Tag Archives: Bread Sauce

Smorgasbord Christmas Celebrations – The Food Column – Carol Taylor – Traditional Christmas Menu

My carnivores Christmas menu…I hope even vegetarians will find something on here though…Beetroot tartare perhaps? Enjoy…Merry Christmas xxx

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

Welcome to CarolCooks2 @ Smorgasbord Magazine and this week it is my Christmas menu for carnivores…lol

Thank you to everyone who made such lovely comments on my vegetarian Christmas menu it was a first for me I cook but apart from devising a menu for home I don’t publish a menu.

This week’s menu is a mix of the traditional with a couple of other dishes thrown in…I always like to make at least one new dish every Christmas some I never make again as they were ok..Just not that memorable…You know what I mean don’t you…

Prawn Cocktail

As far back as I can remember Prawn Cocktail has been a must-have for our Christmas starter…..One year I fancied a change and we had a fantastic fresh seafood platter with Oysters, Langoustines everything you could think of and some Thai dips made by the daughter in Law…The only way to…

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Christmas…Traditions, Treats and a touch of Trivia…

Christmas Treats and Traditions 23rd Nov

Welcome to week 4 of Traditions, Treats and of course some Trivia…

Only 32 sleeps…Christmas always seems so far away and …explosion-147931_640

 

It gets real…..

There are many Christmas traditions practised  around the world and I will be bringing you some of those and anyone who wishes to contribute with a guest post of their own on a special Thanksgiving dish or tradition would be very welcome to showcase them here  I know my friends across the pond and my relatives celebrate Thanksgiving on the 22nd November with  turkey and lots of other goodies … So please share and I will link back to your post…

Last week I mentioned Gingerbread Houses and Robbie came up with not just one but six…Robbie is the Queen of cake decorations and also has some awesome Cook Books aided very ably I will say by her son, Michael… so without anymore twittering from me head over to Robbie’s and see what beautiful Gingerbread houses she has created…Thank you, Robbie x

robbies gingerbread house

https://robbiesinspiration.wordpress.com/2018/11/16/baking-a-gingerbread-house-or-six/

I just love it when I get interaction with my posts it is so much more fun and personal isn’t it?

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Christmas Jumper Corner.

nicholas-201281_640

I really cannot believe out of all my readers no one has a Christmas Jumper that they want to share…So don’t be shy…

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Christmas Pudding is one of the mainstays of British Christmas traditions …it just would not be Christmas without the pudding! Now I know that and even here I have always made my Christmas pudding and there have been a few converts to this traditional Christmas fare…My Thai friends love it!

But forget I did until young Hugh from Hugh’s views and News...jogged my memory…Stir Up Sunday he said to me…and then it all came flooding back…Hugh’s blog is one I always pop over to if I have a query as he is the man with all the tips…Thank you, Hugh 🙂

After church and guess who was a choir girl?... Everyone congregated in the Church Hall and the ladies of the Women’s Institute made a huge batch of pudding mix and we all got to stir and make a wish then all the puddings they made were put in with the hampers they gave out for the old, poor and needy….So thank you, Hugh, for jogging this rusty old memory… I had forgotten.

Held on the last Sunday before the First Advent Sunday and that pudding mix had to be stirred from East to West in honour of the Three Wise Men who visited the baby Jesus. I wonder if that tradition is still carried on by those wonderful ladies of the Women’s Institute?

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Did you know?

“Silent Night” is the most recorded Christmas song in history, with over 733 different versions copyrighted since 1978?

Silent Night is also one of my favourite Christmas Carol’s. Although I love Michael Buble’s version I just love to listen to the Kings College Choir …

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Do you know?

Two of Santa’s reindeer are named after weather phenomenon. Name the reindeer.

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I can’t go without giving you some recipes now some recipes can be made in advance which saves so much time on the day…So here they are tried and tested …

These are all recipes that you can make now and freeze for later… How many of you have tried Bread Sauce as when I made it here for our Christmas Dinners at Sugar Reef ( Our restaurant) I was surprised at how many people didn’t know what it was…It turns out that the sauce has been passed down through the generations for a good 500 years. A  culinary relic of the Middle Ages, one of the few remaining examples of the bread-thickened sauces, stews and soups that were once served at Christmas feasts, and other celebration dinners, across medieval Europe. Even Nigella couldn’t envisage a Christmas dinner without it…

https://blondieaka.com/2017/12/07/christmas-recipes-prepare-now-freeze-for-later/

Happy Cooking!

Thank you very much for reading this post and please you must have a Christmas Jumper picture and many thanks to Robbie and Hugh for their contributions 🙂 x

About Carol Taylor:

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

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

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

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

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://blondieaka.wordpress.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 a great weekend xx

 

Bread…The staff of life or is it???

bread-yeast-sourdough-

Bread has been around virtually since the beginning of time… A staple in many diets but also something to be avoided in many cases…I mean who has eaten that tasteless sliced bread which sticks together and makes for a very unappetising sandwich ?

Bread is made in many different ways and from many different flours  it comes in all sorts of shapes and sizes and is also prepared in so many different ways around the world…

Bread may be leavened by methods which have a reliance on naturally occurring microbes as in the process of bread making using sour dough, or by using chemicals which are used as is industrially produced yeast or even now high pressured aeration… In commercial breadmaking. Some of the bread making processes would now probably cause many traditional bakers to turn in their graves. Because of this there has been a revival and an upsurge of traditional Artisan bakeries springing up which is good for all of us who appreciate good bread rather than the mass produced unhealthy rubbish which maskerades as a loaf of bread …Whoever said this is the best thing since sliced bread was obviously deluded.

Bread is basically flour, water, yeast and a small amount of salt. If it is properly made and allowed to rise properly and yes it takes time but as  bread rises it is also fermenting. Fermentation neutralises the part of the wheat protein that is most likely to trigger bowel disease and other auto immune diseases and inflamation which is a reaction to gluten.

Of course using traditional dry or fresh yeast and adding no preservatives  or other additives means the shelf life of the bread is shorter  and the bread is best eaten the day it is baked …

 

But who doesn’t love day old bread toasted ? It also makes lovely breadcrumbs for making stuffings or for coating meat or fish alternately freeze the odd bits and make a bread pudding there is no excuse for wasting good bread.

Bread can come with the addition of fruits, nuts and other fats  it is also served in various forms with any meal of the day. It is eaten as a snack by making it into sandwiches, fried used to coat other foods in the form of bread crumbs when frying as it prevents the food from sticking it can be made into bread pudding as an addition to stuffing mixes it has untold uses it also plays an important part in religious rituals and secular culture many sayings or expressions in language refer to bread, in prayer ” Give us this day our daily bread ” or “He stole the bread from my mouth

Adding other products to bread is fine such as honey, seeds, nuts or fruit as long as it is natural or naturally produced so if you have an artisan baker near you then you are very lucky and enjoy of course in moderation as too much…I am a party pooper aren’t I? but it can have that effect on the waistline…

Did you know that the lottery has funded a Real Bread campaign??? 

Now we come to the bad bread the bread you really don’t want to be eating …commercially produced bread generally contains additives to improve the flavour, texture, colour, shelf life, nutritional and for speed of manufacturing.

Most bread in the UK is made using the Chorley Wood Bread process which came into being in the 60’s and is still used in many bakeries to this day…The bread is mixed at high speed using intense energy, many additives and preservatives are added, increased amounts of yeast are used and the bread is given no fermentation time.

This modern practise of increasing the yeast element in bread and modern bakery practises have lead to many medical researchers believing that this is a factor in the extraordinary rise in digestive illnesses such as gluten intolerence and coeliac disease.

Who doesn’t stick a slice or two of this into the toaster ? Who hasn’t eaten cucumber sandwiches? the pictures look quite inviting don’t they? But they are empty of healthy ingredients and may aggrevate or cause any illnesses or disease you may have and for what?…They can and should be avoided at all costs…

As a consumer who reads the labels …Yes I do…The enzymes which are used to aid rising and give lightness and freshness to bread DON’T have to be declared in the list of ingredients…Why? Because they are processing aids …REALLY.?..One of the most common is called Amylase which is known to cause asthma and this is also one of the most common diseases among bakers…

So please when you buy bread think about what you are buying…I think it is about time that we all backed The Real Bread Campaign….Don’t you???

Or make your own… And here’s how…

Carol Cook! Crumpets

https://blondieaka.wordpress.com/2018/07/08/after-the-crumpets-came-bread/

Enjoy!

About Carol:

Carol-Taylor-Retired-No one told me_

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 have 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!

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://blondieaka.wordpress.com/
Twitterhttps://twitter.com/TheRealCarolT
Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/carol.taylor.1422

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

Until next time…and don’t forget all will be revealed on Tuesday about my exploits in Phuket and how much I gained, lost or stayed the same x

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Christmas Recipes…Prepare now..Freeze for later…

 

christmas-1695531_1920The time is just flying by now it’s 7th December already…

Have you finished shopping? Have you wrapped your presents yet?preparation done? Don’t know what to make? Well never fear Carol is here???

Today I am going to give you a few recipes and tips about what you can cook in advance to make life just that bit easier…

Sausage rolls and mince pies

Mince pies and Sausage Rolls

We have made our sweet mincemeat...haven’t we???

Pastry Recipe.

This recipe is my mums she makes the best pastry ever and I try really hard to match hers but she once told me that no two batches of pastry are ever alike and that the only person who realises that is moi….and I think she is right..mums usually are 🙂

I use half fat to flour so for example 8 oz  Flour and 4 oz fat.

Ice cold water added 1 tbsp at a time( the amount depends on flour used)

1 egg beaten for the glaze.

I know that fat varies depending on where you live, in the Uk ..well spoilt for choice because we invented pastry…well from as far back as the Romans when it was crude flour and water wrapped around meat and game before cooking and no way would you eat it…it was to retain meat juices.

Over time pastry was enriched with fat and milk and began to vaguely resemble today’s shortcrust.But living here in Thailand my choice is restricted…..I have a choice of pastry fat or Crispo…sometimes I mix the two when making meat pies but I digress.

For mince pies, I use the pastry fat. When making pastry it must be kept cool which here is never easy ..so fat from the fridge, iced water from the fridge and fan madly whirring to keep the air cool..and me folks…I touch the pastry mix as little as possible, I quickly rub the fat into flour to resemble breadcrumbs, add iced water gradually, draw together with your fingers to make a ball, if too dry add more water, wrap in cling film and chill for at least 20 mins in the fridge.

When I roll I use the heel of my hand to start to flatten pastry and roll gently out to desired thickness…I handle as little as possible to keep cool.

Using a pastry cutter, cut circles and line patty tins, add filling and top with a pastry lid. Brush tops with beaten egg. Cook in the oven on 200c/gas7 for 15-20 mins until golden. Remove from oven, cool slightly and dust with icing sugar.

Note: Some of you may have noticed I don’t add sugar to my shortcrust pastry…With the sweetness of the filling and the icing dusting  I /we all feel it is sugar overload but personal preference if you like to add 1 tbsp sugar to breadcrumbs before adding water.

I also use the same pastry for my sausage rolls…

Now….if you make them now omit the cooking stage and freeze uncooked in a sealed container separate the layers with greaseproof paper and just take out however many you want as needed and cook…Simples!

For sausage rolls, I use the same pastry. I add finely chopped onions, garlic and a little sage to my sausage meat or I did in the UK….i can’t get it here so I make my own very finely chop my pork making sure I add a little of the fat and then add the seasoning as above.

Cranberry Sauce.

  • 3  cups or 12oz of cranberries.
  • The juice of 2 large Oranges.
  • A cup of sugar.
  • 1 stick of cinnamon.

Put all the ingredients in a heavy bottomed pan, bring to the boil and turn down so it is still a rolling boil and cook for 10 mins if ( using) frozen berries or 20 minutes if using fresh cranberries as they will take a bit longer to pop.

Cranberry Sauce.JPG

Allow mixture to cool and put in an airtight container and refrigerate.

 Stuffing Mix:

Now stuffing mix is hard to get here and because it is imported also expensive. I have tried various stuffings in the past with limited success…we didn’t like them!

I found this recipe on a blog the other week and it sounded great…It had bacon in it…

Picture this…. I thought I had all the ingredients .. wrong!….no bacon and nearest shop was a way away so I put my thinking cap on and tweaked the recipe and it turned out brilliant…..Replaced the bacon with Minced Pork, The stuffing mix( which) I had not heard of became just breadcrumbs. Chestnuts I didn’t have but they were optional.

The celery became Thai celery which is much smaller more the size of coriander…

Ingredients:

  • 200 gm of Minced Pork
  • 6 oz  of breadcrumbs
  • 3 oz finely chopped chestnuts( optional)
  • 5 shallots finely sliced
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • Bunch of Thai celery chopped finely. Which when chopped did take on more of a celery smell.
  • Freshly made chicken stock.
  • Salt, fresh ground pepper.
  • Tbsp dried Sage
  • Fresh rosemary.
  • 2 tsp Dried Thyme.

Heat pan with a glug of olive oil and 1oz butter. Add shallots and garlic cook 2/3 mins until soft but not coloured add mince and celery and chestnuts if using cook for a further 4/5 mins. Add breadcrumbs gradually moistening mix with spoonfuls of stock as required.

The mix should be fairly thick but soft so you are able to form balls.

stuffing-mix

Add herbs and season with salt and pepper.

Allow to cool slightly and then form into balls.

If you want to freeze them then do it at this stage. Pack into a freezer box and all ready for Christmas day.

If not then cook in oven until lightly browned and crispy approx 20/30 mins on 180 degrees. I didn’t need to add any additional fat as the oil and butter already incorporated in the stuffing mix kept them moist and not too dry but if required add more oil.

I generally don’t like meat in stuffing mixes but the amount I added was small and gave a nice texture and flavour but wasn’t the overriding taste.

This is now going to be my Christmas stuffing.

Pigs in Blankets:

  • 8 thin slices smoked bacon
  • 16 chipolata sausages
  • I tsp Worcestershire Sauce
  • 2 tsp chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 tbsp clear honey.

Mix honey, thyme and Worcestershire sauce in small bowl, add sausages and make sure they are coated in the mix. Cut bacon down the middle long ways. Wrap bacon around sausages.

To freeze now put in a container and separate the layers with greaseproof then remove  from the freezer on Christmas morning and cook as below

Put sausages on a baking sheet well spaced apart.

Cook on 180 for about 30 minutes until nicely browned and bacon is crispy.

Bread Sauce.

Bread Sauce

Freeze the breadcrumbs ready to use( I always) keep a bag of frozen breadcrumbs in the freezer. The sauce can be made the day before and reheated on the day… I have been surprised living here that many people have not heard of bread sauce my mum always made it at Christmas we couldn’t have turkey without bread sauce…

Ingredients:

About half loaf of Stale white bread either broken into smallish pieces or can blitz into breadcrumbs if you like a smoother sauce.

  • I brown Onion peeled and studded with cloves.
  • 2 bay leaves.
  • Salt & Pepper.
  • About half pint milk.

Let’s Cook!

Pour milk into a saucepan and add studded onion. Slowly bring to boil and turn down and let gently simmer for 5 minutes.

Remove from heat and allow to cool. When cool remove Onion and bay leaves.This can be reheated to serve or made the day before and kept covered in the fridge. It is quite a thick consistency so if too thin add some more bread if too thick some more milk.

 

What to make in advance???

Yesterday I pickled some more onions and just hope I don’t have to pickle more before Christmas I made 4 jars so even the one who shall be nameless doesn’t eat a jar full a week.

pickled onions Dec 2017

  • 2 lb Pickling Onions, peeled.
  • 11/2 pints pickling vinegar…I use white vinegar or a mix of apple cider and white vinegar.
  • 2tbsp Pickling spices or your mix…again I mix black, white peppercorns, coriander seeds.

Method2 days before mix 2pts water with 4 oz salt pour over onions, cover and keep in cool place. I keep in the fridge due to the heat here.

Then drain onions and pat dry. Pack into sterilised jars layering pickling spices as you go then pour vinegar over the onions making sure they are completely covered. Store for 4-6 weeks and they ready…They are the crispest onions I have eaten, far better than shop bought and generally don’t get to 4 weeks let alone 6 weeks as they get dipped into …men!

That’s all for today…..

Take care and have fun x

 

 

 

 

 

Sauces and chutneys from around the world

Many thanx to Esme for letting me guest post…This month it is sauces and chutneys from around the world 🙂 Enjoy!

EsmeSalon

BEETROOT CHUTNEY THAI DIP CRANBERY MANGO BREAD SAUCE

Hello again. I hope you enjoyed my post on Bread last month…Have you tried any of the recipes yet…If so it would be lovely to hear from you how they turned out or even better if you shared them on TRH Facebook group we would love to see you there.

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