I am so pleased that Carol Taylor has joined the blog in a new capacity as the food columnist. I will leave Carol to introduce the topics that she is going to be sharing each week and also a delicious recipe for a delicious soup.
Carol Taylor’s Food Column – Introduction and Egg Drop Soup.
Hello, I am beyond excited to be asked by Sally to host a cookery column in her new magazine…Thank you Sally x
Many of you know me by now but for this first post on the cookery column I thought I would set up my stall and tell you a little more about myself.
My passion for cooking and writing is all consuming, I love to cook, find new recipes, unusual foods and living here in Thailand I am discovering foods I haven’t seen before, tasted or even heard of.
The world of blogging has also opened up doors for me I am discovering people and foods from all 4 corners of our wonderful world and so many different cuisines…
Everything I make is made from scratch, I use fresh local ingredients in season, dishes which are easy to make, healthy and with no preservatives…I don’t use packets or mixes just food I can cook at home on my cooker.
My recipe portfolio is growing fast as I am meeting people who are happy to share their recipes and many which have been passed down through generations of their families and some have many variations depending on regions and the availability of ingredients.
As this column grows my aim is to bring to you family favourites, but also recipes from Thailand, which I have learnt to cook and have grown to love and also some more unusual dishes made with fruits and vegetables from here…where possible I will give you substitutes if I know it may not be available where you live although many fruits and vegetables are now available around the world…
All foods I use I will have tried and tested and I try most things and some I have been pleasantly surprised that they actually taste nice…taste okay.
Durian Fruit is a great example of this as I have read some horror stories…it is banned from airplanes, hotels, many places have a ban on Durian…Knowing Durian as I do now I think it is mainly because it has an all invading and cloying smell.
The taste however is quite creamy and mild and nothing at all like my expectations of the fruit. It is lovely made into ice-cream and crisps. It is also said to cool the blood.
What I have tried and really don’t like is Phla…which is a fermented fish which looks like a pot of muddy sludge and is banned from our house as the smell of that is awful…Saying that when it is added to food it doesn’t taste like it smells but is still a taste that I don’t like too much…
The smell of that to me is far worse than Durian Fruit and is eaten by many Thais even my young grandson likes it in his Som Tam (Papaya salad)…I don’t!
I hope that you will as cooks will approach some of my recipes with an open mind and you may find that like me they will become firm favourites in your house.
Today I am sharing just one recipe which is for a lovely soup as I know many of you who live in colder climes need something to warm your insides.
This is a soup I discovered when we were on a trip to Nong Khai and has become a firm favourite with us.
As always those of you who know me know I just cannot write a recipe it generally comes with a story…. I hope you enjoy!
EGG DROP SOUP…..
On a recent visit to Nong Khai which sits on the banks of the Mekong River in Northern Thailand…my quest was to find the sculpture park…..I had heard of its magnificent statues and how it was a must see but first of all some sustenance aka Food!
We spied a lovely floating seafood restaurant down some steep steps and over a rickety wooden bridge (planks) we sat down, ordered and waited, and waited, the restaurant was becoming very busy and we waited.
Well all except mine…by this time I was even hungrier and also didn’t want to eat on my own …so when everyone had finished ….We just checked our bill and left.
My grandson and my friend wanted to partake in a marvellous looking desert called Bingsu which they had spied on route to the restaurant. It is a mixture of fruit, sauce and dried ice cream.
Me…I didn’t want a dessert; well… firstly I wanted my lunch…. The restaurant was a Vietnamese one and I am not that familiar with the food and don’t really like too much sesame oil (a past) experience and not that good.
So I flicked and flipped through the menu and was getting quite antsy…Who me? Yes!
Everyone ordered their Bingsu and I think the waitress sensed my indecision and pointed to the menu.
The picture …A soup
Anyway…Sometimes when you not expecting a great deal….A little gem appears and what a bowl of lusciousness it was….Tomatoes, chilli, egg, mince , spring onions and Dill…. A virtual assault on my taste buds…
The recipe which I have adapted slightly.
- 1 1/2 tbsp oil ( I use coconut)
- 3 spring onions
- 3/4 lb ripe tomatoes ( chopped and cored)
- 1 tsp salt
- 1-2 tbsp Fish Sauce
- 1/3 lb finely minced pork
- 1-2 chillies diced diagonally
- 2 eggs beaten
- 2 sprigs of coriander or dill
- 5 1/2 cups water
- Black Pepper to taste
Heat the oil over a medium heat in a large pan. Add tomatoes and salt, cover and cook until soft about 4-6 minutes. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking or burning.
Add fish sauce and chillies….I would add I tbsp of fish sauce and taste and adjust seasoning before serving.
Add mince and move around to break up any big clumps.
Add water, bring to boil and skim of any scum that arises.
Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes add spring onions and simmer for another 10 minutes.
If you are not serving immediately then remove from heat and keep lid on.
Bring soup to simmer, Taste and adjust seasoning, fish sauce or salt.
Pour beaten egg into bowl in a wide circle; stir gently to break up in to strings.
Ladle soup into bowl, add a generous sprinkling of pepper and garnish with Coriander or Dill.
Lastly, a request from me, if you have come across a dish, either at home or when you have been on holiday, or seen a tasty looking dish in a magazine or heard someone talk about it, I would like to hear from you. Also you may have seen an unknown fruit or vegetable on your travels.
Send me a picture or name of the dish or ingredient, and if I don’t recognise it or do not already have a recipe, I will research it for you…
That’s all for this week…I hope you enjoy the soup…let me know in the comments…I love to chat and hear other ideas
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 vegetables 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 have 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!
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
New additional Blog: http://myhealthyretirement.com/welcome-to-orienthailiving-my-first-post/
If you have missed previous posts in the Cook from Scratch series you can find them here: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/cook-from-scratch-with-sally-and-carol-recipes/
My thanks to Carol for this wonderful start to her new series and I hope you have enjoyed. Please help share the news by sharing. Thanks Sally