Tag Archives: Cooked from Scratch

Fruity Friday…Corn Cob …Fruit or Vegetable?

Welcome to Fruity Friday’s...This week it is the Corn Cob which I have always thought of as a vegetable…How wrong was I?

 

Whole corn, like you eat on the cob, is considered a vegetable. The corn kernel itself (where popcorn comes from) is considered a grain. … Mmmmm…if you aren’t confused then I most certainly am…

This is why several foods that we think of as vegetables are actually fruits, like tomatoes and avocados. Corn technically is actually a vegetable, a whole grain, and a fruit because corn is a seed derived from the flower of the corn plant so classed as a fruit. More specifically, corn is a caryopsis, which is a type of fruit in which the pericarp (that’s the fleshy bit, like the part of a peach that you eat) and seed coat are fused tightly.

I’m glad we cleared that one up…I am happy with that as I use corn in both sweet and savoury dishes…By going easy with the butter, cooked on a beach BBQ it is the best thing ever…delicious as healthy as an Apple or Banana…

Sweetcorn mixed with coconut cream and cooked so they get a sweet crispy, lacy bottom are called Kanom Krup …a delicious street food.

Corn in colder climes is connected to Autumn and Halloween…by now I am sure you are all decorating your front porches…I always love the pictures as we have never celebrated Halloween it wasn’t a British thing we have the Harvest festival and over the last decade shops have promoted Halloween and some people do it but it isn’t as big as it in other countries…

But although corn is available all year round it is at its best between September and November.

A lovely creamy smooth corn soup is a lovely thing and of course, you can add some corn kernels or bacon or swirl with a nice red pepper coulis…

Ingredients:

  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 1 heaping cup chopped shallots
  • 6 cups low-sodium chicken broth, best quality or homemade if you have it…
  • 6 ears fresh corn (white or yellow are both fine, but yellow makes for a lovely colour soup)
  • 1-1/4 tsp kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1-1/2 tbsp finely chopped fresh basil, thyme or garnish of your choice.

Let’s Cook!

Remove the husks and silks from the corn. If you intend to add corn kernels to the soup then set one ear of corn aside. Use a knife to cut the kernels off of the remaining 5 cobs, then break the scraped cobs in half. Set aside.

Melt the butter in a large pot over medium-low heat. Add the shallots and cook, stirring often, until soft and translucent, 8-10 minutes.

Add the chicken stock, corn kernels, broken cobs, whole ear of corn, salt and pepper to the pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low and cook uncovered for 10 minutes. Remove the whole ear of corn (if used) and set aside to cool.

Cook the soup for 10 minutes more, then remove the broken cobs from the pot and discard.

Remove the pan from the heat, use a handheld immersion blender to purée the soup until very smooth. It will take a few minutes.

Alternatively, let the soup cool slightly and purée it in batches in a blender. Be sure to crack the lid or remove the centre cap to allow steam to escape and cover with a tea towel so it won’t splatter. Splatters hurt!

If you have a high-powered blender, like a Vitamix, you may be able to skip the next step of straining the soup.

If like me you haven’t then straining the soup it is key to a smooth soup a lovely base for your embellishments…think bacon or scallops…

To get a smooth as silk soup.

Place a fine-mesh sieve over a large bowl and pass the soup through, using a back of a ladle to push the soup through in circular motions. Discard the fibres and bits of kernels in the sieve. Return the strained soup to a clean pot. It should have a creamy consistency. If it’s too thick, thin it with water or chicken stock; if it’s too thin, cook over medium heat until thickened.

If you are adding corn kernels then use a knife to cut the cooked kernels off of the cooled whole cob, then add the kernels to the soup along with the herbs. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper (if necessary, you can add a bit of sugar to bring out the corn’s natural sweetness).

Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with tiny sprigs of fresh herbs, if desired.

Now if you want to make your corn soup really special then sear some lovely fresh scallops and use as a garnish…3 per bowl should be fine…

Can be served hot or cold this recipe makes about 4/5 servings.

I have often heard people say that corn isn’t healthy and can make you pile on the pounds…I think you may know what my answer to that is…x

I medium ear of corn has approx 100 cals the same as an apple…it also has about 3 grams of fibre…however unlike your apple corn tends to be served with butter, dips or other various toppings if you slather those over your corn then, of course, you pile on the pounds especially if it is a regular on your menu…

Yes, it also has natural sugar (6 grams) but then so does your apple…Corn has less than 1/2 of a banana, 1/3 of an apples natural sugar even beets have more natural sugars…

As long as you stick to the real thing and not processed foods which have high fructose corn syrup in and are also more likely to be from FMO corn…If you buy fresh certified organic corn or check with your local farmer it is unlikely to be GMO or to have a pesticide residue…if possible grow your own…

corn on the cob

Corn also contains insoluble fibre which aids your digestion and keeps your bowel healthy…so with the addition of B vitamins, iron and potassium it is quite a healthy little package and like the banana comes in its own package just go easy on the butter and those toppings…

Have you enjoyed your read? If so let me know in comments I do love to hear from you it makes
my day…xx

About Carol Taylor: 

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

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

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

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

Thank you once again for reading this post I hope you all have a fabulous weekend and stay safe… these are troubling times and I know many of you are back on lockdown again I just wish everyone would observe the guidelines and then maybe this will all be over far quicker than if we don’t xx

 

 

Fang-Tastic Recipes…Tales of Halloween…

 

Halloween 2020…may be different this year but there will be a rare treat…

The full moon that will be visible on Oct. 31 is called the blue moon because it’s the second full moon of the same month — following the harvest moon of Oct. 1 through Oct. 3. .. the 2020 Halloween full moon will be visible to the entire world, rather than just parts of it, for the first time since World War II.

I would love to go somewhere like Salem for Halloween where would you love to go???

Salem, Essex County, Massachusetts is famous for its witch trials of 1692… It is both a residential and tourist destination everything about Salem screams witches and witchcraft…Police cars are adorned with witch logos, a public elementary school is known as Witchcraft Heights, the Salem High School athletic teams are named the Witches, and Gallows Hill — originally believed to be the site of numerous public hangings — is currently used as a playing field for various sports.

Tourists know Salem as a mix of important historical sites and a vibrant downtown that has more than 60 restaurants, cafes, and coffee shops. In 2012, the Retailers Association of Massachusetts chose Salem for their inaugural “Best Shopping District” award.

cat-2540940_1920

I would not only want to go for the shopping but the history …Has anyone been to Salem? Does it have that sort of spooky atmosphere or is it just like a regular place?

Did you know?

London Town is known as the most haunted capital in the world?

Highgate Cemetery is one of the spookiest burial places and has featured in many films over the years…The Abominable Dr Phibes, From Beyond The Grave and Taste the Blood Of Dracula, it is also said that Fantastic Beasts was filmed there…

Tower of London with its resident ghosts of Anne Boleyn, The white lady and the poor Princes in the tower…

London Dungeons where you can experience the horror of the Demon Barber himself otherwise know as Sweeney Todd or the infamous Jack the Ripper…I took my boys there when they were little and neither of them would eat there as they said it was dirty it isn’t it is just very authentic and they were having none of it especially food…

Bethnal Green Tube Station used as a bomb shelter in the war and it often was overcrowded and many people died there. Staff say that when the station is closed they can hear running and screams…

Trick or treating was something as kids that we were not allowed to do or a penny for the guy our parents deemed it as being akin to begging…

But trick or treating, or ” guising” (from disguising) was a tradition which began in the Middle Ages, children and sometimes poor adults would dress up and go door to door during Halloween begging for food or money in exchange for songs or prayers which were mainly said for the dead. This tradition was called ” souling” and the children “soulers”

It wasn’t until the 1920s and 1930s that trick or treating had a revival with a lull during WW2 because of the sugar rations and now it is big business and very commercial.

In Britain however, Halloween was slow to take off and many householders turned off their lights and pretended to not be at home… and I am sure many still do that….lol

I still think that we lack behind other countries as regards Halloween…

Now for a recipe…

Thai Pumpkin Soup:

This lovely soup would look equally at home in your hollowed out Halloween pumpkin shell and add a bit of Thai spice to your table. If you have little pumpkins it would look beautiful served as individual portions.

Ingredients:

  • 400 gm  pumpkin peeled and diced into 2 cm cubes
  • 1 tsp white peppercorn
  • 2 coriander roots
  • 2 stalks of lemongrass  very finely sliced
  • 3 small shallots diced
  • 1 tsp fermented shrimp paste…You will be able to purchase this from most Asian stores or online.
  • 300 ml of prawn stock….I always keep my prawn heads and bits in the freezer until I have enough to make some stock.
  • 700 ml coconut cream
  • 1 tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 2 tbsp roasted chilli paste
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tsp coconut sugar
  • 16 prawns /shrimp, peeled and deveined or crab meat
  • A handful of fresh Thai basil leaves save some for garnish
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil to stir-fry

Let’s Cook!

Firstly pound the peppercorns and the coriander root into a smooth paste. Then in a large saucepan, over a medium heat stir-fry the peppercorn/coriander root paste, pumpkin, lemongrass, onions and shrimp paste, stirring all the time for about 3 minutes until all those lovely Thai flavours are released.

Reduce the heat to very low, cover the pan with a lid and cook very gently for about 20 minutes until the pumpkin is soft, stirring occasionally.

Next, transfer the mixture to a food processor and blend with the shrimp stock until smooth. Pour back into a saucepan and add the coconut cream and bring to a slow gentle boil.

Add your seasonings, lime, fish sauce, sugar, chilli paste and stir to combine, add your prawns/ crabmeat and cook for 1-2 minutes…Now taste and adjust seasoning if required.

Remove from the heat and pour into serving bowl or bowls. Stir in the basil leaves and garnish with extra leaves.

pumpkin-soup-1804351_1920

The true Thai way is to also garnish with spring onions or garlic stems, some fried crispy garlic or chicken skin and it always looks so vibrant and you just want to dive in and drown in the lovely flavours.

Enjoy!

I hope you have enjoyed reading this post on Halloween and if you have any Halloween recipes or tales then please share and I am happy to add to a future post and give you credit xxx

 

About Carol Taylor:

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

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

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

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

Fruity Friday…The humble Fig

The Fig…You can get it dried almost anywhere in the world and fresh and luscious from September through to autumn.

dried-2825_1920

There is nought like the taste of fresh figs and dried they are different but sweet, with a chewy flesh and crunchy edible seeds.

Figs start off as an enclosed inverted flower. The shape of their flower inhibits them from relying on bees or wind to spread their pollen in the same way other flowers can. Instead, figs must rely on the help of pollinator wasps to reproduce.

Nearing the end of her life, a female wasp will crawl through the tiny opening of the inverted fig flower to lay her eggs. She will break off her antennas and wings in the process, dying shortly afterwards.

The wasp’s body is then digested by an enzyme within the fig, while her eggs prepare to hatch. Once they do, male larvae mate with female larvae, which then crawl out of the fig, with pollen attached to their bodies, to continue both species lifecycle.

This is where some controversy creeps in...Some followers of veganism profess that as figs are a product of a wasps death then this fruit should not be considered vegan…however common sense prevails in most case and it is seen as a symbiotic relationship which allows both species to survive.

Figs are sweet with a chewy flesh, smooth skin and crunchy edible seeds. They are also one of the only fruits to ripen on the tree.

Did you know? Fig puree can replace fat/sugar in baked goods? Well neither did I until fairly recently a fig puree can be used as a sugar and fat substitution.

Just combine 8 ounces of fresh figs and 1/4 -1/3 cup of water in a blender; puree until smooth. If using dried figs, soak figs in water until softened before pureeing. Use as you would applesauce in baked recipes, as a substitution for both fat and sugar. Replace up to half the fat in a recipe with fig puree, and reduce or eliminate the sugar required.

Or use the puree as a spread over toast and fruits; or thin it out with more water and use as a liquid sweetener for coffee, drinks and in place of honey or maple syrup in your recipes.

The fig is also a great source of fibre, vitamins and minerals. It has Vitamin A, B1, and B2…. 3 figs have  5 gm of fibre..so if you are not careful you could if you eat too many figs end up with the “back door trots”. This is an old English saying just in case you were wondering.

In the Indian sub-continent, it is made into a soothing, calming salve which if applied by a topical application it can provide relief to Venereal Disease.  Although more research needs to be done to prove its effectiveness.

The Spaniards introduced figs to California in the early 16th century. The priests who lived in San Diego at the “Mission” originally planted the figs and the dark purple figs became known as Mission figs.

Native to the Middle East and western Asia the fig tree Ficus Carica is also a symbol of abundance, fertility and sweetness cultivated since ancient times it is mentioned many times in the bible and probably why many also believe that it was not apples in the garden of Eden but figs which tempted Adam and Eve. Now that is a thought.

figs-2662883_1920

Figs made their first commercial product appearance with the 1982 introduction of Fig Newtons cookies…I just love fig bars.

Did you know that eating one-half a cup of figs has as much calcium as drinking a half a cup of milk?

Figs also go wonderfully with blue cheese and wrapped in parma ham they are to die for. Just saying…

The Fig like lots of herbs, fruits and vegetables we eat have amazing healing properties and I think we should look at what we have growing naturally in our beautiful world instead of buying all these ready-made processed foods which are not even convenient most of the time and full of nasties…

Here endeth the sermon…

This fig sauce is lovely over duck breasts or chicken.

duck-breast-2729838_1920

Fig Sauce

  • 12  dried black figs with the stems trimmed off.
  • 1 1/2 cups of fresh chicken stock
  • 2 sliced mushrooms
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 2 cloves of garlic finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp brandy
  • 1 sprig rosemary although I will admit to adding a bit more…
  • Salt and pepper to Taste
  • Fresh Figs (optional)

In a small saucepan cook the black figs in the chicken stock for about 10 minutes until soft, remove from the stock and chop finely and return to the stock. Set to one side.

In a small pan melt the butter and add the finely chopped garlic and mushrooms cook for 30 secs don’t allow to burn as garlic it catches quite quickly. Add the brandy and simmer for 1 minute. Add rosemary sprig and fig stock and fresh figs (if using) simmer for 3 minutes until slightly thickened. Season with salt and pepper.

Just serve over your sliced duck breasts it is a lovely rich sauce and nice for that special occasion.

If fresh figs are in season then they are lovely served with the duck breast…

Enjoy!

Figs are not native to Thailand which is why very rarely I only see ones that are imported and very expensive however it is also said that they can adapt to the Thai climate which means maybe I can plant my own fig tree if I can find one…The search is on xxx

I hope you are enjoying Fruity Fridays don’t forget if you have a fruit you would like me to feature please send me a picture…

Until next time be well and stay safe…

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!

Thank you once again for reading this post I hope you all have a fabulous weekend and stay safe these are troubling times xx

 

Recipe…Stuffed Pork Loin…

pork loin gruyere cheese onions

This beautiful stuffed Pork Loin was not cooked by me… I was my son’s sous chef on this occasion…He did say that I didn’t have to fess up but I couldn’t do that he is a good cook in his own right…

The Pork loin was butterflied and then stuffed with caramelised onions and gruyere cheese then near the end of the cooking process it was then topped with the remainder of the onions and gruyere cheese..it was delicious and didn’t take that long to cook…

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp Butter
  • 2 yellow Onions sliced
  • 1/2 cup Beef Broth
  • 3 lbs Pork Loin
  • 2 tbs good Olive Oil
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Black Pepper
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning or herbs of your choice
  • 2 cups Gruyere cheese divided
  • Parsley to garnish (optional)

Pre-heat the oven 450 F/ 232C

Cook the onions in a large ovenproof skillet or pan by melting the butter over medium heat then add the onions and the beef stock cook until the onions are nicely caramelised then put in a bowl and set to one side covering with foil to keep warm.

Now to butterfly your pork loin…He didn’t pound his like Jay did but it gives you some info on how to butterfly the pork loin

Then wrap the pork in cling film and pound to an even 1/3 thickness…I got that job but it gave me an arm work out..haha

N.B.This way was much easier as the last time I stuffed a pork loin I made a cut like a pocket all the way through it was then quite difficult to stuff this way was much easier…

Take a small bowl and combine the oil, salt, pepper, and seasoning and then rub over both sides of the pork loin.

Top the pork with half the onions and 1 cup of the shredded gruyere cheese then tightly roll the pork making sure to enclose all the filling. Then tie with some kitchen string…hubby always gets this job he is good at knots…

Have you noted how we all chip in and cook?

In the same skillet add the pork and brown on all sides turning the pork about 4 times until it is evenly browned.

Transfer the pork to your preheated oven and cook for 25-30 minutes or until the pork loin reaches an internal temperature of 145 degrees Jay checked the internal heat as it was rolled he wanted to make sure…

While the pork is cooking baste a few times with meat juices once the meat is ready increase the oven temperature top the cooked pork with the remaining onions and cheese and cook until the cheese is melted.

pork loin gruyere cheese onions

Rest the pork for 5 mins and then slice and serve…

We served this with rosemary roast potatoes, kale, cauliflower, and carrots…

Enjoy!

 

 

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Food Column – Carol Taylor – A – Z of Food – ‘O’ for Oats, Offal, Octopus, Oranges and Oysters.

Over half way through time just seems to fly…The letter O…Thank you Sally for promoting this series you are a star…Hugs xxx

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

Welcome to this month’s The Culinary Alphabet beginning with the letter O bought to you by moi @CarolCooks2. It seems to me that the time is just flying by… Such a funny year so far unprecedented in so many ways…

The letter O…Not as many culinary terms or fruits or vegetables beginning with O but I have a few for you, I hope you enjoy!

Oats

As children, in the winter months, my mum always started our day with a bowl of oats and when it is cold there is no better start to the day…Oats are whole grain, meaning the grain is intact and the kernel is composed of three distinct parts: the bran, endosperm, and germ. Because they are whole grain, they have more nutrients, including vitamins, minerals, and fibre, than other processed grains. Oats also have more soluble fibre than most grains, much of which is beta-glucan…

View original post 2,402 more words

Halfway through the week and it is Wednesday and time for the A-Z of food…my trip through the Culinary alphabet has stopped at N…

Sally has very kindly shared my culinary trip there are lots of lovely recipes and some culinary terms you may or may not have heard of…I hope you enjoy…x

The culinary alphabet N

So please click the link below to read the whole post…Enjoy!

via Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Food Column – Carol Taylor – A – Z of Food ‘N’ is for Nicoise, Nori, Nuts, Noodles, Nettles and Naan Bread.

Luis Perrone Chef de Cuisine

La cocina de Perrone Luis

Fraggle's Other Place

where eclecticnessicity abounds.

REDFLAGFLYING

Dictatorship is good. If the Dictator is me.

Enogastronomista

Food & Wine

Cynthia Kaufman

Another World is Possible

Life, with Clotted Cream

An ordinary life with a dusting of luxury.

FROM PARADISE WITH LOVE (AND RUM)

South Pacific Styled Rum Based Recipes and Stories

Behind the Scenery

Grateful for the present moment

Discover

A daily selection of the best content published on WordPress, collected for you by humans who love to read.

%d bloggers like this: