closest link and twist the skin again…

As with anything new practice makes perfect.

Homemade Sausages

Your finished sausages on the BBQ

I hope that you have enjoyed this post on how to make your own sausages and if you enjoy as there are so many different flavours you can make …

You can mix pork and beef, chicken sausages are nice…

My favourite sausages are:

Cheddar cheeses and jalapeno

Chicken, pancetta and rosemary

Basil and tomato

Apple and caramelised onions

Red onion and parmesan

The beauty also of making your own sausages is that you can make a mix of flavours something to suit everyone…How good is that?

Enjoy and have fun …xxx

I hope you have enjoyed this week in my kitchen if you have any recipe requests please let me know and I will be happy to find them and try them…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 will be more on this on my blog this year

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

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

Carol is a contributor to the Phuket Island Writers Anthology: https://www.amazon.com/Phuket-Island-Writers-Anthology-Stories-ebook/dp/B00RU5IYNS

Connect to Carol

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

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

Thank you once again for reading this post I hope you all have had a creative week and enjoy the weekend xx

The Culinary Alphabet…Letter R…

Once a month I can be found over @Esme Salon where I am going through the Culinary Alphabet which this month is the letter R…Of course, @ numero one is my favourite which is of course Rice…Please pop over and have a look I get pretty lonely over there at this time of the month…It would be great to see you there…Come and say hello and see what else apart from rice begins with the Letter R…

Header for the Culinary Alphabet Letter R

Starting with my favourite carb which is?

Rice

There are several grains called rice, which have been cultivated for thousands of years. Asian rice (Oryza sativa) is most widely known and most widely grown, with two major subspecies and over 40,000 varieties. When I first came to Thailand that is when I realized just how many different rices that there were and also colours. The main kinds of rice I cook with are Jasmine Rice, Brown Rice, Black Rice and sticky rice ( glutinous rice)…Thailand is also one of the major exporters of rice and it is the staple food for many here even the dogs eat rice…Mine will not touch dog biscuits or tinned food and many dogs here are the same…

Before I came to live in Thailand I had been on a few holidays here and liked to cook Thai food at home… Mainly it was a disaster I just couldn’t cook a bowl of nice fried rice…It was absolutely awful…

Since living here I have had a few lessons from my daughter in law as to the error of my ways and now I can make a stir fry and hold my head up amongst most Thai cooks.

I will now show you how to make the perfect fried rice

Rice must be cooked and cold so generally, if you have had rice the night before and have leftovers then it is a way to use it up.

That was my first big mistake and why I had clumpy rice which stuck to the pan and why I didn’t ever get that nice dry fried rice.

However, if you must use freshly steamed rice, just try to make sure your bowl of rice has cooled off and that it’s somewhat dried out before you get started.

Fried rice can be anything any vegetables or little bits of leftover chicken or shrimp (prawns) and you can have a bowl of lovely fried rice to go with many a meal.  Traditionally served here with sliced cucumber, spring (green) onions and a chilli dip it is a dish many young children eat or maybe something eaten for a quick lunch or as an accompaniment to other dishes.

Fried Rice

Ingredients:

• 1.5 cups cooked cold rice
• 3/4 Spring Onions
• ¼ of white onion chopped
• 2/3 cloves of garlic chopped
• ½ leaves of Chinese cabbage or other cabbage ( optional)
• 1 Egg
• ½ tbsp Oyster Sauce
• ½ tbsp Soy Sauce

For chilli Sauce

Ingredients:

• 5 Thai chillies finely sliced
• 3 tbsp Fish Sauce
• ½ a fresh lime

If you are using shrimp( prawns) then start with the whole fresh shrimp, pinch of the head and de-shell the body leaving the tail on ( Thai style) at the same time try to retain that lovely shrimp oil from inside the head this is what gives your fried rice a wonderful red colour and a nice rich flavour.

Let’s Cook!

Chilli and fish sauce aka prik nam pla

This little dish is always served alongside your Fried rice whenever you eat it in a restaurant…

Just finely chop the chillies and add the fish sauce and a squeeze of lime. That’s it!

Making fried rice only takes about 15 minutes or less to make and this recipe serves ones.

All you need is a wok and a spatula.  Serving more than 1 person just double up.  The more you make this dish you will get a feel for it and will instinctively know how much of this and that you need just by taste.

  1. Firstly peel and finely chop your garlic.
  2. Slice about a quarter of your white onion
  3. Finely slice 3-4 green onions
  4. If you are using Chinese cabbage slice in half along the spine and then slice into 1 cm strips.
  5. Heat your wok or suitable pan and add about a tbsp of oil once your oil is hot add your garlic and stir fry continuously for about 15 seconds we don’t want burnt garlic do we?
  6. Throw in the shrimp and fry for about 30 seconds. Your shrimp should just start to turn pink then add just about less than half of your rice which will soak up all those lovely juices stir fry for about 10 seconds push all the rice to one side and crack the egg into the empty side swirl the egg and let it cook for a few seconds and then start to mix with the rice and shrimp.
  7. This was my second big mistake I used to just pour the egg straight over the rice hence a claggy, clumpy mess which no one wanted to eat.
  8. Then stir in the remainder of your rice and you should have a lovely dry fried rice with separate grains
  9. Now add your soy sauce and oyster sauce and stir, some people add a little sugar at this point. I don’t
  10. Now add your chopped Chinese cabbage and white onions and stir fry for about 30 seconds and then toss in your spring onions and stir for a few seconds a little longer if you like your vegetables a little softer.

Place on a plate with a slice of lime and spring onion and your little bowl of chili dip. If you want it to look extra special put it in a little bowl and turn out on the plate as pictured.

A little sprinkle of fish sauce and some fresh chillies on top of your fried rice with and an extra squeeze of lime just elevates your fried rice to another level.

Younger children, here are generally given just fried rice with egg and a little spring onion and maybe some very finely diced carrot. Fried rice is one of those dishes where anything goes.  As little or as much as you like.

Sometimes if I have a few shrimp (prawns) or half a breast of chicken or a thigh leftover I bag them and they are ideal for 1 serving of fried rice. We all have leftover vegetables chop them and put in your fried rice. For one all you need is a small piece of carrot maybe a couple of peas or a floret of broccoli cut small and bobs your uncle and you have fried rice.

Truly anything goes it is one of those dishes where you really can add almost anything I suppose a bit like you would do when topping your pizza.

To continue reading please click this link…

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!

MeWe

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

Carol is a contributor to the Phuket Island Writers Anthology: https://www.amazon.com/Phuket-Island-Writers-Anthology-Stories-ebook/dp/B00RU5IYNS

Connect to Carol

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

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

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

If you missed any of the previous installments, please hop over and enjoy the previous posts