Tag Archives: Recipess

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – The Food and Cookery Column – Carol Taylor Cooks with Mince

I think mince is the most versatile food ever so much you can make with it…Check out my Thai Burgers something different…

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

Welcome to this week’s cookery column where I will be cooking with mince…sometimes I buy my mince ready to go and sometimes I mince my own using a very sharp knife it is a coarser mince then but some recipes call for a coarser type of mince meat.

If I am mincing already cooked meats i.e. that elusive lamb for a cottage pie I would use my Nan’s mincer which I still have, which is many years old and has been around the world with me, it must by now be 70 plus years old or more and still works .

Mince is a very versatile ingredient and today I thought instead of dishes with all the sauces and preparation I would show some quick meals which can be made with mince…
Any meat can be used chicken, pork, beef and where to start??

I prefer chilli to spaghetti Bolognese…

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Fruity Fridays…On A Sunday! Watermelon.

Fruity Fridays Watermelon Collage

 

The Watermelon is very plentiful here at the moment and on a fresh fruit platter is very nice and refreshing. Fruit is generally always served after a meal here in Thailand and generally fruit in season a lovely end to a meal.

watermelon platter

At the moment it is very plentiful here but not only is it a lovely fruit but it is also packed full of goodness.

Originating in Africa watermelons are pretty much available world wide , prized not only for it water content in many countries it is also used medicinally and records show used as far back as the Egyptians.

Packed with vitamin C it is like the tomato packed with Lycopene which is a powerful antioxident.

It is also lovely either as a shake on its own or with other fruits.

I am really getting into this smoothie making and today I think is one of my favourite smoothies. I am learning to get the right amount and what I do is take the glass I am going to drink it from and fill the glass with my fruit that way I make just enough and if I am making more than one glass then I double up but it eliminates the guesswork.

Today’s smoothie was a mixture of fruit and vegetables.

Water melon shake

 

I used a large chunk of  Pineapple, Watermelon, yellow melon and dragon fruit. A slice of tomato, a slice of beetroot, a piece of carrot and a little ice.

Then into the liquidiser and a blitz for a minute and voila a lovely smoothie.

Now how often have you bought watermelon and thrown away the rind?? Hands up! I have or I did until I discovered a lovely recipe for Pickled Watermelon Rind.

Now I make a lot of pickles and this one thing I hadn’t thought of pickling… you live and learn, don’t you?

Ingredients:

  • 4lb of Watermelon
  • 1 chilli thinly sliced
  • 1-inch piece fresh ginger finely sliced or diced
  • 2 Star Anise
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 4 tsp salt I use fresh mineral salt dried here
  • 1 cup of rice vinegar
  • 1 cup of sugar

Let’s Cook!

Using a vegetable peeler remove the outer green rind and slice the watermelon into I inch slices. Cut away all but 1/4 inch of the flesh (it is) the white part we are pickling. The red flesh I keep for smoothies or ice cream or a nice salad with feta cheese.

Then cut the rind into 1-inch pieces.

Add the chilli, ginger, star anise, salt, pepper, rice vinegar and sugar plus ½ cup of water together in a pan, bring the mixture to a rolling boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar then turn down the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the watermelon rind and bring back to a rolling boil and then again reducing the heat to a simmer for 5 mins or until the rinds are just tender. Remove the pan from the heat, and leave the liquid to cool down. You may need to weigh the watermelon down with a plate or lid, as it needs to stay submerged in the liquid until cool.

Pickled watermelon rinds

Once cooled then transfer to a container with a well fitting lid and refrigerate for at least 12 hours before you eat…This will keep refrigerated for about 2/3 weeks if it lasts that long…lol

My daughter in law took some of this to her village and they loved it …I thought maybe it would be too vinegary for them but no although they did suggest that next time I made it add some tamarind which I think( as) I love Tamarind is a great idea.

Lastly, I have a lovely sorbet for you packed with goodness and made with watermelon and tomatoes…

Watermelon and Tomato Sorbet.

Watermelon and tomato sorbet

Ingredients:

  • 6 cups (1-inch) seeded ripe watermelon chunks
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3 cups freshly blitzed tomato pulp.
  • 2 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • Coarse salt (optional)

Let’s Cook!

Combine first 3 ingredients in a large bowl; stir well. Let stand 30 minutes.

I used 3 cups of my tomato pulp…I always make my own fresh tomato pulp to use in curries and spag bol etc..I don’t buy tinned tomatoes…I freeze it in portions it keeps well in the freezer and I just take a portion out as required.

Process half of tomato juice and half of the watermelon mixture in a blender until smooth. Repeat with remaining tomato juice and watermelon. Stir in lemon juice. Pour mixture into freezer container of a 2 1/2-Qt. electric ice-cream maker, and freeze according to manufacturer’s instructions. (Instructions and times will vary.) Or as I did and froze my metal container for 12 hours and strained mixture into the tin and returned to the freezer. Once ready serve as desired I sprinkled  each serving with coarse salt.,

It was then that my Kitchen Nightmare began!

Oh yes…I have had a week of all weeks I have had NO internet since Tuesday evening ( Thank you) Windows for your update…So Fruity Fridays is now A fruity Funday Post …No fun here just hysterical laughter…and it culminated with a Watermelon sorbet and guess who forget to add the lime juice??? Moi!

Take 2

Re-blitz the aforementioned sorbet in a blender which didn’t like it too frozen so if you could have seen the mess in my normally orderly kitchen…Watermelon everywhere as I tried to mash the watermelon sorbet with my potato masher…  my sorbet now has lime and some coconut milk to aid the re-blitzing…However…I think it tastes better…Smoother taste and takes the edge of the sweetness of the Watermelon.

So the motto is No one is perfick... Least of all this Culinary goddess…Lolzzzz

Normal service will continue very soon…

Have a lovely weekend and for all of you who have had a week like me…You have my sympathy xxxx

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Christmas Recipes…Home Cured Ham

christmas-1695531_1920

I have cured my own ham/ bacon for a long time now…

Those of you who know me are well aware of my aversion to anything processed and ham/ bacon is no exception to that rule. The ham you purchase from the shops is just slimy, and not nice at all….The bacon of doubtful origins at best especially where I live now…In the Uk you could get some lovely home cured kinds of bacon and hams not so here or if there is I have not found them….I have also been experimenting with various different ways which may be more healthy…

Bacon contains nitrates which some have an aversion to using or it causes headaches and other adverse symptoms.

Today I am using celery juice..just put the celery in the juicer and out the other side and viola this lovely vibrant green juice.

Now celery also contains nitrates but they are naturally occurring although for some may still cause headaches if your aversion is to chemicals then celery may be a better way to cure your bacon.

I used 2 Kilo’s Pork Belly.

For every Kilo of Pork use I used:

  • 2 parts rock salt to 1 part sugar.
  • 4 cloves garlic.
  • 2 bay leaves
  • A bunch of Lemon Thyme.
  • 20/30 Mustard Seeds,
  • 12 Pepper Corns,
  • Celery Juice as required to make the mix damp.

Method:

Finely slice bay Leaves and lightly crush with other spices in Pestle & Mortar.

Combine with Sugar and Salt and mix with liberal amounts of celery juice until damp.

Rub into Pork.Belly pork rubbed with garlic and lemon thyme

Place Pork in a sealed container or bag ( I used a brining bag). Turn halfway through the week. That is why I like using brining bags as it is much easier to turn the pork belly over.

Store in the fridge for 5 Days.

After 5 days remove the belly pork and wash thoroughly.

Cook in oven @ 100 C for 2 hours. Cool and slice.Home cured belly Streaky bacon

It also looks lovely and pink ( no grey) which means the natural nitrates in the celery juice had worked their magic.

All I need now is a home-made smoker and some lovely flavoured woods. Maybe use some maple syrup, honey, someone suggested coffee..some nice tea springs to my mind so many options…A different blend of herbs or cut of meat…

Have you made your own bacon and if you did what did you use?

Now the tester…How will it taste?

SAM_6497

It smells like bacon, looks like bacon and made a lovely sandwich….  Before you say yes I cut it thinly and no not everyone in the household likes it like that but the beauty of making your own is everyone can have their bacon sliced to their own requirements …How cool is that?

If you start experimenting now you can have some lovely home-cured bacon for Christmas or as a lovely present for someone you love …

Christmas Ham Recipe.

A piece of Pork…top of leg……mine was 3 kilo.

Suitable plastic( not metal) container to brine meat in.

Ingredients for Rub:

  • 4 tbsp salt (coarse)
  • 2 tbsp  Sugar.
  • 1/2 tbsp Saltpeter(saltpetre)

Ingredients for Brine:

  • 5 litres water
  • 900 gm salt (coarse)
  • 2 tbsp Sugar
  • 1/2 tbsp Saltpeter.

Day one:

  1. Mix the dry rub, and rub the ham, making sure it’s well covered. If using a 7-8 kilo ham you will need a double batch.
  2. Place the ham in a large container, cover with a clean tea towel and leave in a cool place, like the fridge.
  3. Now mix the brine in a pot and cook up and cook for 10 min. Remove the pot from the heat. Remove the foam when it stops bubbling and leave to cool and save in a cold place.

Day two:

  1. Pour the cold brine over the ham so it is covered.
  2. Store the ham cold.
  3. Turn the ham from time to time during the curing time. Use clean tongs and plastic gloves.
  4. Let the ham brine for 14-20 days.

IF the brine goes cloudy, make new brine and replace the old brine with that and keep curing it.

Tip: Wear gloves even when dry rubbing.

Ham home cured

When ham cured use your favourite recipe to cook and voila a lovely ham.

I have cooked mine all ways usually I cover with water, bring it to the boil and then drain off all the water. Add fresh water and all my spices…I add a couple of bay leaves, mustard seeds, coriander seeds, about 3/4 cloves, a star anise and maybe a cardamom pod also about 2 tbsp of brown sugar…I cook for 20 mins per 500 gm of meat and then allow to cool overnight in the cooking water it is then ready to eat.

Cooked ham with cloves in skin

I have also once it has finished cooking scored the fat and studded with cloves, brushed with honey and put in the oven for 20 minutes.

Loin Ham sliced

My third way which I did last Christmas was to use loin of pork instead of the leg and scored the fat….when I got to the boiling stage I added water to just below the fat and then when it was cooked covered the meat with foil leaving just the fat exposed then oiled and salted the fat wacked it in a high oven to crisp of the crackling…It went down a storm everyone loved it…A bit more work but crispy crackling with your ham…awesome!

I hope you are enjoying my Christmas recipes please let me know in comments and also what are your favourite maybe you cook something I haven’t tried or heard of…Please let me know…

I made the conscious decision that for the amount used and the dilution per litre of liquid that as the body can cope and disperse with the nitrate I would use that rather than getting botulism which the body generally doesn’t cope with.

Matcha Tea Cookies…

green match cookies

I am quite getting into this Matcha Tea…It might have something to do with the fact that it is everywhere here…In all the shops and on the cake stands everyone seems to use a lot of Matcha its in the ice cream so I thought it was about time I had a go at making my own…Matcha Cookies…

Ingredients:

  • 240 gm ( 2 cups) All-purpose flour
  • 15 gm Matcha Tea powder ( Cooking grade)
  • 170 gm butter softened
  • 130 gm sugar icing sugar ( confectioners sugar)
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 50 gm white chocolate

Let’s Cook!

Sift the flour and matcha tea powder together.

Beat the butter until it is smooth and creamy add a pinch of salt and blend.

Add icing sugar and blend until soft and light add the beaten egg yolks and blend until smooth.

Gradually add the flour and matcha powder mixture and blend until smooth. Stir in the chocolate chips.

Cut the dough in half and shape into two cylinders about 1.5 cm in diameter and each cylinder about 7 inches in length. Wrap in cling film and chill for at least 2 hours or overnight.

A tip..to keep the cylinder shape sit the rolls on a bed of rice…

When ready to bake…

Pre-heat the oven to 350F(175 C) and line a baking sheet with baking paper.

Remove the dough from the cling wrap and cut into 1/2 inch thick slices place on baking sheet leaving a gap between the cookies.

Bake for 15 minutes or until the edges go slightly brown ( ovens vary). Cool on a wire rack. If they don’t all get eaten straight away the biscuits will keep for 3-4 days in a lidded container…

The first time I baked these the comments were they were not sweet enough..they were for me but some prefer sweeter biscuits but white chocolate doesn’t have the sweetness of milk chocolate so next time I will sprinkle a little sugar on the top before I cook them.

 

Until next time stay safe, have fun and laugh a lot as it is such good medicine and FREE…