Tag Archives: Chicken and Prune Tagine

This week in my kitchen…Store Cupboard Basics…Part 2…Pasta and Noodles…

Picture the scene… we are halfway through making a new recipe…We can taste it…Then up pops the ingredient we thought we had in the cupboard or we missed that bit of the recipe…The shop is shut…It is raining…We are in our house clothes…

We all need a well-stocked store cupboard…Of things we use and maybe just a few we don’t use so often but keep and store well…

It takes time (and) money to build up a store cupboard so I am breaking it down into easy stages…

Whether you call it a cupboard or a pantry a savvy cook knows it helps them create delicious, economical dishes without using expensive ingredients or having to pop out and hope no one sees us without our slap…Don’t they always though…haha

Staples range from flour, sugar, canned goods, oils, rice, pasta, dried herbs, stock cubes(bouillon)...Today I am looking at Pasta and Noodles…

Mixed pasta and noodles

Pasta and noodles keep well and are invaluable store cupboard staples as they can be used in many dishes either hot or cold…

Pasta…

Dried pasta keeps for months in an airtight container and can also look very pretty stored on your kitchen counter…Do however always check the pack for information on storage.

Pasta comes in all shapes and sizes. Egg pasta is enriched with egg yolks and has a richer flavour than plain pasta it is also often more expensive than plain dried varieties however it is all in the sauce and bog-standard plain pasta can be elevated with a good sauce…It is all about personal taste or the occasion…

Pasta should be cooked in plenty of water heated to a rolling boil…Just be aware that fresh pasta cooks very quickly and is bought chilled or if you are clever and make your own …Well done…Something I have never attempted…If you buy fresh pasta it can be stored in the fridge for several days or in the freezer for several months.

I am lucky enough to have found a source here which sells lovely coloured fresh pasta which is coloured with natural colours i.e beetroot…

Pasta also comes in tiny shapes which are ideal for soups and kids like them…Thes lovely little alphabet shapes served with a homemade tomato sauce…Kids love it!

 

alphabet pasta shapes

You can freeze small portions of sauce and keep a supply of pasta in your store cupboard …20 mins and the kids are fed and happy…

Noodles…

Noodles are very very popular here and sold fresh, dried and ready-cooked everywhere…They are a staple in the Thai diet… and served at most meals…

Rice Noodles…

These translucent white noodles are a great alternative to wheat noodles especially for those on a gluten-free diet.  They are available as broad flat or thin noodles that can be added to stir-fries and soups as well as used cold as a base for salads. Easy to prepare as they need no cooking just soak in boiling water for about 5 mins depending on the size of the noodles then use as required.

prawns with glass noodles

This is a typical Thai glass noodle salad…normally quite spicy….Lovely…Quick and easy to use they are a good standby in your store cupboard.

Egg Noodles…

Made from wheat flour and eggs may be thick, medium or thin again very popular in both Chinese and Asian stir-fries or deep-fried as a garnish…who doesn’t love crispy noodles? Here they are used as a garnish for my favourite Khao Soi…A Thai Yellow noodle chicken curry…

Egg noodles can be brought dry or fresh, store accordingly to the type …dry for the store cupboard and fresh for the fridge or frozen…

Egg noodles have a lovely nutty taste and are a good value for money as well as being a versatile store cupboard ingredient…Like rice noodles they can be served in hot or cold dishes they lend themselves to both…

Couscous and Polenta…

Like pasta and noodles are cheap to buy and can be used as a base for many dishes…Mild in flavour they go very well with strongly flavoured food such as aromatics, herbs and spices.

Couscous is made from durum wheat and is often thought of as a type of pasta it is also a handy store cupboard staple. Traditionally couscous needed a long steaming before serving whereas there are now many supermarket instant brands or ones which only need a quick pre-soaking in water. Classically known as an accompaniment for Moroccan tagines it is now more popular and goes well with meat, fish or vegetable stews. Also, an excellent base for salads it is very economical.

My tried and tested recipe for tagine…This was one of my first attempts and using prunes which neither hubby or the grandkids would have tried if they had known…Sometimes we have to be sneaky then food is tried with an open mind…I have learnt that much over the years…haha

Chicken and Prune Tagine/Stew

Ingredients:

• 4 large chicken breasts, skinned and cut into cubes
• 1 tbsp Vegetable Oil I used coconut oil
• 1/2 tsp Ground Allspice
• 1/2 tsp fresh ground Black Pepper
• 1 tsp Ground Cinnamon
• 2 tsp Cumin Seeds
• 1/2 tsp Ground Nutmeg
• 1 tsp Ground Turmeric
• 200g/7oz pitted Prunes
• 2 large Onions, sliced
• 1 tbsp freshly grated Ginger
• 3 Garlic Cloves, crushed
• Salt to taste
• 14fl.oz fresh Chicken Stock

 

Let’s Cook!

  • Heat the oil in a large heavy-bottomed pan then add the chicken pieces and brown on all sides.
  • Add the spices, garlic, ginger, and onions and cook stirring over medium heat until the onions have softened.
  • Add the stock and season with salt then bring to a slow rolling boil and reduce the heat to very low, cover and cook for about one hour stirring occasionally.
  • At the end of the cooking remove the lid and increase the heat to reduce the sauce.
  • Serve with rice or couscous.

 

 

The verdict…It is lovely with couscous…

Everyone including little Lily loved it. After they had expressed their delight and hubby said he thought the black things were mushrooms(shitake) and grandson asked for more I confessed the dish contained prunes, a dish which is now a family favourite… I was pleasantly surprised at that given the lack of chilli and some of the spices used. The biggest plus is now the grandkids will try dishes with prunes…Result…

Polenta…

Is made from finely ground cornmeal…Cooked with water and either served soft rather like mashed potato or left to set then cut into pieces and grilled( broiled) or fried. Again a mild flavour and best served with flavourful ingredients…

It can also be used in baking…my preference is a polenta cake rather than as a savoury side…

Again another good store cupboard essential which is now sold both ready-made or a quick cook product…All I would say is check what has been added…Many quick quick and ready-made products contain additives.

That’s all for Pasta and noodles so now our store cupboard can be stocked up a little more…Next week it is rice…

TIP OF THE WEEK.

You are reading a recipe and come across something you have never heard of or know it is ridiculously expensive and doesn’t store well…It is well worth the time learning what you can substitute for an ingredient and often it doesn’t alter the taste at all …I will do a post on substitutes at a later date…But always do your research don’t let one ingredient put you off making a recipe…

Thank you for joining me in my kitchen I hope you have some fun and came away learning something or maybe you have some store cupboard tips? If so please share I love it when we have interaction and it benefits us all 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 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

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 lovely weekend  xx

This week in my kitchen…Bread Pudding, Jalapeno Poppers and Coorg Mango Curry…

Here comes the rain again it is low season here and although the mornings are lovely and bright and sunny as the day goes on the clouds come in and the tropical storms start…This morning I was up bright and early so as to get to market before the rain descended…Hubby cleared the debris from last nights tropical storm it was quite windy and the trees took a bashing so he had some branches to dispose of but nothing serious and no plants damaged as they came down…I still haven’t got used to how very loud the thunder is here it always manages to make me jump at some point…

As it has been a bit dull and dreary hubby has been indoors and not in the garden so much he has been picking and routing through the fridge etc so I thought it was time to use up some of the bits of bread in the freezer…I save all the crusts and ends of a loaf and use to make either breadcrumbs or as was the case yesterday Bread Pudding. This recipe is one which has been passed down through the generations from my nan from her mum to her daughter etc, etc and you can make a small one or a big one in fact when I cooked the lunches on a local building site it was what attracted my hubby to our canteen…My bread pudding…40 years later he is still enjoying it…

bread-pudding-old -fashined recipe

Ingredients:

  • 2/3 Ib of bread ( brown /white) or mixed.
  • 1 tbsp Mixed Spice.
  • 2 eggs beaten
  • 3 oz butter melted.
  • 12/16 oz  dried fruit (sultanas or raisins)

Let’s Cook!

Put bread in a large mixing bowl and cover with water or mix or milk and water to soak.

When soft I squeeze the bread out in a colander to get as much liquid out as I can. Normally I have my little helper( Lily) getting stuck in and squeezing the bread dry…Kids just love the mucky bits…lol

Nanny always pours the melted butter in and Lily adds the dried ingredients and gives the mix a good stir… I do miss my little helper…

bread-pudding-old fashioned-recipe

I like lots of spice and fruit so if I think it needs more at this point then I add it is one of those dishes where you can add what you like for example if I have had some other fruit left over as in cranberries or blueberries I would add them.

Put in hot oven 180 degrees for 1 hour if the top seems to be browning too quickly then reduce the heat a little. It should rise up a little by end of cooking. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with sugar.

This is when I invoke my rights to cooks perks and have the 1st bit..to try of course as it’s yummy hot and straight from the dish. But I gave up my cooks perks yesterday as I only have one stubborn pound to shift to get down to the next stone…

It is also great served with custard or cold if there is any left..haha. It also uses up all your bits of stale bread.

Today I made a new curry the recipe came from Trupti @ MyCulinary Saga...Called Coorg Mango Curry…Pop over and have a look Trupti has some lovely recipes…

Mangoes are very plentiful here and everywhere you go are all types of mangoes the squirrels are also enjoying the mangoes on our tree I just haven’t been quick enough or lucky enough to catch him on film yet…haha

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 semi-ripe mangoes
  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp Red chilli powder
  • 1/2 tsp Coriander powder
  • 1/4 tsp Cumin powder
  • 1 tbsp grated palm sugar
  • Salt to taste

For the seasoning:

  • 1 tbsp Oil(I used ghee)
  • 1/4 tsp Mustard seeds
  • 1/2 tsp Cumin seeds
  • a pinch of Fenugreek seeds ( I used fennel)
  • 4-6 Curry leaves
  • 2-3 cloves of Garlic, crushed or finely sliced
  • 1-2 green chillies, slit and deseeded
  • 1 medium-sized Onion, sliced thinly

Let’s Cook!

The original recipe recommended washing the mangoes and cutting up leaving the skin on…The skin on my mangoes was quite marked so I removed the skin and cut up roughly.

To the mango add chilli powder, turmeric powder, coriander powder, cumin powder and salt. Mix well and let it marinate for 10 minutes.

Heat oil/ ghee in a pan on medium heat. Add mustard seeds, cumin seeds, fenugreek (fennel)seeds to it and when it sputters, add the green chillies and curry leaves followed by garlic and sliced onions. Fry until the onions are soft and translucent.

Add the marinated mangoes and mix well. Then add about a cup of water and cook the mangoes with lid covered on a low heat for approx 5 minutes my mangoes took a little longer it depends on the ripeness of your fruit.

Add the palm sugar and cook until it thickens about 5/10 mins.

Coorg Mango curry

Serve hot with bread or rice…

N.B I fried some curry leaves for the top as a garnish…

I liked this curry ... I try to have a couple of meat-free days a week…Hubby wasn’t as keen he likes his protein so he had Thai green curry… Thank you Trupti a recipe I would make again…

I also was just in time to pick up a few bags of jalapenos when I went shopping they don’t come in on a regular basis and fly off the shelves at The Royal Project Shop so the boys struck lucky and snacks this week were Jalapeno poppers

A lovely crispy moreish little snack…

Stuffed jalapenos cooked

Back by popular demand was my Chicken and Prune Tagine/Stew…I am so pleased that the men in the house loved it and I don’t have to be sneaky about the prunes although I couldn’t get away with brown rice they are so fussy men at times aren’t they?

Ingredients:

• 4 large chicken breasts, skinned and cut into cubes
• 1 tbsp Vegetable Oil I used coconut oil
• 1/2 tsp Ground Allspice
• 1/2 tsp fresh ground Black Pepper
• 1 tsp Ground Cinnamon
• 2 tsp Cumin Seeds
• 1/2 tsp Ground Nutmeg
• 1 tsp Ground Turmeric
• 200g/7oz pitted Prunes
• 2 large Onions, sliced
• 1 tbsp freshly grated Ginger
• 3 Garlic Cloves, crushed
• Salt to taste
• 14fl.oz fresh Chicken Stock

Let’s Cook!

Heat the oil in a large heavy-bottomed pan then add the chicken pieces and brown on all sides.

Add the spices, garlic, ginger, and onions and cook stirring over medium heat until the onions have softened.

chicken and prunes tagine cooking gently

Add the stock and season with salt then bring to a slow rolling boil and reduce the heat to very low, cover and cook for about one hour stirring occasionally.

At the end of the cooking remove the lid and increase the heat to reduce the sauce.

Chicken and Prune Tagine with rice

Serve with rice or couscous…

You would think to be hot here that I would be making more salads, wouldn’t you? but not this week it must be all the rain and storms… It is making the men hungry…

Thank you for popping in I hope you enjoy the recipes…Until next time xxxx

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 that 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

 

 

 

 

 

Smorgasbord Health Column – Are you getting enough Vitamin B6? – Chicken and Prune Tagine, Tofu and Honey Bites, Spicy Sweet Potato Balls – Sally Cronin and Carol Taylor

Our latest post on vitamin deficiencies in our diets today we are looking at B6 another water-soluble vitamin..Sally will guide you through the facts about B6 and how a deficiency can affect you I will provide recipes which contain B6 all tried and tested in my kitchen…Enjoy!

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

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

Thankfully most of us eat reasonably well, with plenty of variety, but if you take a look at a week’s worth of meals, do you find that you are sticking to a handful of foods, all the time.

Variety is key to good health, to provide your body with as broad a spectrum of nutrients as possible that the body needs. Taking a supplement or relying on shakes and bars to provide your daily allowance of vitamins and nutrients is not in your body’s best…

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