Tag Archives: rice noodles

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: 

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Thank you once again for reading this post I hope you all have a lovely weekend  xx

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – The Food and Cookery Column with Carol Taylor – #Thai #Noodles

This week it is oodles of Noodles….Want a cure for a hangover it’s all here 🙂 xxx

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

Last week I explored rice which is one of the staples in Thai cooking this week it is noodles which are also very much in the forefront of Thai Cuisine… Again noodles are sold everywhere both dried and fresh…

There are many types and thicknesses of noodles here made from wheat flour, mung bean, rice and or egg.

Egg noodlesmade with buck wheat and egg which gives them that yellow colour are generally used in soups or stir fries with chicken and herbs.

Quick to make it is a favourite in this house of hubby as he prefers food less spicy than me and the kids like it as it is mild flavoured but tasty and filling.

Glass Noodles as the name suggests look just like glass …made from mung beans they require no cooking just a quick soak in hot water to soften them before adding them to…

View original post 2,360 more words

Healthy Eating…No more Diets…Obesity

No to diets Thai food collage

Welcome back to Carol’s Bootcamp…I can’t think why I called it that as this is not about a diet but Healthy Eating and I know some like structure but at some point you will either get fed up with the restrictions of the said diet and then pile the pounds on or spend the rest of your life eating foods which you don’t really enjoy but they are supposed to be good for you… Well to hell with all that!

Life is for living…Food is for enjoying… So what I have decided to do is some comparisons …Which wasn’t my plan for this post .. I was just reading and researching and saw a link which I clicked and three hours later and many links this idea was born…

It started with a headline about obesity …Country by country and percentages and then I got to thinking about the difference in lifestyles and options or just what we have always eaten..But then those stats began to make sense to me…

My diet has changed drastically since I have lived here and it is not just me who has lost weight we all have … Now I know that when it is hot, you sweat more and your appetite diminishes somewhat…You eat less!

But the food is also different and not just Chillies … I have added some pictures to the header picture of food which is on every menu and commonly eaten at home…Fresh raw prawns with bitter gourd …

Firstly I will just pick out a random mix well here many of my readers come from or live I have also included the top and the bottom country… Just because I can but over the next couple of weeks I will look at what is commonly eaten to see if a pattern emerges.

There are 192 countries in this and I have also added the link just in case you want to see where you fit…

  • 192  is Timor-Leste with a percentage of 2.2% ( of their population are obese.)
  • 147 is Thailand with a percentage of  8.5%
  • 95 is Germany with a percentage of 20.10%
  • 66 is France with a percentage of 23.9%
  • 35 is Canada with a percentage of 28.0%
  • 33 is the Uk with a percentage of 28.10%
  • 31 is Australia with a percentage of 28.60%
  • 19 is the US with a percentage of 33.7%
  • 1 is the Cook Islands with a percentage of 50.80%

If you wish to check your country out here is the link https://renewbariatrics.com/obesity-rank-by-countries/

At the end of this little experiment, I will do a post o the 1st and last and see what the differences in diet and lifestyles are.

Eating habits here in Thailand… Meals are eaten together as a family and the meal could last a few hours as Thais enjoy their food but it is a social gathering… Whether it is at home or eating out you will see family and friends all together eating and sharing.

Much of the fruit and vegetables are eaten raw or very lightly steamed and everywhere you go to eat you will get your food plus a dish of fresh herbs and vegetables. The variety is awesome Thais forage a lot and I have given up being surprised at what is eaten.

Lily flowers ..you know the white ones they generally drop overnight and are collected early morning then lightly steamed the stamens removed and eaten with a spicy fish sort of pate… Just fish pounded in a pestle and mortar with chillies, fish sauce, lime juice, maybe dried shrimp or shrimp paste it depends.

The banana flower is a delicacy steamed and eaten with a spicy dip.The lotus flower the seed pods which are left when the flower has finished blooming are eaten.

banana flower 1

A Sticky rice pot filled with fresh rice is a staple and everywhere you will see a pot..the tuk-tuk drivers have their little pot lovingly made by their spouse and the food stalls have some really massive ones absolutely enormous you could feed an army.

Food and time to eat food are very important here… We learnt very early on that you didn’t ask staff to leave their lunch and serve a customer… A definite no-no it could cause a mass walkout and if a Thai is hungry…Look out! You do not want to cross a hungry Thai…

The world stops here for food be it a bus or any form of transport… The foot is to the floor and every shortcut is taken …

If you break down what they eat  there are few carbs, lots of raw fresh herbs and vegetables, Lots of eggs in various forms, lots of BBQ meats chicken, fish in salt, kidneys, sun-dried beef, pork and fish eaten with Som Tam( Papaya Salad) which again comes in many variations but with lots of tomatoes, beans , dried shrimp, chillies, peanuts, maybe some crab…

Thai Platter

A typical Thai meal Som Tam, Mushroom soup, mushrooms just sliced and steamed with a very hot spicy dip some fresh vegetables, crispy pork scratching and sticky rice. Sometimes this will be served with steamed fish or just as it is…

This platter is slightly more substantial with the fish.

Mixed Thai Food

Out for the evening and a little more…

Thai platter in Phuket Town

This plate has rice noodles and some thick rice noodles, a little chicken, Som Tam, vegetables and herbs, bitter gourd and crispy garlic but if you look at all three they are very similar…A large percentage of the food is fresh raw vegetables or plain steamed noodles… Not too much fried or high in carbs quite natural …Not high on processed foods either…

I do think over the next few weeks when I explore other diets we will see where and how much the diets vary from country to country.

Most of this diet I did eat in the UK as we had a large Thai community and my daughter in law who taught me how to cook Thai food and also to enjoy my food in its raw state rather than processed and cooked to death… Not too many nasties on those platters of food.

In Thailand food is to be enjoyed, It is fun and food is savoured, enjoyed and time is taken ..No rushing and bolting down of food but pure enjoyment and if full they talk and laugh and then eat some more… a meal can and does last for a few hours and then in no time at all the next meal is being planned…

I do hope you have enjoyed reading about the food I eat and how much my diet has changed but also how much my health has improved and I no longer eat food just because it is good for me …I eat because I love what I eat.

Thank you for reading this and if you enjoyed the read then please hit the share button.

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