Tag Archives: Sea Caviar

The Culinary Alphabet…A-Z…The Middle Letters W and X

Welcome to series 3 of the Culinary Alphabet A-Z…Where the middle letters today are W and X, 

This was going to be the final post in this series which has been great fun to research and write I have been ably supported by both Chel and Pete and I thank you for your contributions over this series…but when I totted everything up there were more than I initially thought so at least I get another post out of this…A bonus I say!

Let’s go and see what I have found…



So many of these tubers look alike and when they are dried and in powder form, it’s even harder to distinguish one from the other by sight alone…Used as a thickening agent for sauces, puddings, and jellies, as well as an ingredient in baked goods like cookies and cakes… I admit to having a fondness for Arrowroot biscuits when a child dipped in tea… Additionally, it’s a popular replacement for wheat flour in gluten-free recipes.


When is a sausage not a sausage? When it’s a Bratwurst…I was first introduced to a Bratwurst many years ago by a dear friend Pauline who was married to a German man…It was Pauline who also gave me the recipe for spiced red cabbage…its very true for me that many of my memories of people I have loved I reminisce and remember them through food…

There are over 1500 varieties of Wurst, Germany has long been the world’s Sausage Capital.  One such Wurst, the Bratwurst, claims around 40 different varieties itself and has a proud heritage going back hundreds of years where it was first officially documented in 1313.  Yes, the savoury Bratwurst is synonymous with Germany itself and has remained a cultural icon for centuries.


The term Bratwurst is derived from the Old German word Brät (meaning “chopped” meat) as well as the more contemporary verb braten (meaning “to fry”).  While some kinds of sausages are eaten poached, the Bratwurst is first poached and then always pan-fried or grilled.


Despite having ‘wheat’ in its name, buckwheat is actually a seed and sometimes referred to as a ‘pseudo-grain’. Processed into groats, buckwheat has the appearance of small, nugget-type granules that can be used in the same way as rice.

You can also find buckwheat as flour, noodles or even flakes, making it a versatile substitute for wheat flour.


My favourite chowder was the seafood chowder I had when we were in Ireland it was a beautiful bowl of deliciousness and the last one I ate was cooked by an American friend again a lovely clam chowder…

The word chowder is a corruption of the French chaudière (“cauldron”), and chowder may have originated among Breton fishermen who brought the custom to Newfoundland, whence it spread to Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and New England.

A chowder is a rich, hearty soup with seafood or chicken that starts with a base of salt pork or bacon and a mix of vegetables like onions, celery, and potatoes. Most chowders are creamy, but one in particular-Manhattan clam chowder-has a tomato base…Although I enjoyed the chowders I have eaten I do prefer tomato-based recipes and would love to try a Manhattan Chowder for that reason…


Marrowbones have seen a rise in popularity over the last few years…A Marrowbone is the culinary and butchery term for either the Femur, Shank or Tibia bone of a cow that is cut for eating. In Butchery, the smaller the bone, the less Marrow.

As the Femur is the largest bone in the animal, it has the best Marrow to Bone ratio. As the Femur Bone is straight, this allows for easy and uniform cuts for Butchers and easy cooking to the precious Marrow when eating.


Edible seaweed is a popular, healthy low-calorie food source. Often associated with Japanese cuisine, marine algae have been harvested for thousands of years for culinary and medicinal purposes in China, Korea, and other countries with significant coastlines. Seaweed is now a regular ingredient in smoothies and dried seaweed snacks are a popular alternative to chips in Asian countries…

Although seaweed is soft and pliable in the water it is most often dried for preservation, requiring most to be rehydrated in liquid, like water or broth, before eating.


One of our favourite seaweed snacks is the sea caviar or as it is called here grape bunch seaweed…it is quite rare and harvested by hand diving …It gives a lovely pop in your mouth and with the chilli sauce, it is nice…I actually only got 1 small piece as Lily and Aston both love it and disappeared with the pot of chilli dip and the dish and it was soon gone xxx Has anyone else tried this…I know my blogging friend Thelma has she eats it with salt, vinegar, ginger root, and chilli which sounds rather nice…It always reminds me of bunches of green peppercorns …Have you tried this sea caviar???

Patata Naxou…

Are Greek Potatoes…However, a potato is not just a potato on the island of Naxos.  It is one of its main local products, and one of Greece’s best, thanks to the island’s natural abundant water supply.

On Naxos you can find the potato boiled, stuffed, barbecued, souffled. It even has its own festival — every year at the beginning of August — that showcases its many tasteful varieties.

On Naxos, potatoes have a long history. It goes back to the fertile land making Naxos – since the 1950s — the official potato seed producer of Greece. According to research, the potato has been cultivated on Naxos since the 1700s.

Toxic Foods…

There are many foods that can be toxic if we either don’t prepare them correctly as in Kidney beans …raw red kidney beans have the highest concentration of lectins. Lectins are a toxin that can give you a bad stomachache, make you vomit, or give you diarrhoea. It only takes 4-5 raw kidney beans to cause these side effects, which is why it’s best to boil your beans before eating or use tinned kidney beans.

Elderberries taken as a syrup or supplement is fine, but eating unripe berries, bark, or leaves of elderberry may leave you feeling worse instead of better. They have both lectin and cyanide, two chemicals that can cause nausea, vomiting, and diarrhoea…

I love Rhubarb ...pie or crumble with custard it is a delicious dessert…but beware as eating leaves has become very popular in recent times and the rhubarb leaf looks very inviting, HOWEVER…Rhubarb leaves contain oxalic acid, which binds to calcium and makes it harder for your body to absorb it­­. In turn, your bones can’t grow the way they should, and you’re at risk for kidney stones, blood clotting problems, vomiting, diarrhoea, and coma.

Green potatoes… The leaves, sprouts, and underground stems (tubers) of potatoes contain a toxic substance called glycoalkaloid. Glycoalkaloids make a potato look green when it’s exposed to light, gets damaged, or ages. Eating potatoes with a high glycoalkaloid content can cause nausea, diarrhoea, confusion, headaches, and death…I won’t even get started on the shrooms if you go foraging…Know your shrooms…

I love nutmeg grated on rice pudding or a little in fruit cakes and bread enhances the taste … Nutmeg adds a nice, nutty flavour when you add it in small amounts to baked goods. BUT eaten by the spoonful, it can cause big problems to your system. Even as little as 2 teaspoons can be toxic to your body because of myristicin, an oil that can cause hallucinations, drowsiness, dizziness, confusion, and seizures.

The hard stone in the centre of cherries is full of prussic acid, also known as cyanide, which is poisonous…Avoid crunching or crushing pits as you nosh on your cherries…Apple seeds also have cyanide, so throwing back a handful as a snack isn’t smart. Luckily, apple seeds have a protective coating that keeps the cyanide from entering your system if you accidentally eat them. But it’s good to be cautious. Even in small doses, cyanide can cause rapid breathing, seizures, and possibly death.

It all makes scary reading and if in doubt do your research…I have certainly found a few things in this post which I will be researching…the findings of which will either be in Carol’s Green Kitchen or the topic of my Friday Reviews…


There are a few foods that are waxed or have a waxed covering…Some fruits and vegetables are waxed before shipping to retain moisture or to give a high shine like apples …examples are citrus fruits, bell peppers, eggplants, melons, parsnips the list is quite long…

The materials used to wax produce depend to some extent on regulations in the country of production and/or export. Both natural waxes (carnauba,[12] shellac, or resin[4]) and petroleum-based waxes (usually proprietary formulae)[3] are used, and often more than one wax is combined to create the desired properties for the fruit or vegetable being treated. Wax may be applied in a volatile petroleum-based solvent but is now more commonly applied via a water-based emulsion.[5] Blended paraffin waxes applied as an oil or paste are often used on vegetables…Source Wikipedia.

Another reason to grow your own or buy from farmers markets where you can check with the grower…

Some cheeses are also coated with wax which is not edible…many are now BPA free but check and although you can’t make candles from the cheese wax there are other uses…SEE this Thursdays Green Kitchen.

That’s all for today’s Culinary A-Z …I hope you have enjoyed it…I have left a couple for you Pete as I know you love the challenge…Next week the A-Z  will be the last one in this series…Y and Z…

I look forward to your comments as always…Carol xx



This week in my kitchen…Sea Caviar, Steak & Kidney Pie, Batu and more…

It’s Friday…Let the weekend begin and why not the sun is shining and all is quiet..I had a lovely head massage this morning and then my monthly trim…A lovely massage booked I think I am going to try the rice milk oil one when I come back from my jolly to sunny Phuket…I am so excited I will be seeing my daughter who is popping over from Australia it has been a couple of years so I am sure there will be a few tears…Happy tears…x

What has been cooking this week? Fahija filled tortilla wrap…Which got me thinking … Similar to a sandwich or burrito, a wrap uses a pliable flatbread or tortilla to roll ingredients into a portable, handheld meal.

wraps...the thai way

If I am making a sandwich for hubby then butter is the first thing on the bread and then the filling…Tortilla wraps are slightly fewer calories about 30 calories, lower just a smidgen on the fibre, half the protein and fewer carbs than bread plus we have the butter which ups the anti…Which means a tortilla wrap eases slightly ahead and it does seem that we put more salad and veggies in our wraps than in a sandwich…I always tuck my ends in and the daughter in law ties a strip of the banana leaf around hers…


  • Chicken Caesar Wrap: One half cup cold cooked chicken breast meat, lots of Romaine lettuce, a tablespoon or two of Caesar salad dressing, and a few shavings of Parmesan cheese.
  • Garden Veggie Wrap: Your favourite garden salad blend, like sliced tomato, onions, shredded carrots, and cucumbers, mixed with raw spinach and a little Italian dressing.
  • Scrambled Eggs and Feta Wrap: Two eggs, scrambled with chopped sun-dried tomatoes, and a light sprinkle of feta cheese. ( mine)

I couldn’t believe how popular beetroot is...Which is good and it is one of my favourites …Today I had a beetroot and orange juice…I don’t have it every day but probably 4 out of 7 days…I also picked up a lovely big bag of passionfruit which is my big favourite and some fried bananas as I was waiting for the bus…The lady was frying them and I just couldn’t resist however I did only have two very small pieces and handed them over to the menfolk…

Speaking of which however hot it gets and it is currently 44C…Hubby will still eat meat pie…I make individual ones and then he can have pie and I have my Thai food…

two meat pies

For fillings, I either make mince and onions, Steak and Mushroom or hubby’s favourite steak and kidney…

For the pastry

  • 250g plain flour, plus extra for rolling
  • 140g cold unsalted butter, roughly cubed
  • 1 large egg  yolk
  • 1 small egg  whisked with 1 tbsp milk, for the egg wash

For the filling…Steak & Kidney

  • 1 ox kidney, about 400g/14oz, get it fresh from your butcher. Pig’s and lamb’s kidneys only need short cooking time so if used add 15 mins before the end of cooking.
  • 1 kg trimmed braising or stewing beef
  • 250g flat mushrooms, unpeeled but wiped with a damp cloth
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 100g unsalted butter
  • 1 large onion,  peeled and thickly chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic crushed
  • 50-85g plain flour, depending on how thick you like your gravy
  • 600ml fresh stock or  water and 1 tbsp vegetable bouillon powder
  • 1 large bay leaf
  • salt and freshly ground pepper

Let’s Cook!

It’s important to cook the meat a day ahead so that you can discard any fat that has risen to the top, and so that the pastry doesn’t slump in the face of a too-warm filling, so up to 48 hours ahead -make the pastry. Whizz the flour and a pinch of fine sea salt together for a few seconds in a food processor, then add the butter and whizz until the mixture looks like coarse breadcrumbs. Whisk together the egg yolk and 3 tbsp water and whizz with the pastry until it collects in a ball. Wrap in cling film and leave it to rest in the fridge for at least one hour…


Cut out the white central core of the kidney and  (discard). Cut the kidney into bite-sized pieces. Cut the beef into bite-sized cubes and cut the mushrooms into chunks.

Heat 1 tbsp of the oil in a large, heavy frying pan over medium-high heat. Throw in the kidney and fry until lightly coloured. Tip into a colander to drain.

Wipe out the frying pan and return it to low-medium heat, adding 25g/1oz of the butter and 1 tbsp oil. Tip in the onion and fry for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until soft and slightly golden add the garlic for the final 2/3 minutes.

Transfer to a large casserole, using a slotted spoon.

Preheat the oven to 160C/gas 3/fan 140C. Tip the 85g/3oz flour into a large plastic bag, and season it generously. Throw in the beef and shake until lightly floured. Return the frying pan to medium high heat, adding a little more oil and butter if needed. Shake off any excess flour (reserving it) then fry the beef in batches until golden-brown. As each batch is done, transfer it to the casserole.

Adding more oil and butter to the frying pan if necessary, fry the mushrooms for about 2 minutes until starting to wilt, then add them to the casserole with the drained kidneys, stock or hot water, bouillon powder and bay leaf, plus the excess flour in the bag if you like a thick gravy.

Stir well, cover and cook in the oven for 75-90 minutes until the meat is tender and the sauce is thick. Cool thoroughly, then put in the fridge (preferably overnight) so any fat will solidify – it can then be skimmed off and discarded.

In the morning – return the pastry to cool room temperature, then roll it out thinly on a well-floured surface. Invert a 28-30x23cm, 6.5cm deep pie dish on to the pastry. Mentally add an extra 1cm all round, then use the dish as a guide to cut out the pastry lid. From the remnants, cut out enough 6cm-wide strips of pastry to go round the dish – they should cover the flat rim and about halfway down the insides.

Lightly butter the rim of the dish and line it with the strip(s) of pastry, sealing any joins with a little dab of water. Butter the shoulders of a pie raiser or an upturned egg cup and stand it in the middle. Spoon in the meat mixture to come level with the top of the dish.

Don’t overfill: reserve any excess gravy to serve hot with the pie.

Brush the pastry rim with a little water, then drape the pastry lid over it, pinching the edges to seal. Cover with cling film and keep in the fridge if not baking immediately.

Finally, an hour before serving – preheat the oven to 200C/gas 6/fan 180C. Make four slashes in the lid of the pie, then brush with the egg wash. Bake for 35-45 minutes until the pastry is golden brown, turning the heat down 10-20º after about 20 minutes. Remove the pie from the oven and leave it to rest for around 10 minutes before cutting into it.

These instructions are if you are making one large pie…If I am making individual pies I just cut a strip of pastry to go around the top of the dish fill the dish with the meat mixture and add a pastry top…This cuts the calories…But if like a large pie and want to cut nice slices then a pie bottom can be added.

Of course, the cooking time will also need to be adjusted…For an individual pie depending on your oven, it takes approx 25 mins.


One of our favourite Thai meals is some grilled or BBQ fish ( Batu)…Lily loves this..With a spicy dip and fresh raw and/or steamed vegetables with sticky rice…As you can see we eat a lot of vegetables …This dip is made with roasted eggplant and pounded in the pestle and mortar with garlic and chillies…

Batu and vegetables

Kombucha Update…

My scoby is growing nicely I reckon maybe a week to 10 days and I can start my Kombucha….I will then give you the recipe…

I need another fridge all these pickles I need a pickle fridge…All of my family love pickles they only walk paste the fridge and in they go and grab some pickles…The jalapenos are lovely a really nice bite to them…But I needed to pickle garlic again…

Pickled Garlic…

  • 8-10 garlic bulbs
  • 500 ml white wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar
  • 90 gm sugar
  • 1 tsp salt…I always use salt mined here locally or Himalayan salt.
  • 1 tsp per jar of either mustard seed or fennel seeds (optional)

2 x 250-300 ml jars with good lids

Let’s get pickled!

Separate the bulbs of garlic into cloves and peel.

In a saucepan bring the vinegar, salt and sugar to the boil, stirring occasionally to make sure the salt and sugar are dissolved. Add the garlic cloves to the pickling liquid. Bring it back to the boil and simmer for five minutes.

Transfer the garlic cloves to sterilised jars. Add the mustard or fennel seeds if using. We actually couldn’t decide Fennel or mustard seeds so I normally do some of both they are equal in taste to us. Carefully fill the jars with the hot pickling liquid. Seal.

two jars of pickled garlic

The garlic will be ready to use in about a week but improves over time. If you like pickled cucumber or jalapenos I add added the link here

New for me…Seaweed Caviar or as it is called here grape bunch seaweed…

sea caviar with chilli dip

Also, known as sea caviar it is quite rare and harvested by hand diving …It gives a lovely pop in your mouth and with the chilli sauce, it is nice…I actually only got 1 small piece as Lily and Aston both love it and disappeared with the pot of chilli and the dish and it was soon gone xxx Has anyone else tried this…I know my friend Thelma has she eats it with salt, vinegar, ginger root and chilli which sounds rather nice…Have you tried it???

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/

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