Welcome to this month’s post it is the letter P in my tour of the Culinary Alphabet. I had quite a few culinary terms and ingredients to pick from. It is funny how some letters of the alphabet have very few and others you are spoilt for choice.
I think every country in the world has a different version of the pancake or is it a Bellini or a scotch pancake or a hotcake or Khao-Gle-at – Traditional handmade Thai pancakes does it come with lemon and sugar or in a stack or with kimchi. I could go on and on, A pancake comes in so many different ways, made with different flours, fillings and toppings or dips. The list is endless.
I love fresh garden peas and have many fond memories of pea picking on my grandads farm and also sitting at my grandma’s feet and shucking the peas and eating a few as well. Peas come frozen now and also in their pods as sugar snap peas or flat pods called mange tout, all of which I love.
I also remember the processed peas which have a soft, mealy texture which I used to love as a child but no longer and of course if you are eating Fish & Chips in the North of England they would not be eaten without mushy peas. Even the poshest of restaurants now when they serve fish & chips, you can also have a portion of mushy peas. As the price of fish has risen, it is no longer a poor man’s meal.
Fridays in our house, were always Fish & Chips, and something I will be having as soon as I step off the plane onto British soil again. The best way to eat them is straight from the fryer wrapped in newspaper and eaten with salt and malt vinegar, a truly British tradition.
• 2 cups of Aribo Rice
• 1 Litre of chicken stock with a few strands of saffron added.
• 2 Chicken Breasts cubed.
• A piece of Chorizo about 150 gm sliced and quartered.
• I onion.
• 3 cloves garlic.
• 1 chili
• 1 red Pepper.
• ½ kg of Prawns.
• 1 kg of Mussels.
• 5 baby squid.
• Half Lemon.
- Cook Chorizo in tbsp Olive Oil until lightly browned add chopped onion and cook for 2 mins. Put in a dish and leave on one side.
- Lightly Brown Chicken in remaining oil and put on one side.
- Cook cubed red pepper, chili, garlic until softened. and put in a dish on one side.
- Add rice to the pan and stir to cover with remaining oil (can add peas at this point) and add stock cook on rolling simmer 5-10mins or until the rice has nearly absorbed all liquid.
- Add chicken and either continue to cook on the hob or put in the oven on 180 degrees.
- Check and top up with water or stock if required if rice is too dry for 20 mins.
- Add Chorizo and Pepper mix cook for further 10 mins checking and stirring or topping up stock if required.
- Add Prawns and cook for further 10 mins.
- Add Mussels and cook another 8-10 mins until open.
- Add squid for the last 3 mins of cooking.
- Squeeze over lemon and garnish with lemon slices or quarters and if you have parsley in the fridge add some chopped as a garnish. If the rice still has not absorbed all the stock I cook-off on top of stove until absorbed.
Then serve, this is very much a recipe where the amount of stock depends on rice absorption and also what meat or fish you have. If I have some to use or in the freezer then I might add or use chicken thighs instead of breast. The mussels we got yesterday were quite big so we steamed before adding to Paella or if I have just shelled Mussels I stir through.
So really anything goes just you and your imagination, as you make more you will learn how to adjust to your own taste and once the initial prep is done it is quite easy to make, enjoy experimenting. It can also be cooked on a BBQ and then you get that lovely crust the Spanish call socarrat, on the bottom of the pan, lovely.
Is a piece of meat or fish which is pounded until it is very thin and then grilled or sauteed in a pan.
Pancetta is a piece of Italian bacon made of pork belly meat that is salt cured. Pancetta in Italy is typically cooked to add depth to soups and pasta. Wrapped around a chicken breast it keeps the meat lovely and moist and imparts a beautiful smoky flavor.
A Japanese Herb, it is a dark russet dentale, which has a complex sweetness and which is wonderful in meat sauces or used to flavor vinegar.
Pate – Chicken Liver Pate
• 220g/8oz butter.
• 4 shallots chopped.
• 2 cloves, crushed or finely chopped.
• 450g/1lb chicken Livers, trimmed and cut in half.
• 1 tbsp Brandy.
• 1 tsp mustard powder.
• salt and freshly ground black pepper.
• 1 bay leaf, to garnish.
• 2-3 fresh cranberries, to garnish.
- Melt 110g/4oz of the butter in a pan over medium heat, then add the onion and fry until softened, but not colored.
- Add the garlic and chicken livers and fry the livers until golden-brown all over and cooked through.
- Add the brandy and mustard powder and season well with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
- Place the liver mixture and 55g/2oz of the remaining butter into a food processor and blend until smooth. Season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
- Transfer the pâté into a serving ramekin or small dish and decorate with a couple of cranberries and a bay leaf. I use lime leaves as cannot always get fresh bay leaves.
- Melt the remaining 55g/2oz of butter in a clean pan. Skim off the froth and pour the butter over the pâté. Transfer to the fridge to chill, then serve from the ramekin when ready.
A thick paste used as a binding agent for forcemeat stuffing. Flour panadas are made similar to a choux pastry. They can also be made from breadcrumbs or potato.
Now, who doesn’t like a dish of pasta with some lovely fresh pesto drizzled over it so it coats the pasta?
A quick herb pesto made by whizzing coriander, mint or parsley with olive oil, a handful of chopped walnuts and nice hard cheese like parmesan or pecorino takes 3/4 minutes to make.
Much more basil than you can use then make a lovely pesto it will keep in the fridge for at least a week. To make a red pesto just add some lovely skinned ripe tomatoes with the basil.
If you haven’t tried a beetroot pesto then it’s a must if you love beets. It is awesome on toast as a crostini it is to die for.
• Roast two medium beetroots and then skin and chop them.
• 1/2 cup of roasted almonds
• 3 tbsp white wine vinegar
• 3 cloves of garlic finely chopped
• 1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil.
Blitz all the ingredients together.
If you don’t use all your pesto within the week then freeze in ice-cube trays. They can then be popped in a pasta sauce as required.
Similar to the grapefruit but not quite so tart it grows here and is very popular one of my favorite salads is made with Pomelo and called Yum Som O here in Thailand.
My mum used to make pease pudding with boiled bacon a childhood memory and something I haven’t eaten in a long time. Pease pudding, also known as pease pottage or pease porridge, is a savory pudding dish made of boiled legumes, typically split yellow, with water, salt, and spices, and often cooked with a piece of bacon or ham joint. I can also remember the song we used to sing…Pease pudding hot, Pease pudding cold, Pease pudding 9 days old…Can you?
Originating in Hawai the modern day version is the Buddha Bowl. Traditionally made with raw ahi tuna some rice was spooned into a bowl some fresh local fruit and vegetables were added then it was topped with marinated ahi tuna sometimes now tofu is substituted or salmon is often used.
Thank you so much for reading this and please as always let me have your thoughts as I love your comments…Next time the letter ‘Q’…..Have a great week 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 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: Amazon US
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My thanks to Carol for sharing this series with us as she also works on her cookbook and novel this year…As always we are delighted to receive your feedback and if you could share that would be great.. thanks Sally.