Tag Archives: Chilli Con Carne

CarolCooks2…weekly roundup 27th September -3rd October 2020… Recipes, Health, Whimsy, Monk Fruit a new sweetener and Sir Rod…

Welcome to this week’s edition of my weekly roundup of posts…Especially for you just in case you missed any posts during the week… whatever your time zone grab a coffee or a glass of wine…Take a pew, get comfy… have a read… I hope you enjoy this much-shortened version… Relax and Enjoy! (1) Weekly Roundup

 

My first post of the week was on Wednesday…I am now settling into a routine again…it has taken me a couple of weeks but the beginning of the week gives me time to plan and start writing for the end of the week…I am scheduling ahead as have noticed a few changes and fewer avenues of accessing the Classic Editor…Change is coming…

Wednesday I was over at Smorgasbord Magazine where Sally is repeating one of my favourite series The Culinary Alphabet and A-Z of food…where I was exploring the letter S…salsa and satay’s both lovely snacks or starters…

Header letter S Culinary Alphabet

One of my favourite herbs Sage and Thai Squid Salad and so much more S is one of my favourite letters…To read the original post click the link below Sally and I look forward to seeing you…

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2020/09/30/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-food-column-carol-taylor-a-z-of-food-s-for-satay-salsa-salmagundi-sage-squid-and-salt-hoss/

Thursday:

I just love the smell of oils…Like you, I have my favourites but I don’t know too much about any adverse contradictions or when I should avoid certain oils which means for the start of this series was very informative…

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2020/10/01/smorgasbord-medicine-womans-treasure-chest-essential-oils-and-aromatherapy-oils-origins-uses-and-safety-part-one-by-sally-cronin/

Fruity Fridays:

This week I wrote about a fruit which is new to me…although it grows here in the North of Thailand I haven’t come across it…I am now on a mission to find some…Monk Fruit is used in Traditional Chinese Medicine to make soothing teas and is becoming popular as a sugar substitute…

It is also known by the name of Luo Han Guo or “Buddha fruit…

Different from most nonnutritive sweeteners which can cause side effects like bloating, gas or even allergic reactions monk fruit has no known side effects.

https://carolcooks2.com/2020/10/02/fruity-friday-monk-fruit/

Saturday Snippets:

Please join me in what I hope is an enjoyable read… whatever your timezone grab a coffee or a glass of wine and enjoy my meanderings!

I have lots of goodies for you…recipes, music, a sponge city, Health matters from Sally, how eating together is becoming the thing to do again one of the plus sides of Covid-19…

Wine Windows are making a come back and it is such a cool idea …don’t you think?

https://carolcooks2.com/2020/10/03/saturday-snippets-3rd-october-2020/

That’s all for this weeks roundup a rather short week… I do hope you have enjoyed it and I look forward to your comments xx

God bless you all in these turbulent times…especially those of my readers who are affected or in the path of these wildfires in California…Please stay safe…x

When this is all over my hope for the future is a cleaner world… I do want to see communities, and caring for your neighbour becoming the new norm…WORKING TOGETHER INSTEAD OF WORKING AGAINST EACH OTHER…Being kind to each other…Loving someone whatever their religion or skin colour…Can we make this happen? We have to but in the right way…Are we willing to make a stand? Personally, I would love to see lessons learnt ..realistically I have my doubts…

Thank you for reading be well and stay safe 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 well being.

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 stay safe and healthy xx

Saturday Snippets…3rd October 2020

 

Welcome to Saturday Snippets where anything goes…whatever catches my eye or my imagination could be on this post…something for everyone…this week has seen some balmy days and some spectacular electric lightening shows followed by real downpours early morning 4 am and fingers crossed the ceilings are still intact…

Please join me in what I hope is an enjoyable read… whatever your timezone grab a coffee or a glass of wine and enjoy my meanderings!

Cookery Corner…This week in my kitchen…

What have I been cooking this week…Chilli Con Carne with enough over to freeze some portions, Lasagne which all went in a flash so nothing left to freeze…A lovely casserole which again I had some leftover so I could freeze a couple of portions, Duck Larb again as Lily came for the long weekend and she loves larb especially made with duck, Liver and onions and the mandatory roast dinner which is when I have fish normally or another stir fry…

I always make soup which keeps for a few days in the fridge and is easy to warm up and have for lunch with some freshly made bread or in the case of a Thai Tom Yum Soup just as it comes…

Health Matters…by Sally Cronin…

Part two of Sally’s posts on blood pressure and the foods you need to keep that blood flowing…

Hop over to Sally’s to read the next installment and if you missed part one never fear there will link …

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2020/09/28/smorgasbord-health-column-blood-pressure-part-two-nitrate-and-potassium-foods-and-wholegrains-get-your-blood-flowing-by-sally-cronin/?fbclid=IwAR1tFn82e6k6T8sQ

I think everyone has heard of Sponge Bob but Sponge City…In today’s climates where drains and erosion are causing flooding then this innovative idea solves that…

Everyone knows I abhor waste...I was watching a programme a while ago about a company which refurbishes electrical equipment and you wouldn’t know they were not brand new in Berlin they have taken it one step further…to topple the “throwaway culture,” and promote re-use and repair, the city of Berlin has taken the unique step of opening its own secondhand department store. How cool is that and they plan to have one in every suburb of Berlin…Sweden has also taken this idea on board…

This isn’t your grandma’s thrift shop. It resells perfectly good items from retail outlets that would otherwise be thrown away.

Currently, the city estimates that 8% of discarded electronic goods and 6% of bulky items thrown away can actually be re-used. The goal is to expand the market for these items beyond the usual bargain hunters and eco-conscious consumers.

I think is such a great idea and it saves having to worry about how unwanted goods are being recycled or just added to landfills.

Did you know?

There are only 29 days until Halloween…I will be sharing some Halloween trivia and recipes with over the next few weeks.

It was on the 3rd of October 1863 that President Lincoln officially proclaimed an official Thanksgiving Holiday the first was to be on the  26th November 1863 and thereafter declared that the fourth Thursday of every November would be considered an official U.S. holiday of Thanksgiving.

On October 3rd 1955 The Disney TV show The Mickey Mouse Club debuts on ABC, featuring the Mouseketeers.

As a family, we have always eaten together we are not ones for TV dinners…I do think that one of the plus sides of this dreadful Covid-19 is that many families have discovered a love of cooking and waste less but also eat together more often…

National Eat Better, Eat Together Month during October encourages families to gather for mealtimes. When families enjoy their main meals together they tend to be more balanced food choices. Also, what better way to spend time together and share each other’s daily adventures? It’s exactly what National Eat Better, Eat Together Month suggests from October 1 to October 31!

Today in the UK it is National Fungus Day, in the US it is National Caramel Custard Day…I love mushrooms especially wild mushrooms but Caramel Custard is my all-time favourite…

Lily is being taught how to forage mushrooms by her mummy something which is very popular here most Thais forage for mushrooms and greens.

The Coronavirus has taught us many things over the past year…Yes, it has been nearly a year…Personally, I think it is like Measles and Chickenpox that if we can find a vaccine then it can be controlled but like many contagious diseases like polio etc a vaccine is needed to keep it under control…Social distancing is the same companies have had to get inventive to survive…In Italy several historic “wine windows,” or buchette del vino, have reopened in order to serve wine in a safe, socially distanced manner.

The concept is simple: Rather than step inside an osteria, or a bar, you simply grab your glass from a window specifically built for the efficient dispersal of wine. It sounds like a venture that could have been conceived by enterprising hipsters today. But it is, in fact, a testament to the lasting savvy and creativity of the city’s Renaissance residents, who weren’t going to let a wave of Bubonic Plague get in the way of a nice glass of red.

Time for some Music.

I first saw Rod Stewart many years ago (1966) and have seen him quite a few times live since…With Long John Baldry and Steam Packet …The Small Face then morphed into the Faces and then finally Rod went solo…This track is very special to me…

That’s all for this week and Saturday Snippets ….

Thank you for reading….enjoy your weekend, stay safe not only from Covid-19 but the wildfires around the world…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!

Fruity Friday’s… The chilli and yes it is a fruit!

Red-chilli-dried-green-hot

Oh Yes! It is a fruit!

I expect you were wondering when I was going to get around to one of my favourite fruits, The Chilli Pepper… Chillies are in season all year round here…although a pepper’s hotness is generally determined by genetics, the environment can play a role. Long hot days cause peppers to produce more capsaicin, the specific alkaloid that delivers the spicy kick…The chillies I am picking at the moment have certainly racked the heat up a bit..they are spicy hot babies…

This wonderful versatile fruit which some love to hate… Are the fruits from the flowers of the Nightshade plant family. Mainly eaten as a vegetable but most definitely it is a fruit.

Chilli peppers are a rich source of spicy-hot capsaicin. They are also very high in antioxidant carotenoids, which are linked with many health benefits. … Capsaicin: Is one of the most studied plant compounds in chilli peppers.

Did you know? Chilli has seven times the Vitamin C of an Orange. Also, a big bowl of chilli can help you lose weight? It is because the capsaicin in the chillies and peppers used to make a chilli raise your metabolic rate…

chilli-con carne-chilli peppers

Chilli Con Carne

  • 500 gm lean minced Beef ( I use pork) as I can’t get minced beef here.
  • 1 tbsp Olive oil
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 1 red or yellow pepper chopped
  • 3-5 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
  • 2-inch piece of fresh ginger finely chopped
  • 1-3 heaped tsp hot chilli powder (or 1 level tbsp if you only have mild)
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1-2 bay leaves
  • 1 pint of fresh-made beef or vegetable stock
  • 400 gm fresh chopped tomatoes
  • 1/2 tsp dried marjoram
  • 1/2 tsp sugar…I sneak this in when no one is looking as it brings out the sweetness of the tomatoes.
  • 2 tbsp tomato purée
  • 410 gm can red kidney beans, drained or pre-soaked dried kidney beans.

Let’s Cook!
Put the olive oil in a large pan and heat add the chopped onions, garlic, ginger, bay leaves and cumin seeds cook until onions are translucent about 5 minutes.
I like to add my cumin seeds with the onions as it brings out their full flavour and we love cumin.
Add the minced meat and cook, stirring until nicely browned.
Add the tomatoes, stock, peppers and tomato puree stirring in well and bring to a soft simmer.
Add the paprika, marjoram and sugar.
Cook for 20 minutes now this is where I taste and add more chilli and usually more cumin seeds and then add the drained kidney beans and cook for a further 30 minutes.

Serve with steamed rice and sour cream sprinkled with smoked paprika ( optional)

Enjoy!

Now what can be better than a Smokin hot chilli sauce this recipe was gifted to me by my friend Susan and it is awesome…Thank you, Susan, it is now my go-to chilli sauce…

Chilli- hot-red-fiery sauce

Let’s Cook!

This recipe is a sort of add how many chillies you like or it depends on how big your hands are…lol

Take a half kilo of Cayenne peppers or peppers of your choice.

A large handful of garlic cloves, peeled and blanched…it is not a requirement but the sauce will be less acrid if you blanch the garlic.

Smoke the chillies and garlic over charcoal mixed with smoked applewood for 2 hours.

Then put in a blender with a cup of organic live cider vinegar, a cup of sugar and half a tsp of salt.

Just look at that lovely rich, red colour, it looks amazing.

After you have made your first batch you might want to play around with the quantities to suit your taste …but that is the fun and what cooking is all about. The high sugar content makes it great for BBQ’s and helps with the preservation.

Put the sauce into sterilized jars.

It is then ready to use as a spread on your bacon sandwich, to coat your meats and is a great base for chilli or my friend Susan makes her version of Mole by adding cocoa powder, nuts, and some Mexican spices.

Play around with flavours you might find something new and exciting. Maybe blanch some red bell peppers and char them with the chillies and garlic.

NOTE:

If the sauce starts to ferment, bubble up then loosen the lid and let it do its work…I wouldn’t eat the sauce while this going on and fermenting but it will settle down on its own and you will be left with a lovely mature sauce with a deeper flavour, albeit less sweet.

Have fun and enjoy!

Do you like something a tad sweeter??? Then this Thai Sweet chilli sauce may be for you??

Sweet- chilli-sauce

This recipe makes about half cup of sauce which is ideal for me because if I buy a bottle I end up throwing it away either because I have had it in the fridge or cupboard so long or I have read the label.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup of rice wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar plus 2 tbsp.
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 3 tbsp fish sauce
  • 2 tbsp sherry if you don’t have sherry then this article gives you replacements for sherry in cooking
  • 2 cloves of garlic grated/ minced or very finely chopped
  • 1/2 -1 tbsp dried chilli crushed ( 1 tbsp is hot) or chilli pepper flakes.
  • 1 plus 1/2 tbsp cornstarch or arrowroot dissolved in 3-4 tbsp water.
  • Optional… Sometimes I julienne a small piece of carrot or red pepper and add to the mixture during the reduction period of cooking.

Put all the ingredients into a saucepan except for the cornflour mix. Stir to combine and bring to a rolling boil. Reduce the heat to a slow rolling boil and cook for 10 minutes or until the mixture had reduced by half. Lower the heat and add the cornflour mix, stirring until the sauce has thickened.

Taste and adjust the seasoning more sugar if not sweet enough for you and if not hot enough then more chilli.

This is so quick and easy to make and far superior to shop-bought sauces and without the preservatives.

Enjoy!

Chilli plant- hot- spicy- Thai chillies

One of my favourite fruits…The chilli…

The chilli and lots of other fruits are in season in September and of course, eating fruits in season brings many benefits to your health and the taste…of course, depending on which zone you are in the world fruit seasons and types vary to what they do here…what doesn’t change is why we should eat the fruit in season …I have listed the benefits below but it really is a no brainer as fruit in season is glorious…

  1. Richer flavour – Produce that is picked when it’s fully ripened tastes amazing. If your product is coming from across the US or another country, it is picked before it’s ripe. As it travels to your local grocery store, it ripens in a cardboard box, often after being sprayed by chemicals to prevent it from ripening too quickly…who hasn’t been tempted by those strawberries out of season and at a far higher cost both in pennies and their carbon footprint to find the taste was a great disappointment…Hands up I have in the past but no more…I have learnt that lesson the hard way…
  2. Better nutrition – When produce is picked before it’s ripe, the nutrients do not fully develop in the flesh of the fruit. Plants need the sun to grow and picking them before they are ripe cuts off the nutrient availability. Genetic modification is also sometimes used, which can alter how the crop was naturally supposed to be consumed. Also, if you eat seasonally, you are guaranteed to consume a variety of produce, which will assist you in eating a healthier, balanced diet.
  3. Environmentally friendly – As produce is transported from other areas, it requires gas to get the product to the store. This fuel charge is something often added to the cost of the food upon delivery, not to mention what this does to the carbon footprint.
  4. Community benefit – Buying your produce from local farmer’s markets and Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is a great way to build community, but also allows you to feel more connected to where your food is coming from and who is growing it…I think we owe our families that and ourselves…

Don’t forget it is National Organic Month…if you missed my post yesterday explained what constitutes an organic product…

Thank you for reading, I do hope you have enjoyed it…  I am looking forward to your comments. Thanks, Carol 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.

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

 

 

National Pumpkin Month…Facts…Trivia and allergy-friendly mummy bars…

Good morning…The witching hour is soon to be upon us… I expect all you lovely Halloweenies are prepared and ready…

Firstly I have a recipe for some lovely allergy-free mummies as I know many people have peanut allergies and this lady has recipes and tips if you have allergies. So please pop over to her blog and have a look…

allergy free mumie bars

https://foodallergypi.com/2018/09/27/allergy-friendly-mummy-bars-biscoff-mummies/

Don’t they look cute?

Did you know??? 

In what year will the next full moon occur during Halloween?

2020…The last Halloween that had a full moon was in 2001 and the next full moon on Halloween after 2020 won’t occur until 2039.

Of course, the weather, especially at night, is getting cooler and nothing goes down as well as a good, spicy chilli on a cold Halloween night…it is one-pot cooking which is even better…

chilli-con carne-chilli peppers

Ingredients:

  • 500 gm lean minced Beef ( I use pork) as I can’t get minced beef here very often and beef is not hung here like it is elsewhere so can be very pale and not too tasty.
  • 1 tbsp Olive oil
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 1 red or yellow pepper chopped
  • 3/4 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
  • 2-inch piece of fresh ginger finely chopped
  • 1-3 heaped tsp hot chilli powder (or 1 level tbsp if you only have mild)
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1-2 bay leaves
  • 1 pint of fresh-made beef or vegetable stock
  • 400 gm fresh chopped tomatoes
  • 1/2 tsp dried marjoram
  • 1/2 tsp sugar…I sneak this in when no one is looking as it brings out the sweetness of the tomatoes.
  • 2 tbsp tomato purée
  • 410 gm can red kidney beans, drained or pre-soaked dried kidney beans.

Let’s Cook!
Put the olive oil in a large pan and heat add the chopped onions, garlic, ginger, bay leaves and cumin seeds cook until onions are translucent about 5 minutes.
I like to add my cumin seeds with the onions as it brings out their full flavour and we love cumin.
Add the minced meat and cook, stirring until nicely browned.
Add the tomatoes, stock, peppers and tomato puree stirring in well and bring to a soft simmer.
Add the paprika, marjoram and sugar.
Cook for 20 minutes now this is where I taste and add more chilli and usually more cumin seeds and then add the drained kidney beans and cook for a further 30 minutes.

Serve with steamed rice and sour cream sprinkled with smoked paprika ( optional)

Enjoy!

Halloween Trivia! Did you know?

The 1978 blockbuster, Halloween, was only made in 21 days on a very limited budget.

Some more Halloween Trivia...

The round orange pumpkins that are used for most jack o’ lanterns today are native to what continent?

North America…The oldest pumpkin-related seeds were found in Mexico and were dated to sometime between 7000 and 5500 BC.

 What are some of the most popular Halloween costume for pets?

dog halloween costumes -2832245_640

Pumpkin…Next up was a hot dog, undoubtedly the top pick for dachshund owners. That Dobie looks less than impressed. Third were characters from Batman, followed by the devil. And for 5th place, bumblebees ( that bulldog doesn’t look impressed either does he….lol…Maybe that is where the saying comes from it looks like you have sucked on a wasp…

It wouldn’t be Halloween if there wasn’t some gore and gruesome goings-on would it?

Now in the Middle Ages, there was a thriving trade of mummies being bought and sold? Not what you think…haha

egyptian-museum-630297_640

To be ground into medicine…Mummies were ground up during the middle ages to make medicine because they were thought to have healing properties.

After the Middle Ages, the buying and selling of mummies remained popular. During the 17th and 18th century mummies were used to make a type of paint called mummy brown or mummia.

 

My second Chilli recipe from a friend of mine …Richard and it is his vegetarian chilli…Thank you Richard it is very nice. It is Richards recipe with a Thai twist and tasty…

Vegetarian Chilli with lentils.

vegetarian chilli with lentils

Ingredients:

  • 1 large onion roughly chopped
  • 1 carrot finely chopped
  • 2/3 cups of pumpkin roughly chopped
  • 1 stick of celery finely chopped
  • 1 tomato finely chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 3 chillies
  • 125 gm mushrooms chopped
  • A handful of chopped green beans
  • 100 gm black lentils
  • 1 tbsp each of fish sauce, soy sauce, oyster sauce and sugar
  • Basil Leaves

Then cook as normal ensuring lentils are cooked through.

The instructions are as I received them as Richard obviously knows I can cook…lol

For anyone needing more details then cook as my chilli recipe above but adding lentils instead of the meat. I did add a couple more tomatoes some pumpkin and some kidney beans to Richards original recipe….I also soaked my lentils… he doesn’t as he likes his lentils al dente…

Cooking is all about personal taste and I sometimes just chuck it in the pot and take it from there… That’s how I cook most of the time and TASTE…

Enjoy!

Did you know?

Pumpkins are not only orange, but also white, blue, and green?

Some mocktails for the kiddywinks.

Hundreds of vampire clubs and societies exist and claim to have real vampires as their members.

fangs

They may have had dental work on their teeth but really vampires?? What do you think ??

Did you know?? 

 In what country was the first written account of children using the phrase “trick or treat” on Halloween?

halloween trick or treat bag-151422_640

Canada…Here is the line from the newspaper:

The youthful tormentors were at back door and front demanding edible plunder by the word “trick or treat” to which the inmates gladly responded and sent the robbers away rejoicing.

“‘Trick or Treat’ Is Demand,” Herald (Lethbridge, Alberta), November 4, 1927, p. 5, dateline Blackie, Alberta, Nov. 3.

I do think trick or treating got out of hand and now parents generally confine it to friends rather than just random door knocking…

Finally, I can’t go without a lovely colourful Halloween drink for you all…

 

I hope you are enjoying these Fang-Tastic Pumpkin posts and please if you have any tried and tested Halloween recipes I will post them and credit you so please let me have them…xxx

I am just off to check out the cocktails…Laters xxx

 

witch-1424756_640

 

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 creative week ahead xx

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

This week in my kitchen…Week 14…Spaghetti bolognese, Chilli Con Carne and Thai Shrimp cakes…

Welcome to week 14 in my kitchen still lots of rain and sunshine…We have water pistols at the ready Songkram preparations are getting into full swing lots of colourful clothes are on sale and all the shop assistants are wearing their colourful Songkram shirts…

 

Much of this week has been spent trying hair colours…Blue seems to be the colour for the boys…Lily has opted for unicorn colours which are on their way so you can guess what nanny will be doing…This is where my long ago hairdressing training comes in…haha

Not much on the cooking front…Spag bol and chilli in bulk…It freezes well and ideal for the kids when they come in wet, hungry and happy…

Chilli Con Carne.

chilli-con carne-chilli peppers

Ingredients:

  • 500 gm lean minced Beef
  • 1 tbsp Olive oil
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 1 red or yellow pepper chopped
  • 3/4 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
  • 2-inch piece of fresh ginger finely chopped
  • 1-3 heaped tsp hot chilli powder (or 1 level tbsp if you only have mild)
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1-2 bay leaves
  • 1 pint of fresh made beef or vegetable stock
  • 400 gm fresh chopped tomatoes
  • 1/2 tsp dried marjoram
  • 1/2 tsp sugar…I sneak this in when no one is looking as it brings out the sweetness of the tomatoes.
  • 2 tbsp tomato purée
  • 410 gm can red kidney beans, drained or pre-soaked dried kidney beans.

Let’s Cook!
Put the olive oil in a large pan and heat add the chopped onions, garlic, ginger, bay leaves and cumin seeds cook until onions are translucent about 5 minutes.
I like to add my cumin seeds with the onions as it brings out their full flavour and we love cumin.
Add the minced meat and cook, stirring until nicely browned.
Add the tomatoes, stock, peppers and tomato puree stirring in well and bring to a soft simmer.
Add the paprika, marjoram and sugar.
Cook for 20 minutes now this is where I taste and add more chilli and usually more cumin seeds and then add the drained kidney beans and cook for a further 30 minutes.

Serve with steamed rice and sour cream sprinkled with smoked paprika ( optional)

Enjoy!

Spaghetti Bolognese.

Ingredients.

I kilo minced beef or pork sometimes I mix pork and beef…
1 large onion chopped
250 gm mushrooms sliced
3/4 cloves garlic
5/6 Fresh Basil.
2 bay leaves
8 large tomato coarsely blitzed or chopped
2 tbsp tomato puree.
2 tsp balsamic vinegar
2 tsp Worcester sauce
2-3 tsp mixed herbs
1 tsp sage.
Salt and pepper to taste

Let’s cook!
Heat a glug olive oil in a pan and saute onions and garlic.
Add the mince and cook until browned
Add tomatoes and cook for a few minutes then add tomato puree, mixed herbs, bay leaf, oregano, balsamic and Worcester sauce.
Cook on a slow simmer for 30 minutes and then add mushrooms, cook for another 10 minutes and stir in fresh basil…

This is where I taste and generally add more herbs as we like our Spaghetti Bolognese nice and herby.

Serve with freshly cooked pasta and some freshly grated or shaved parmesan cheese and some garlic bread.

These little shrimp cakes are quick to do and make a nice snack or starter for a meal…which would consist of other dishes maybe a curry, some stir-fried morning-glory or mixed vegetables, maybe a whole steamed fish with herbs or crispy garlic some som tam( Papaya Salad) and always a sweet chilli dip and sometimes as well a blow your head of chilli dip… Not all Thais like hot food as one would assume…

Let’s Cook!

Thai Shrimp Cakes.

Thai Prawn Cakes (2)

This makes about 20 small cakes/patties or 10 larger ones.

Ingredients:

  • 400 gm of fresh prawns deveined/peeled and finely chopped.
  • 100 gm chicken meat( we used half a breast) finely chopped.
  • 6/8 very finely sliced lime leaves.
  • 2/3 tsp red curry paste.
  • 2 tsp fish sauce.
  • A tiny splash of coconut milk.
  • 50 gm homemade breadcrumbs or you can crumble panko breadcrumbs.
  • Coconut oil or oil of your choice to fry the cakes.

Mix all these ingredients together with your hands..yes it’s sticky and messy but how we do it…no mods cons here in a basic Thai house.

But of course, if you want to use your food processor then that’s fine, to be honest, I don’t get mine out if I am just making this amount…hands are easier to wash than all the food processor bits.

But if you have a food processor and want to do it that way then put all the ingredients in and blitz away until smooth.

Finally, form into cakes /patties then heat some oil in a pan and cook turning until browned both sides. Cook in batches.

Drain on some kitchen paper.

Serve as a snack or with your meal with sweet chilli sauce or with a spicy Thai dip although most restaurants here send them out with a sweet chilli dip.

Thai Sweet Chilli Sauce:

Sweet- chilli-sauce

This recipe makes about half cup of sauce which is ideal for me because if I buy a bottle I end up throwing it away either because I have had it in the fridge or cupboard so long or I have read the label.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup of rice wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar plus 2 tbsp.
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 3 tbsp fish sauce
  • 2 tbsp sherry if you don’t have sherry then this article gives you replacements for sherry in cooking
  • 2 cloves of garlic grated/ minced or very finely chopped
  • 1/2 -1 tbsp dried chilli crushed ( 1 tbsp is hot) or chilli pepper flakes.
  • 1 plus 1/2 tbsp cornstarch or arrowroot dissolved in 3-4 tbsp water.
  • Optional… Sometimes I Julienne a small piece of carrot or red pepper and add to the mixture during the reduction period of cooking.

Put all the ingredients into a saucepan except for the cornflour mix. Stir to combine and bring to a rolling boil. Reduce the heat to a slow rolling boil and cook for 10 minutes or until the mixture had reduced by half. Lower the heat and add the cornflour mix, stirring until the sauce has thickened. Taste and adjust the seasoning more sugar if not sweet enough for you and if not hot enough then more chilli.

This is so quick and easy to make and far superior to shop bought sauces and without the preservatives.

Enjoy!

N.B. 

MANY RECIPES for Thai prawn/shrimp cakes do not use chicken as well, we do as it adds a bit of firmness to the cakes and the splash of coconut milk is our variation as well.

The Asian Pear recipe I promised is on the menu this weekend as it has been quick tried and tested recipes this week…xx

Thank you for joining me for this week in my kitchen 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 I bid you 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://carolcooks2.com/
Twitterhttps://twitter.com/TheRealCarolT
Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/carol.taylor.1422

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

MeWe is a new social media and one which many of us are turning to mainly migrating over to as FB has banned many of my friends and for what seems no good reason that we can see I hope you will join us there.

MeWe: mewe.com/i/caroltaylor3

Thank you once again for reading this post I hope you all having a great weekend xx