Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – The Cookery and Food Column with Carol Taylor – Thai Curry Pastes and #recipes


I hope you enjoy making these curry pastes All these recipes are authentic Thai recipes and very easy to make, most ingredients are available at most major stores or Asian shops around the world.

Thai Curry Pastes made from scratch.

Before we start Thai food is all about the TASTE those important flavours of sweet, sour, hot and salty so my advice always taste and taste again, start with less and taste you can always add you cannot take away.

I am lucky in that I can buy these pastes ready made from the local markets but I know only too well from when I lived in the UK that the ones I could buy were not quite the same and obviously have preservatives in them also Coconut milk always check that it is 100% as they are not always and will split when you cook your curry.

Once you have made these pastes from scratch and tasted the difference between store bought pastes you will never buy them again and apart from the Thai Mussamun curry paste they are quite quick to make.

Pad Thai Paste.

Ingredients:

• 1 to 1.5 tbsp tamarind paste to taste
• ¼ of a cup of chicken stock
• 3 tbsp Fish Sauce
• 1 tbsp soy sauce
• ½ 1 tsp of chilli sauce or 1/3 -3/4 tsp of cayenne pepper
• 1/8 tsp of ground white pepper
• 3-4 tbsp palm sugar or brown sugar

Let’s Cook!

Place all ingredients in a cup and stir to dissolve both tamarind paste and sugar (note you will need lots of sugar to balance out the sourness of the tamarind). When taste-testing, keep in mind the following tips: In order to achieve the best results, your pad Thai sauce should taste sweet first, followed by spicy-salty and sour last.

Add more sugar if it tastes too sour to you, or add more chilli for more intense spiciness.

Also note that the sauce will taste almost too strong at this point, but once distributed throughout the noodles, the flavour will be perfect.

Your pad Thai sauce is now ready to be used, or store it in the refrigerator in a sealed container for up to 2 weeks.

Note: this recipe makes 2/3 cup Pad Thai Sauce (enough for 1 batch of Pad Thai, enough for 9 ounces of noodles to serve 2-4 people)

For an authentic pad Thai soak your noodles prior to cooking in sauce.

Next we have…

Thai Yellow Curry Paste.

This is the curry used to make my favourite Khao Soi Noodle Curry.

Ingredients:

• 1/2 to 1 stalk lemongrass (minced)
• 1 to 2 yellow chillies (sliced)
• 2 shallots (sliced)
• 1 thumb-size piece of galangal (sliced)
• 4 cloves garlic
• 1 tsp coriander (ground)
• 1 tsp cumin (ground)
• 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
• 1/4 tsp cinnamon
• 2 tbsp fish sauce
• 1/2 tsp shrimp paste
• 3/4 tsp turmeric
• 1 large pinch of white pepper
• 2 tbsp brown sugar
• 1 tbsp lime juice
• 1 tbsp tomato puree
• 3 to 5 oz coconut milk

Preparation

Place all ingredients in your food processor or blender. Add more coconut milk as needed to blend ingredients to a smooth paste or sauce.

This paste will store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.

Thai Green Curry

This famous fragrant Thai green curry is sweet and spicy with a touch of bitterness given by the eggplants. It’s virtually known and eaten all over the world but for a truly authentic taste I give you the recipe below.

Ingredients

• 1 tbsp coriander seeds
• 0.5 tbsp cumin seeds
• 1 tbsp white peppercorns
• 3 to 6 green bird-eye chillies (3 chillies for mild, 6 for spicy depending on your spice tolerance or preference.
• 3 tbsp finely chopped galangal
• 1.5 tsp finely chopped coriander root
• 3 tbsp chopped coriander leaves and stems
• 1 tbsp kaffir lime rind
• 2 lemongrass sticks, minced
• 4 cloves garlic
• 2 small shallots, minced
• 1 tsp shrimp paste

Preparation

Using a mortar and pestle, grind the ingredients, adding them little by little into the mortar until you’ve achieved a smooth paste. If you don’t have a mortar, use a food processor (add 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil if using a food processor).

This paste will keep in a sealed bag or container for at least 2/3 weeks.

Next we have Thai red curry…

The red curry paste is a base for many Thai dishes. It uses small dried red chillies, which means it is very hot. Thai Penang curry is used making this paste or it can be used in a stir fry or to make Thai spicy liver (which is very nice)

The recipe given is enough to use in a curry for 4 people.

If you like a milder curry (adjust) the amount of chillies used… For a medium spicy curry, use half of the chillies.

For just a bit spicy, use a quarter of the chillies (the other ingredients remain unchanged).

Ingredients:

• 12 sm dried red chillies stems and seeds removed
• 1 tsp coriander seeds
• 1 tsp cumin seeds
• 1 tsp white peppercorns
• 2 cloves garlic
• 2 stalks lemon grass sliced finely
• 1.5cm galangal chopped
• 1 coriander root
• 4 shallots chopped
• 1 tsp Kaffir lime rind
• 1 tsp fermented shrimp paste.

Preparation

Rehydrate the chillies in hot water for 10-15 minutes, drain, chop and put to one side.

Dry roast coriander, peppercorns, cumin seeds, garlic and shallots until the flavours are released. Put to one side.

Pound the peppercorn, coriander and cumin seeds and lastly the chillies.

When the mixture is smooth add the other ingredients a little at a time or it will be difficult to pound. Pound until smooth and then add the shrimp paste.

If not using immediately, store the curry paste in the fridge, covered by vegetable oil, to protect from oxidation. It can also be stored in the freezer as well, but first add vegetable oil into the paste and mix well

While red and green curry pastes require hard to find ingredients like kaffir lime zests, Mussamun curry paste’s ingredients are easy to find. Most ingredients are available at most grocery stores, especially at Indian markets or Asian stores around the world…

Thai Mussamun Curry Paste.

Compared to other Thai curries, the distinct characteristics of Massumun curry paste is that all ingredients are roasted prior to pounding/grinding. When all the spices are roasted and the aroma fills your kitchen, the real work begins: pounding. When you finally grind everything in your mortar, I promise you the wonderful fragrance from all the spices will fill your kitchen!

Ingredients:

• 4 pods cardamom
• 2 inch piece cinnamon sticks
• 5 cloves
• 1 tbsp of coriander
• 1/3 tbsp cumin
• 4-6 dried whole chillies
• 1/2 inch piece julienne galangal
• 1 head garlic
• 1 stalk lemongrass
• 1/3 tbsp peppercorns
• 1 tbsp salt
• 3 shallots
• 1 tsp shrimp paste
• 1 Mace
• 1 Nutmeg

Preparation

Grill or roast the garlic and the shallots with the skin on. Here in Thailand the garlic and shallots are buried in the ashes below the fire in the charcoal grill. They are then roasted until the skin is charred and the flesh is soft and cooked. This takes 5-10 minutes depending on the method you use. If you haven’t got the BBQ on then you can put them directly over the gas flame and char them that way.

Once they are cooled, then peel the skin and remove any charred spots.

Tear the chilli stems off and remove the seeds. Cut or tear the chillies into big pieces.

Slice the galangal and julienne. Slice the lemongrass thinly. You will only require about half the stalk and use the softer white piece closer to the root.

In a pan over a medium heat, toast the chillies and the lemongrass until slightly browned 2-3 minutes.

Remove from the pan and set to one side and add the remainder of the spices except for the garlic and shallots and toast tem by moving them around the pan or they will burn…roast until they are fragrant about 2 minutes . Remove the spices from the heat.

Start by grinding the chilli peppers with the salt when roughly ground then add the lemongrass. Pound until the lemongrass is roughly ground add all the other spices except for the roast garlic and shallots. Pound until well blended, this can take up to 30 minutes depending on how strong your arms are and the size of your pestle and mortar…Add the roasted garlic and shallots pound until smooth. Lastly add the shrimp paste and pound.
Mussamun Curry Paste should be dark red from the roasted ingredients.

This paste will keep in the fridge for about a month and a year in the freezer.

I hope you have enjoyed these curry recipes and I will let you into a little secret if I make the Mussamun I use my blender.

Obviously in the villages they don’t have the mod cons and are all hand ground, lovely and fragrant.

I hope you have enjoyed this post and let us know if you make the pastes as we love to hear your comments.

Curry made from scratch has so much more of an authentic aroma and flavour and as Carol had demonstrated the pastes can be kept for quite a long time. Impress your family and friends….

The other posts in the series can be found in this directory: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/carol-taylors-food-and-cookery-column-2018/

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

Blog: https://blondieaka.wordpress.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/TheRealCarolT
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/carol.taylor.1422

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/

Thank you for dropping in today and Carol would be delighted to answer any of your questions and we always enjoy your feedback. Thanks Sally

.

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Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – The Cookery and Food Column with Carol Taylor – A veritable feast of Chicken


Carol Cooks! Chicken…

Welcome back to my cookery column I do hope that you enjoyed getting to know me better last week and although I have sung in public I will not be singing any chicken songs today…lol

No… I will be sharing with you some of my favourite chicken recipes most of which can also be made with Pork or Beef…

Chicken is the preferred meat of many people as it is a white meat and depending on how it is cooked low in calories… It is the sauces, the skin and the method of cooking which bumps up its calories and can take it into the unhealthy zone…

They all fight and hover here to see who I am going to bequeath my crispy chicken skin to…lol

I will start by giving you my recipe for chicken stock as I always make my own and freeze in ice cube trays and different portion sizes…Easy to do and lower on the salt and of course any preservatives also cheaper as you can make quite a big quantity I normally make enough for the month at a time.

Chicken Stock.

Ingredients:

  • 2 kg raw good chicken carcasses , legs or wings chopped
  • ½ head garlic , unpeeled and bashed
  • 5 sticks celery , roughly chopped
  • 2 medium leeks , roughly chopped
  • 2 medium onions , roughly chopped
  • 2 large carrots , roughly chopped
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2 sprigs of fresh rosemary
  • 5 sprigs of fresh parsley
  • 5 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 5 whole black peppercorns
  • 6 litres cold water

Let’s Cook!

Place the chicken carcasses, garlic, vegetables, herbs and peppercorns in a large, deep-bottomed pan.

Add the cold water and bring to the boil, skim, turn the heat down to a rolling simmer.

Continue to simmer gently for about 3 hrs, skimming as necessary, finally pass the stock through a fine sieve or muslin.

Allow to cool for about half an hour, and then refrigerate. Once the stock is cold it should look clear and slightly amber in colour. This is where I usually divide mine up at this point and freeze it. It will keep in the fridge for about 4 days and in the freezer for 2-3 months.

Lemon Chicken with asparagus and mushrooms.

Ingredients:

  • 4 chicken breasts
  • 2tbsp coconut oil
  • 4 cloves of garlic crushed
  • 8 oz mushrooms sliced
  • ¾ cup of milk/cream
  • Juice of a Lemon
  • Lemon slices
  • Couple sprigs fresh thyme
  • Salt and pepper to taste.

Let’s Cook!

Heat pan and add 1 tbsp of the oil when the oil is hot add the chicken skin side down, cook for about3 mins both side and set aside.

If required add the remaining oil to the pan and add the garlic, asparagus and mushrooms saute until the asp is lightly browned about 8 mins.

Return the chicken to the pan, add the milk and lemon juice slowly heat, throw in thyme and arrange lemon slices on top of the chicken bring to a very slow simmer then cover the pan and put in a preheated oven until chicken is cooked or if you prefer carry on cooking on the stove top.

Taste and season.

Serve with steamed rice, pasta or zucchini ribbons (zoodles)

We make this dish fairly often and sometimes add a little white wine, capers and flat parsley instead of asparagus.

Chicken and Thai basil.

This is one of my favourite Thai dishes and one I make often it is eaten with sticky rice and is one of little Lily’s favourites as well…She is 5 and eats it with tears rolling down her cheeks and saying Pet which is hot but still eats it…typical Thai…lol

It is quick and easy to make for lunch is Gluten Free… although the name glutinous rice infers it has gluten it does not… it means sticky. The rice is also gluten free.

Ingredients: Serves 2.

  • 200 gm chicken breast
  • 2 shallots sliced thinly
  • Handful coriander chopped
  • Mint a big handful, stripped for the stem
  • A tbsp of ground roasted rice
  • 1-3 tsp dried chilli
  • 2 cheeks of lime
  • 1-2 tbsp Fish Sauce
  • 2 spring onions finely sliced (optional)

Let’s Cook

Firstly cook chicken on a griddle or BBQ until just cooked allow to rest before slicing.

Thinly slice shallots.

Mix with coriander and mint leaves. Thinly slice chicken and add to dish with shallots, mint and coriander. Also, add any juice from the meat. Add fish sauce, dried chillies, roasted rice and lime juice then gently combine and TASTE… Adjust seasoning if required. Taste!

Serve with Sticky rice and a dish of washed Thai vegetables.

The meat for this dish can also be sliced thinly and cooked in a little water which a lot of Thais do…I prefer mine griddled I think it has more taste…

N.B: HOW TO DRY ROAST THE RICE.

Heat a small pan and add a handful of glutinous rice, stir to prevent it burning until the rice has coloured slightly a nice light brown, then remove from the heat and grind in pestle and mortar…Do not grind to a powder it needs to be a little coarse as it gives taste and texture to a dish. It will keep in a sealed container for about 6 weeks.

Enjoy!

Chicken strips can also be threaded onto a skewer and lightly cooked they make a nice little appetizer with peanut sauce…I much prefer the Thai version it has so much more taste that any others I have tried in the past.

Peanut Dip.

Ingredients:

  • 2/3 tbsp dry roasted peanuts grind in pestle and mortar
  • 1/3 cup coconut milk
  • 2 tsp red curry paste
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 2 tsp of tamarind paste.

Let’s Cook!

Put red curry paste in a small pan and gently heat slowly add the coconut milk stirring to keep the mix smooth once all the coconut milk is incorporated with the curry paste then add the remaining ingredients and stir to combine if the sauce is too thick then add a little water until you get your desired thickness.

Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.

Jerk Chicken

Ingredients:

  • 1 big bunch spring onions , roughly chopped
  • thumb-sized piece ginger , roughly chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • ½ a small onion
  • 3 scotch bonnet chillies, deseeded if you want less heat – I can’t always get scotch bonnet chillies so use the small, hot Thai chillies.
  • ½ tsp dried thyme , or 1 tbsp thyme leaves
  • juice 1 lime
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 3 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp ground allspice
  • 1 lime
  • 12 chicken thighs…bone in

Let’s Cook!

To make the jerk marinade, combine all the ingredients in a food processor along with 1 tsp salt, and blend to a purée. If you’re having trouble getting it to blend, just keep turning off the blender, stirring the mixture, and trying again. Eventually it will start to blend up – don’t be tempted to add water, as you want a thick paste.

Taste the jerk mixture for seasoning – it should taste pretty salty, but not unpleasantly, salty. You can now throw in more chillies if it’s not spicy enough for you.
If it tastes too salty and sour, try adding in a bit more brown sugar until the mixture tastes well balanced.

Make a few cuts in the chicken thighs and pour the marinade over the meat, rubbing it into all the crevices. Cover and leave to marinate overnight in the fridge.

If you want to BBQ the chicken, get the coals burning 1 hr or so before you’re ready to cook.

Authentic jerked meats are not exactly grilled as we think of grilling, but sort of smoke-grilled. To get a more authentic jerk experience, add some wood chips to your barbecue, and cook your chicken over slow, indirect heat for 30 mins.

To cook in the oven, heat the oven to180C/160C fan/gas 4. Put the chicken pieces in a roasting tin with the lime halves and cook for 45 mins until tender and cooked through.

Serve with rice and or a mixed salad and a spicy dip if you want more heat.

Enjoy!

I hope you have enjoyed these chicken dishes and there is something which you fancy making… My last dish is chicken with shitake mushrooms and tarragon… If you can’t get shitake mushrooms then normal mushrooms will suffice.

Tarragon Chicken with Shitake Mushrooms.

Ingredients:

  • 8 chicken thighs
  • 200g shitake mushrooms…soaked
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 med onion finely sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 tsp butter
  • 250ml chicken stock or water
  • 300ml double cream
  • 1 tbsp picked tarragon

Let’s Cook!

Slice the soaked mushrooms and leave to one side. Put the olive oil, garlic and onions into a pan with a tsp of butter. Cook until onions start to soften about 5 mins

Season the chicken thighs; add them to the pan and sauté until the skin is crisp and nicely coloured.

Add the stock or water and the mushrooms and simmer for up to 15 minutes until the chicken is cooked. Remove the thighs and leave to rest on a warm plate.

Reserve any liquid from the pan and saute the mushrooms in a teaspoon of butter.

Add the cream, simmer until it reduces by half, and then add the chicken and any remaining stock.

Garnish with the tarragon and serve with a crisp green salad or rice.

Enjoy

That’s all until next week I hope you all have a great week …xx Carol

Sometimes we get into a bit of a rut with our recipes and as we eat a lot of chicken it is great to have all these new ones to try.. thanks to Carol’s efforts in the kitchen.

The other posts in the series can be found in this directory: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/carol-taylors-food-and-cookery-column-2018/

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

Blog: https://blondieaka.wordpress.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/TheRealCarolT
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/carol.taylor.1422

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/

Thank you for dropping in today and Carol would be delighted to answer any of your questions and we always enjoy your feedback. Thanks Sally

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – The Cookery and Food Column with Carol Taylor – #Pork! Perfect!


 

Pork! Perfect!

Welcome once again to Carol’s Cookery column and this week it’s one of our family’s favourite meats after Beef (now) I have found a butcher… I do hope that you enjoyed the Beef recipes last week.

Perfect pork crackling eludes many, and there is many a time when I am screaming at the screen when those cookery contestants don’t get their crackling crispy…

How to get perfect Pork crackling every time.

Nothing is better than perfectly crisp Pork Crackling.

How to achieve it, well, it’s easy!

When you buy your Pork, look for pork which has a layer of fat underneath the skin (this) produces the best crackling.

It has to be thinly scored, for this, I actually use a Stanley Knife and woe betides anyone who uses it for D.I.Y.

The piece of Pork I have pictured is a piece of Belly Pork approx 2 kilos and we scored it and then rolled it.

Right let’s go,

  1. Heat oven and set to 250C.
  2. Next, take a small amount of oil and rub into the skin.
  3. Then generously salt the skin making sure you rub it well into the fat.
  4. You will notice on mine there is sage as we always add herbs to ours.
  5. But just salt is fine.
  6. Put in very hot oven until skin starts to blister up.
  7. If you tap with a knife you can hear it or once you get used to it you can see it blistering up.
  8. But keep an eye on it (as my pic) below shows I took my eye of the ball and burnt the edges.
  9. Reduce heat of the oven to about 170 degrees for the remainder of cooking time which depends on the size and cut off your pork. Pork loin cooks quicker.

You should now have a lovely piece of Pork with crispy crackling and lovely melt in your mouth pork.

Next is one of my favourites and also my favourite rice is when I add some herbs.

Orange Pork with Watercress Rice.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups of rice
  • 1 ¼ lb Pork tenderloin cut into cubes
  • 3 cups of coarsely chopped watercress reserving a few sprigs for garnish.
  • 4-6 cloves of garlic finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 3 tbsp of oil
  • 3 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 2/3 cup Orange marmalade
  • ½ cup of finely julienned ginger
  • Salt and pepper to season

Let’s Cook!

  1. Cook the rice and toss in the watercress with ½ to 1 tbsp oil, cover and leave to stand for at least 10 minutes.
  2. Season the pork and with the pan on a medium heat add the oil and add half of the ginger and cook until the ginger is golden, drain and set to one side.
  3. Add the pork and brown for 3-4 minutes and then remove from the pan.
  4. Add the remainder of the ginger and the garlic and cook for 30 seconds add the marmalade, fish sauce and lime juice bring to a slow rolling boil stirring until it is syrupy then return the pork to the pan simmer for 1 minute and serve over the rice.

Garnish with the crispy ginger and watercress sprigs.

This was very nice, I wasn’t sure about watercress, but the heat of the rice just wilted the watercress, and even hubby liked it….Me, I might add some chilli flakes next time…Just saying…

Pork ribs are the men folks favourite in this house and the dogs as he gets the bones…

Braised Pork Ribs.

This is by far the best recipe I have eaten so far for ribs. I nearly didn’t eat them as I am not a fan of chewing on a rib, however, the meat on these was so moist and soft it just fell off the bone. We cooked it as one whole piece rather than cut the ribs into portions.

Ingredients:

  • A 2-kilo piece of Pork Rib.
  • For the marinade.
  • 160 ml Hoisin sauce
  • 4 tbsp BLACK Soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp fresh orange juice and the grated zest.
  • 4 tbsp raw brown sugar
  • 10cm piece of fresh ginger julienned
  • 4 cloves of garlic crushed
  • 2 tsp Chinese 5 spice powder
  • 2 sticks of cinnamon
  • 4-star anise

Let’s Cook!

  1. Mix all of the above ingredients together.
  2. Then paint over the rack of ribs and put in the fridge for at least an hour to marinate and absorb all those lovely flavours.
  3. Pre-heat oven to 190 degrees.
  4. Cover the dish with foil and cook the ribs for 2 ½ to 3 hrs, basting the meat occasionally.
  5. When nice and tender remove from the oven and portion up and those lovely leftover juices from the pan we drizzled over the ribs and served them with a mixed salad, potato salad, and beetroot.

A finger bowl and serviettes were required as they made for quite a messy eating but very enjoyable and we would definitely make them again.

Enjoy!

These spicy rice balls are a lovely way to use up any leftover cooked rice and are quite delicious. They are one of the first things I was taught to cook by my daughter in law more years ago than I care to remember. Whenever we have a party or anything they are one of the first things to be eaten, adults and kids alike they love them.

We had these last night and we did have a couple left over….. Guess what I have just had with some ginger and chilli, lime juice squeezed over it and wrapped in a white cabbage leaf… all the Thai flavours and textures…so yummy!

Spicy Pork, rice and coconut balls.

Ingredients:

  • 500 gm cold cooked rice.
  • 250 gm minced pork.
  • 150 gm coconut flesh. I have a funny little gadget that I bought long ago and I scrape the flesh out of a fresh coconut…
  • 1-3 tbsp of red curry paste.
  • 2-3 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tsp sugar.
  • 2 eggs beaten.

Let’s Cook!

  1. Mix all ingredients together it will be slightly sticky.
  2. With wet hands shape the mixture into medium sized balls about 3-4 cm.
  3. Heat the oil until hot but not smoking as the outside will cook before the inside and cook rice balls 15-20 minutes until brown and cooked through.

Enjoy!

I hope you enjoy these Pork recipes until next time…stay safe , have fun and laugh a lot xxx

Another fantastic collection of recipes and my thanks to Carol for spending so much time in the kitchen again this week, creating such tempting dishes.

The other posts in the series can be found in this directory: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/carol-taylors-food-and-cookery-column-2018/

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/

Blog: https://blondieaka.wordpress.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/TheRealCarolT
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/carol.taylor.1422

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/

Thank you for dropping in today and Carol would be delighted to answer any of your questions and we always enjoy your feedback. Thanks Sally

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


Welcome… I hope you have all had a enjoyable weekend and the weather has been kind to you…We have been celebrating Thai New Year…Songkran which is three days of sunshine and water… I have been very wet but in this heat it was most welcome however three days of running the gauntlets at my age is wearing a bit thin so yesterday I pulled the age card and said no more I do not want to go shopping soaking wet and with a floured face…Luckily I got away with it…lol

Peppercorns are something I use daily in my kitchen either fresh as pictured or freshly ground. I use black, white and green peppercorns which are all from the same seed of the same plant they are just at different stages of their development.

You then get the pink peppercorns!

Peppercorns don’t go through the same ripening cycles as many fruits and vegetables …nope nothing like it so come with me…

They look very pretty…Don’t they? Do you know which one is the odd one out?

Black Peppercorns.

I have always assumed black peppercorns were at the final stage of development …not so although they have nearly reached maturity they are not quite ripe.

When they have been harvested they are then dried in the sun and it is the enzymes in the berries which causes the skin to turn black.

Black peppercorns also are the strongest flavoured of the peppercorn family.

For the fullest flavour black pepper is best freshly ground as required as left whole they retain their freshness, flavour and essential oils.

Kept whole and in a sealed container and kept cool and dry they will keep for up to a year. Once ground or cracked the flavour decreases after about 4 months.

Black pepper is the fruit of the black pepper plant from the Piperaceae family and is both used as a spice and for medicinal purposes. The chemical piperine, present in black pepper, causes the spiciness. Since ancient times, black pepper is one of the most widely-traded spices in the world. It is not a seasonal plant and is, therefore, available throughout the year. It is when it is dried, that this plant-derived spice is referred to as a peppercorn.

Because of its antibacterial properties, pepper is used to preserve food. Black pepper is also a very good anti-inflammatory agent.

Black pepper is also the agent which makes the turmeric such a powerful drink for you health and well being when you make Golden Milk.

White Peppercorns

The mature peppercorn berries are red…The red berries when harvested are soaked using a process known as retting in water for about a week during which time the flesh softens and decomposes the flesh is then rubbed off leaving the seed which is then dried in the sun.

The red ones are also brined or pickled.

White pepper has a different taste to black pepper it is milder and generally used in cookery when mashing potatoes or making light coloured sauces or dishes where the black specs of pepper would spoil the look of the dish or where a milder pepper is required.

It is also more expensive than black pepper.

Green Peppercorns

Green peppercorns are the unripe fruit and they are often pickled in vinegar or brine or dehydrated/freeze dried which enhances the flavour.

Picked at the same time the green peppercorns are not allowed to dry whereas some are dried to produce the black peppercorn.

Fresh green peppercorns are used a lot in Thai cooking if I am just cooking a quick stir fry for me I take about 75/100 gms of sliced pork loin or chicken and stir fry it in some Thai red curry paste to which I add a little fish sauce and some coconut milk I then cook it over a fairly high heat until it is quite dry and add some fresh peppercorns and maybe a squeeze of lime it all depends how I feel. If I am eating it with sticky rice I prefer it drier but if I am eating it with steamed rice I leave the sauce a little runnier.

That’s a Carol special for me though as I like it super hot sometimes for the family I bring it down a little they love the flavour of a lovely peppercorn sauce over meat or fish although the recipe for fish is slightly different.

This Pork is a family favourite.

Pork shoulder with peppercorn sauce.

Ingredients:

  • Lean pork shoulder slices
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic finely chopped
  • A pint of fresh stock.
  • Cup of full cream milk
  • 5/6 stems of fresh peppercorns
  • Half tbsp Worcester sauce (optional)
  • Corn flour or arrowroot to thicken sauce.
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.

Let’s Cook!

Before I start I will just say we make this recipe quite often and as many of you will know I go by taste rather than exact amounts.

Season the slices of shoulder portions with salt, pepper and little olive oil and cook in the oven about 180 turning and basting for about 30-40 minutes depending on the size/ thickness of your portions.

To make the sauce saute the garlic in a little olive oil and butter then add the stock and let simmer for a couple of minutes then add Worcestershire sauce if using and milk. Season with salt and plenty of black pepper.

Thicken the sauce with a corn flour or arrowroot slurry to your desired thickness. I now add the sauce to my pork and cover the pan so that the sauce doesn’t cook away. We like it like this as the meat juices and garlic add extra flavour to the sauce and then cook for a further 30 minutes or until meat is lovely and tender. Stir in your fresh peppercorns and check the seasoning.

We then serve with rice and green vegetables but it is also lovely with potatoes either mashed or new potatoes.

Enjoy!

Unless your peppercorns are super fresh they will sometimes turn black with cooking this does not detract from the flavour.

I also freeze peppercorns if I am not using them all straightaway this also turns them black but they are still ok to use although I use within about 2 weeks of freezing them.

Now Pink Peppercorns are totally unrelated to the other peppercorns and are also known as the Christmas berry or Florida Berry. The pink peppercorn is mildly spicy and often found in a mixed pepper pot.

Just crushed with green, white or black peppercorns they make a lovely seasoning for steak or fish, mixed into a salad dressing or added to minced meat when making a burger.

That’s all from me for this week I hope you al have a lovely and productive week and all of you who have been nominated for a Bloggers Bash award I wish you all good luck although I think you are all winners.

Until next week … Carol J x

I am very grateful to Carol for all the hard work that goes into these posts, especially this week when celebrating Thai New Year.

The other posts in the series can be found in this directory: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/carol-taylors-food-and-cookery-column-2018/

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/

Blog: https://blondieaka.wordpress.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/TheRealCarolT
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/carol.taylor.1422

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/

Looking forward to your comments and any questions that you have for Carol, and it would be great if you could hit a few share buttons..thanks Sally

 

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Carol Taylor’s Cookery Column – A three course meal via Cook From Scratch


Carol is taking a well earned break from the column this week as her grandchildren will be on holiday in Thailand and hopefully she will be out of the kitchen enjoying the lovely weather.

We thought that after what was probably a slightly more food orientated Easter that you might enjoy some of Carol’s lighter but delicious recipes from the start of the Cook From Scratch series last year.

Here is a three course meal…starting with a soup that have tried and recommend.

 

Tom Yum Soup with Prawns (Tom Yum Goong)

This is one of my favourite Thai soups and the first time I made it from scratch I questioned the colour as in many restaurants it is a bright orange colour. It is because a Tom Yum paste or stock cube is used…This one is made from scratch it also doesn’t have that sharp taste but is more mellow and I think more pleasant.

Ingredients:

  • 2 litres of water
  • 4 stalks of lemongrass
  • 1 inch chunk of galangal
  • 10 kaffir lime leaves
  • 10 Thai chillies
  • 5 cloves of garlic
  • 500gm Prawns
  • 300 grams of oyster mushrooms
  • 2 medium tomatoes cut into quarters.
  • 2 white onions (medium-sized) cut into large chunks.
  • 1 and half teaspoons of sugar
  • 7 – 10 tablespoons of fish sauce (depending on your taste)
  • Juice of 5 -8 limes.
  • Handful of cilantro ( Coriander)

N.B Next time I will use shallots instead of white onions and I recommend using lowest amounts of limes and fish sauce and Taste! Adjust if necessary as everyone’s taste varies.

Lets Cook!

First thing to do is put about 2 litres of water in a large pot to boil. Then I like to start by squeezing my limes. This is not the first step of the recipe, but it’s best to have your limes squeezed so when you need them later, you don’t need to rush to squeeze them all.

Take your stalks of lemongrass, and first tear off the outermost leaf and throw it out. Then, I like to use a rolling-pin or the handle end of a knife to lightly pound the lemongrass to release the flavours. Then just slice it diagonally into 1 inch strips or so.

Take about 1 thumb sized chunk of the root part of galangal, and chop it into slices.
Coarsely break about 10 kaffir lime leaves – no need to cut them, just tear them – which is going to help release their flavour.

Peel about 5 cloves of garlic.

I used about 10 Thai bird chilli for this recipe, but you can use however many you like. First, take off the stem, and then you can either just slice them in two pieces, or give them a little pound on your cutting board like I did (just be careful of flying seeds). You can also remove the seeds if you’d still like the chilli flavour but not as much heat.

Throw the lemongrass, galangal, kaffir lime leaves, garlic and chillies into the water.

You can put the lid on just so it starts to boil which releases the herb flavours quicker.

Now prepare your prawns I remove everything except for the tail…..others put in whole peeled prawns…personal preference.

Boil your soup with all the herbs in it for about 10 minutes.

Then add your mushrooms, which you should pre rinse beforehand.

Cook for 4-5 minutes.

Add tomatoes and onions.

Cook for further 6-8 minutes.

Now add prepared prawns and cook for 2-3 mins max (if overcooked the prawns will sink to the bottom of the pan. If you get any scum on the surface of soup it’s from the prawns then just skim off with a spoon.

Remove from heat and stir in fish sauce, lime juice, sugar and cilantro.

Taste and adjust if necessary. This delicious soup is now ready to serve.

Orange pork with watercress rice. Serves 2/3 people

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups of rice
  • 1 ¼ lb Pork tenderloin cut into cubes
  • 3 cups of coarsely chopped watercress reserving a few sprigs for garnish.
  • 4-6 cloves of garlic finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 3 tbsp of oil
  • 3 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 2/3 cup Orange marmalade
  • ½ cup of finely julienned ginger
  • Salt and pepper to season

Let’s Cook

Cook the rice and toss in the watercress with ½ to 1 tbsp oil, cover and leave to stand for at least 10 minutes.

Season the pork and with the pan on a medium heat add the oil and add half of the ginger and cook until the ginger is golden, drain and set to one side.

Add the pork and brown for 3-4 minutes and then remove from the pan. Add the remainder of the ginger and the garlic and cook for 30 seconds add the marmalade, fish sauce and lime juice bring to a slow rolling boil stirring until it is syrupy then return the pork to the pan simmer for 1 minute and serve over the rice.

Garnish with the crispy ginger and watercress sprigs.

This was very nice I wasn’t sure about watercress but the heat of the rice just wilted the watercress and it was very nice even hubby liked it….Me, I might add some chilli flakes next time…Just saying…

I hope you have enjoyed this little foray into the world of the watercress aquatic plant species its health benefits and recipes…

And for dessert…..Green tea Ice-cream

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups half & half or 2 cups whole milk + 2 cups heavy cream.
  • 5 tbsp matcha green tea powder.
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • Pinch sea salt salt

Lets Cook!

Start by freezing the ice cream bowl for at least 12 hours.

In a medium saucepan whisk together your cream, sugar and salt then over a medium heat start to heat the cream mixture and add the green tea powder stirring often and making sure all the powder has dissolved and there are no lumps. Heat until the mixture reaches a soft rolling boil.

Remove from the heat and place in a bowl which is sitting in water filled with ice. When the mixture is cool, cover with plastic wrap and put in the freezer.

After about 45 minutes check and if it has started to freeze around the edges then remove from the freezer and beat it to break up any frozen pieces then return to the freezer.

Check the mixture about every 30 minutes stirring vigorously as it is freezing.

Obviously if you have an ice cream maker then follow those instructions I don’t I have to use elbow grease or you can use a hand held mixer.

Keep checking and repeating the above step until your ice cream is lovely and smooth…It should be ready in 2-3 hours.

Enjoy!

I hope you will enjoy putting this three course meal together and Carol will be back again next week with her regular column.

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/

Blog: https://blondieaka.wordpress.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/TheRealCarolT
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/carol.taylor.1422

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/

Looking forward to your comments and it would be great if you could hit a few share buttons..thanks Sally

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Carol Taylor’s Food Column – Easter celebrations around the World and Baked Easter Treats.


This week Carol Taylor shares us the recipes for two sweet Easter treats that will please all the family… and getting the children involved in the kitchen produces some creative biscuits.

Easter Time will you have sun or snow? Easter is a time for Easter egg hunts and pretty coloured eggs …For prettily iced Easter biscuits…A time for kids who just love it!

How does the rest of the world celebrate Easter…? Bermudians they make pretty coloured kites with long tails, eat codfish cakes and Hot cross buns.

In the Netherlands a favourite Easter dish is waffles drizzled with Advocaat.

For many Europeans it’s bonfires on Easter Sunday and Monday which legend tells us is to chase away the winter darkness. It is traditional to sit around the bonfire and consume copious amounts of Gin, lager for the boys and snack…No mention of Easter eggs or hot cross buns here…

Ahhhh… The Swedes love their pickled fish and a popular dish is Janssons Temptation which is potato, onions, pickled sardines or sprats baked in cream…How yummy does that sound?…A recipe for my cook book methinks!

The children they dress up as Easter witches and exchange their drawing for sweets.

Now one for the readers…In Norway Easter is known as Easter Crime or Paaskekrim and the Easter weekend is spent watching crime shows on TV, reading Crime Books or playing Yahtzee now that sounds like a plan! Not an egg in sight…

As this is a cookery column I suppose I better do less chat and cook…

Pineapple Carrot Cake.

This is a really lovely moist cake and we all liked the addition of the pineapple and for Easter. You could also add some of those little carrot icing shapes you can buy but it is so hot here that the icing melts within minutes as you can see………

Ingredients:

• 2 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
• 2 tsp baking powder
• 1 tsp baking soda
• 1/2 tsp salt
• 1 and 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
• 1/2 tsp EACH ground cloves, ground ginger, + ground nutmeg
• 1 cup coconut oil
• 1 and 1/4 cup packed light or dark brown sugar
• 1/3 cup granulated sugar
• 4 large eggs, at room temperature
• 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
• 3 large carrots, grated (about 2 cups)
• 1 cup (8 ounces) crushed pineapple, drained
• 1 cup chopped walnuts

Cream Cheese Frosting

• 8 ounces full-fat block cream cheese, softened to room temperature
• 1/2 cup butter, softened to room temperature
• 3 cups icing sugar, plus an extra 1/4 cup if needed
• 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
• 1/8 tsp salt

Let’s Cook!

Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C) and grease a 9×13 inch pan. I always use my glass dish.

Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and other spices together in a large bowl. Set aside.

Whisk the oil, brown sugar, granulated sugar, eggs, and vanilla extract together in a medium bowl. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and whisk until combined.

Fold in the grated carrots, pineapple, and walnuts.

Spread batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 45-55 minutes. Baking times vary, so keep an eye on yours.

The cake is done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. If you find the top or edges of the cake is/are browning too quickly in the oven, loosely cover it with aluminum foil.

Remove the cake from the oven and set on a wire rack. Allow to cool completely. After about 45 minutes, I usually place it in the refrigerator to speed things up it’s so hot here nothing cools down properly unless you put it in the fridge.

Make the frosting:

In a large bowl using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle or whisk attachment, beat the cream cheese and butter together on high speed until smooth and creamy.

Add the icing sugar, vanilla, and salt. Beat on low speed for 30 seconds, then switch to high speed and beat for 2 minutes.

If you want the frosting a little thicker, add the extra 1/4 cup of icing sugar (I added it).

Spread the frosting on the cooled cake.

Refrigerate for 30 minutes before serving. This helps sets the frosting and makes cutting easier.

Cover leftover cake tightly and store in the refrigerator for 5 days although that was immaterial here it just disappears…lol

Easter biscuits I left to the kids and they did a great job…little Lily loves cooking …

Lily’s Biscuits.

I have my little 5 yr old granddaughter staying with me and she loves to cook.
Obviously, I supervise her and do anything which would not be safe for her to do but she sieves the flour, mixes and rolls out. She cut out her shapes and iced the biscuits herself and put the sprinkles on. They had to be pink though she didn’t want yellow and green…lol

Ingredients:

• 140 gm of butter
• 100 gm of soft brown sugar
• 3 tbsp golden syrup
• 1/2 tsp vanilla essence
• 350 gm flour
• 1 tsp baking soda
• 1 egg beaten

Let’s Cook

Melt the butter, sugar and syrup and then let it cool for 10 minutes.

Sieve the flour, baking soda and pour in the melted butter plus the egg. Stir to combine.

Wrap in cling film and chill for at least 10 minutes

When chilled roll out to 5 mm thick and cut out shapes. Put on a baking tray lined with parchment and bake at 200C for about 12 minutes until golden turning the tray halfway through cooking.

Turn out onto a wire tray to cool down.

When the cake is cold ice the top of the cake…

Lily wanted pink and white with sugar strands so everything was pink…lol
The icing apart from the first one when I showed her how to flood the biscuits she did herself…

It is the first time I have used this particular biscuit recipe but it is nice and the biscuits are quite soft in the middle but firm on the outside when cooked.

I would use again as it is nice and firm , easy for kids to cut out it is a little crumbly and soft when not cooked but manageable..Well Lily managed so I am sure anyone else can.

That’s all for my Easter bakes… No more cakes for a while…lol

What is your favourite Easter bake or tradition? Please tell us in comments…Happy Baking xxx

My thanks to Carol for another great column and it is just as well we are not neighbours… I would be over there every day for elevenses…. (lovely though that would be).

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/

Blog: https://blondieaka.wordpress.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/TheRealCarolT
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/carol.taylor.1422

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/

Looking forward to your comments and it would be great if you could hit a few share buttons..thanks Sally

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Carol Taylor’s Food Column – Hot Cross Buns and Fish Balls.


This week Carol Taylor shows us how to prepare Hot Cross Buns and Fish Balls (sorry Carol but I am sure there is a joke in there somewhere).

There have been packets of hot cross buns in our supermarket for the last four weeks, all with long expiry dates (suspicious)… make your own from scratch and enjoy not just the flavour but the knowledge that you getting the real thing.

Carol Taylor’s Food Column – Hot Cross Buns and Fish Balls.

Yes it’s that time of the year nearly Easter although Easter Sunday falls on the 1st of April this year which is also April Fools Day

How many of you remember singing one a penny, two a penny, Hot cross buns or am I showing my age?

It became an English language Nursery Rhyme and a street cry referring to those spicy Easter buns…associated with the end of Lent.

The earliest record in Poor Robins Almanac in 1733 was as follows:-

Good Friday comes this month.
The old woman runs with one a penny, two a penny hot cross buns.

I remember the warm hot cross buns and going with mum to the fishmonger as in England fish is traditionally eaten on Good Friday to get the fish and the fresh parsley for the sauce.

Steamed cod with parsley sauce, fresh carrots and peas from the garden and mashed potatoes…I still remember that and how good it tasted unfortunately I can’t get Cod here although we get lots of other fresh seafood’s.

We had until lunchtime to get anything we needed as the shops then closed and didn’t open until Tuesday morning unlike today when Easter opening times are not observed by many retail shops any more.

So without further ado here is your recipe for Hot cross Buns so you can have them tomorrow hot from the oven. Well you have to do a test run don’t you? That one above didn’t last long and as you can see hubby loves his butter.

Hot Cross Buns.

Ingredients: For the dough

• 450g strong white flour, plus extra for dusting
• 2 x 7g sachets easy-blend yeast
• 50g caster sugar …I use natural golden sugar.
• 150ml warm milk
• 1 egg, beaten
• 50g butter, melted, plus extra for greasing
• oil, for greasing
• 1 tsp Himalayan Salt…ordinary salt is ok.

The spices and dried fruit

• 1 tsp ground cinnamon
• ½ tsp mixed spice
• ¼ tsp grated nutmeg
• 100g currants
• Optional: Orange or lemon zest.

To decorate

• 4 tbsp plain flour
• 2 tbsp granulated sugar.

Let’s Cook!

Put the flour, yeast, castor sugar and 1 tsp salt into a large mixing bowl with the spices and dried fruit and mix together. If you want to add a little lemon or orange zest it can be added now.

Make a well in the centre and pour in the warm milk, 50ml warm water, the beaten egg and the melted butter. Mix everything together to form dough I always start with a wooden spoon and finish with my hands. If the dough is too dry, add a little more warm water; if it’s too wet, add more flour.

Knead in the bowl or on a floured surface until the dough becomes smooth and springy.

Transfer to a clean, lightly greased bowl and cover loosely with a clean, damp tea towel.

Leave the dough in a warm place to rise until roughly doubled in size – this will take about 1 hr depending on how warm the room is.

Tip the risen dough onto a lightly floured surface. Knead for a few secs, and then divide into 12 even portions – I roll my dough into a long sausage shape, then quarter and divide each quarter into 3 pieces. Shape each portion into a smooth round and place on a baking sheet greased with butter, leaving some room between each bun for it to rise.

Use a small, sharp knife to score a cross on the top of each bun, then cover with the damp tea towel again and leave in a warm place to prove for 20 mins until almost doubled in size again.

Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas

When the buns are ready to bake, mix the plain flour with just enough water to give you a thick paste. Spoon into a piping bag (or into a plastic food bag and snip the corner off) and pipe a white cross into the crosses you cut earlier.

Bake for 12-15 mins until the buns are golden and sound hollow when tapped on the bottom. While still warm, melt the granulated sugar with 1 tbsp water in a small pan, then brush over the buns.

Tip: I put my mix for the cross in one of those plastic refill sauce bottles as I find I get all sorts of shape and size of cross if I use a piping bag/greaseproof paper clumsy klutz that I am..Ha ha.

Hot from the Oven! Yum now legend tells us that if sharing a hot cross bun with another is supposed to ensure friendship throughout the coming year, particularly if “Half for you and half for me, Between us two shall goodwill be” is said at the time or if hung in the kitchen they are said to protect against fire and all bread will turn out okay this is replaced every year. And I’m sure there are lots more traditions but I just want the butter to put on my bun.

Enjoy your buns with plenty of butter fresh from the oven.

Fish Balls.

As I can’t get Cod here and also because these are really nice I have lovely recipe for fish balls with parsley sauce. I remember my mum used to get a nice piece of Cod and cook it in milk with a bay leaf and other seasonings. Make her parsley sauce and pour over the fish……I have really happy memories of that but I have tweaked the recipe a little(don’t tell my mum) instead of a piece of fish I will be making fish balls but the white sauce recipe will be my mums..Untouched by time or me.

Ingredients:

• A half a kilo of firm white fish.
• 2 eggs
• 1/2 to 3/4 cup of milk or cream.
• Flour to bind the fish balls together.
• 1tsp of onion powder…I chop the white part of a spring onion(green onion) very finely…I just don’t do powders
• Some fresh basil washed, leaves picked and finely chopped.
• 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
• Fresh parsley washed and chopped.

Let’s Cook

Depending on your fish…pin bone it. Unless its fillets and you know there are no bones.

Mix all the ingredients together and blitz in the food processor.

Put mixture in the fridge for 1 and a half to 2 hours.

Meanwhile, if you haven’t got fish stock already made then get making or fish stock cubes are okay.

Because a lot of fish is eaten here I can always get fish to make stock and freeze it.

When your mixture is ready to cook, bring your fish stock to the boil at this point if you are making these for a special occasion or just because you want to …add a glass of white wine.

Using spoons dipped in cold water or your hands make golf ball sized balls.

I would recommend doing a tester as if it falls apart you will need to add more flour to the mix.

If they are okay then cook in batches until they are all cooked. Reserve the fish stock for your sauce.

To make the sauce:

Melt 1 tbsp of butter in a pan; add 1 tbsp of flour to make a roux.

I use 1/2 cup of fish stock plus 1/4 cup of milk/cream. Gradually stir this in until it is all incorporated and you have a nice smooth sauce.

Remove from the heat and add lemon or lime juice, season with salt and black pepper and stir in 1/2 cup of washed and chopped parsley.

Serve with mashed potatoes and carrots or if they are in season, some lovely Jersey

Royal potatoes, carrots or peas.

N.B we also love this sauce with home cooked ham and carrots/peas and potatoes of your choice.

I hope you enjoy these Easter recipes what do you traditionally eat at Easter? Please let me know…I would love to hear as I know Easter food varies around the world…Here Easter is not celebrated as it is a Christian celebration.

Until next week when I will bring you some recipes for Easter biscuits and maybe a pudding…nothing fancy as I am not a baker really…

You can find my previous columns in the directory: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/carol-taylors-food-column-2018/

A huge thanks to Carol for her commitment to providing these recipes for us by slaving over a hot stove…. especially as they have been enjoying 90 degree heat for the last few days. As she keeps telling me as I lamented our snowed in status…..thanks Carol..

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/

Blog: https://blondieaka.wordpress.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/TheRealCarolT
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/carol.taylor.1422

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/

Looking forward to your comments and it would be great if you could hit a few share buttons..thanks Sally

Smorgasbord Invitation Blog Magazine – Carol Taylor’s Food Column – The wonder tree…Jack Fruit!


The wonder tree…Jack Fruit! by Carol Taylor

Wow, doesn’t time just fly by? I can’t believe it has been a week and what a response I got to the soups so thank you for all your kind comments…I thought I would have a change this week and showcase a fruit of which Thailand is a major producer The jackfruit, they are often cut, prepared, and canned in a sugary syrup (or frozen in bags/boxes without syrup) and exported overseas, frequently to North America and Europe. Made into chips which are very moreish …They are also used in various dishes and curries around Asia…

Many people refer to the jackfruit tree as a wonder tree this is because every part of the tree has its own use. The fruits are eaten, the leaves are fed to livestock, and the wood is greatly valued for the manufacture of wood products because of its termite and fungus proof properties and the roots used in natural medicine to treat fevers, asthma and diarrhoea.

How to prepare the Jackfruit… If I am using green Jackfruit like the recipe below then I just take one from my tree, if I want the ripe arils I generally buy them ready prepared as those of you who have prepared your own Jackfruit know that it has a latex sap…

I have heard and quite recently…my lips are sealed…lol, some horror stories when one doesn’t know how to prepare this amazing fruit.

An old knife and cooking oil…lots of it…

Firstly, coat your gloved hands and a long, sharp knife with cooking oil. A spray cooking oil works well — to protect against that stubborn latex sap.

Cover the work surface with something disposable….lots of newspaper.

Cut the fruit in half lengthwise and then lengthwise again into quarters; the cut skin and core will release the sap. Re-grease the knife after each cut.

Cut out the solid white core and discard any fibrous filaments around the fruit pods.

If you do get ooze on your hands, don’t worry – just put some oil on your hands, and wash them in warm water, it will be gone in no time!

Easy when you know how…Here is a short video for you…I am a visual person and find it much easier when I watch the video…the pause button is a wonderful thing…

I also just prefer to oil my hands as when I use gloves they are guaranteed to stick to the latex…I probably don’t oil them enough…But I prefer oiled hands

In Asia, jackfruits ripen principally from March to June, April to September, or June to August, depending on the climatic region, with some off-season crops from September to December, you may also find a few fruits at other times of the year.

My tree in my garden has started to produce fruit and to stop the squirrels helping themselves I will be covering the fruits in plastic bags… But as you can see they are growing nicely and there are a lot of little babies as well.

The jackfruit’s flesh is very sweet and aromatic and tastes like a combination of banana, mango and papaya.

Because of certain similarities in appearance the oval shape and spiky exterior some people mistake the jackfruit for Durian which is another exotic fruit; however, they are very different fruits.

The ripe jackfruit is eaten as a fruit but unripe jackfruit is prepared as a vegetable. Young jackfruit is used in stews or curries, boiled, roasted; or fried and eaten as a snack. The seeds can also be eaten as a snack after being boiled and then roasted.

Jackfruit is also becoming a popular alternative to meat for vegans, vegetarians and anyone wanting to adopt a healthier lifestyle as when cooked the texture is similar to pulled pork.

Today I will be making a spicy jackfruit salad which in Thai is called Tam Khanun or Tam banun it is made by pounding boiled jackfruit with chilli paste and then stir frying.

First step over and that was cutting the Jackfruit…I can guarantee if you use an oiled knife and grease your hands the latex doesn’t stick…You do have to keep re-greasing the knife though but any which attached itself came off easily with the cooking oil..

My jackfruit slices are now simmering gently on the stove…

Once they are tender and cooled down enough for me to remove the outer skin I will be doing so…

Ingredients for Tam Kanun:

  • 400 gm green, young Jackfruit
  • 100 gm minced pork
  • 5 kaffir lime leaves
  • 1 tbsp chopped garlic
  • 10 Cherry tomatoes cut in quarters.
  • 3- 6 tsp Chilli paste ( depending on your taste)

To serve:

  • 2 spring onions sliced
  • 5 dried birds eye chillies fried
  • 1 tbsp fried garlic.
  • 1 tbsp coriander

Let’s Cook!

Once cooked drain the jackfruit well, pound in a pestle and mortar and set to one side. I had heard cooked this looks like pulled pork and it does…

Heat a little oil in a pan and fry the garlic until it is nicely browned add the chilli paste and stir fry for a minute.

Add the minced pork and stir fry until it is cooked 3-4 minutes stirring frequently. Add the tomatoes and the jackfruit stir fry to combine well add the kaffir lime leaves and remove from the heat.

Serve with sticky rice and the fried garlic, chillies, spring onions and coriander as garnish.
This is the first time I have made or eaten this dish… I was very pleasantly surprised if I hadn’t cooked it and it was put in front of me I would never have known it was

Jackfruit…Truly ☺ What do you think??

Tam Kanun Spicy Jackfruit Salad… we all loved it and I would definitely make it again.

The ripe Jackfruit arils (pictured) below are eaten here with sticky rice just pushed into the centre.

They also make a lovely ice cream which if you swop the whipping cream for soy milk is suitable for vegans.

Jackfruit Ice Cream.

Ingredients:

  • 300 gm of the ripe arils (as above)
  • 10gm sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt
  • 120 gm coconut milk
  • 200 gm whipped cream.

Let’s Cook!

Chop the jackfruit and put in a pan with the sugar cook until the fruit turns to pulp about 30/40 mins depending on how ripe your fruit is. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.

Place the cooled mixture in the blender with the salt, vanilla extract and the coconut milk and blend until smooth… Chill overnight in the fridge.

Next day whip your cream and fold the jackfruit mix into the whipped cream and place in your ice cream maker following their instructions.

If you are not using an ice cream maker then put in the blender and pulse 3 times.

Put into an airtight container and freeze for 6 hours.

Enjoy!

That’s all for this week so until next week when I will be back to European food…Have fun, stay safe and laugh a lot.

And if you have children or grandchildren they might enjoy this video cartoon on the Jackfruit that they can sing along to.

And don’t forget any questions or recipes you want me to find for you please ask…
Carol x

You can find my previous columns in the directory: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/carol-taylors-food-column-2018/

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/

Blog: https://blondieaka.wordpress.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/TheRealCarolT
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/carol.taylor.1422

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 showing us how to prepare this exotic if complex fruit… considering the nutrients it contains, well worth the effort. I know she would love your feedback. thanks Sally

Smorgasbord Review 2017 – Cook from Scratch with Sally and Carol Taylor – Don’t forget to eat your Purples – The Aubergine


 

This was the most viewed post of the Cook from Scratch with myself and Carol Taylor… I hope many more people are including the wonderful aubergines in their diet after reading these recipes.

Welcome to the series where I provide the nutritional health benefits for a food and Carol Taylor works all week in the kitchen to provide delicious recipes to include in your regular diet. I hope you will go over to her new blog which she has just started: http://myhealthyretirement.com/welcome-to-orienthailiving-my-first-post/ and discover more about her beautiful home in Thailand.

Before we enjoy another wonderful selection of recipes from Carol Taylor it is time to look at the health benefits of this richly coloured vegetable.

Don’t forget to eat your purples! – The Augergine history and health benefits.

There are certain foods that on my shopping list regularly as daily or weekly additions to our diet and others that we might have a little less often.. One of these is aubergines which I love but only eat occasionally as I have a tendency towards gallstones. If you do not suffer from either gallstones or kidney stones then you can enjoy a couple of times a week at least.

We were all encouraged to eat our ‘greens’ when we were children, and we know that the brighter the food colour the more anti-oxidants they contain, but I cannot recollect being told to eat my ‘purples’. But it is this colour which gives this food its uniqueness.

When we are enjoying a moussaka or ratatouille made with this versatile food we don’t tend to dwell on its medicinal properties, but like the majority of fresh produce we eat, aubergines have some powerful health benefits.

The History of the aubergine.

The aubergine has its origins in ancient India and is mentioned by different names in Sanskrit, Bengali and Hindustani languages.  It was grown in China as well but only came to Europe around 1,500 years ago.  There is no Latin or Greek name for it but there are Arabic and North African names indicating that it came to this continent via that trade route.

Americans call it the eggplant, and in India it is known as Brinjal.  In Spain, aubergines are called berengenas or ‘apples of love’ for supposed aphrodisiac properties. Something that I take on faith!  In northern Europe they had a strange notion that eating the vegetable caused fevers and epileptic seizures and named it Mala Insana or ‘mad apple’. It is also known as melanzana, garden egg and patlican in other languages.

The aubergine belongs to the nightshade family that includes tomatoes, sweet peppers and potatoes.  It grows from a vine and will vary in size and colour although the flesh of all the different types tends to be slightly bitter and spongy in texture.

When you are selecting the aubergine go for the smaller, smooth skinned vegetable.  Gently push with your thumb and if the flesh gives slightly but springs back it is ripe.  If the indentation remains it is overripe and will be soggy inside.  If you knock on the fruit and it sounds hollow it will be too dry and inedible.

What are the medicinal properties of the aubergine.

As with all plants, the aubergine has a sophisticated defence system to ensure its survival.  When we eat it, we inherit some of these properties and our bodies process and use specific nutrients to benefit our own health. The aubergine has an abundance of nutrients including antioxidants, phenolic compounds including chlorogenic acid and flavonoids such as nasunin.

Nasunin is a potent antioxidant in the skin of the aubergine and has been studied for its ability to prevent free radical damage to cell membranes.  Lipids or fats are the main component of cell membranes and not only protect the cell from damage but also regulate the passage of nutrients and waste in and out of the cell.  The research is focusing on brain cell health and eating aubergines regularly may help protect us from degenerative brain diseases such as Alzheimer’s.  Nasunin may also help prevent oxidative damage to the LDL or the unhealthier cholesterol in our blood that leads to plaque in the bloodstream and blockages in the arteries.

Nasunin also assists with the regulation of iron in the body.  Iron is an essential nutrient required for the transportation of oxygen in the blood and our immune function. However, too much iron can increase free radical damage and is linked to heart disease, cancer and degenerative joint diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis.  Nasunin is an iron chelator, which means that it binds with the iron processed from the food we eat and transports it safely in the blood stream preventing excess iron from causing damage to cells.

What are the benefits of Chlorogenic Acid.

Chlorogenic acid is a phenolic compound and one of the most potent free radical scavengers in plant tissues. It is very abundant in aubergines and very effective against free radical damage to LDL cholesterol. Additionally it may help prevent certain cancers and viral infections.  Like Brussel sprouts some varieties of aubergine can be very bitter and it is thought that this is due to very high levels of Chlorogenic acid, which is also responsible for the rapid browning of the flesh when it has been cut.

Other good reasons to include aubergines in your diet on a regular basis.

The aubergine is a good source of dietary fibre, which not only helps prevent constipation but also helps eliminate waste from the body and prevent the build-up of plaque in the bloodstream leading to arterial disease.  Recent research is identifying some very interesting properties in certain fibres including the ability to absorb and eliminate harmful bacteria from the body without the need for antibiotics.  Fibre in the diet has been shown to reduce the risk of colon cancer and also regulate blood sugar levels

By eating aubergines regularly you will also be including healthy amounts of potassium, manganese, copper, vitamins B1, B3, B6, folate, Vitamin C, magnesium and tryptophan.  It is what I call a well-rounded food.

Are there any drawbacks to eating aubergines?

The majority of us can enjoy aubergines on a regular basis in our diet and obtain its full health benefits, but as I mentioned earlier, a small proportion of people should avoid eating it.

The aubergine contains relatively high concentrations of oxalates, which are found in all plants and humans. If oxalates are too concentrated they crystallise and form stones in the kidneys and the gallbladder.  If you already suffer from kidney or gallbladder problems then it would be best to avoid aubergines.  This also applies to rheumatoid arthritis and gout sufferers, as this vegetable is part of the nightshade family and could increase the symptoms of these diseases.  This applies to tomatoes as well.  I have found that cooked tomatoes cause me less problems and they are too nutritionally rich to avoid completely.  I suggest you try eating cooked tomatoes twice a week, three days apart and monitor your symptoms.

Now time to hand over to Carol, who despite a very busy week, has as always produced some amazing dishes for us.

Aubergines adding purple to your diet.

Aubergines or egg plants as I know them are eaten a lot here in Thailand…They are made into dips, sauces, stir fries, curries …I also had a beautiful Tian but that wasn’t Thai it was in a lovely restaurant on the beach.

It was very finely sliced egg plants layered with tomatoes and courgettes and cooked until the flavours mingled together …I had it with fish and it was very nice…

I am always being surprised at what I find tucked away when I least expect it.
Egg plant also makes a lovely vegetarian curry when they are roasted and paired with a coconut curry .

Image Pinterest

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound Japanese eggplant, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 medium onion diced
  • 1-inch knob fresh ginger, grated
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • Fresh cracked black pepper, to taste
  • 1 Thai chili, sliced (optional)
  • Chopped cilantro, to garnish

How to prepare

  1. Make the curry using coconut milk cooked with fresh ginger, garlic, fish sauce and a little raw sugar and onions…
  2. Sear the aubergine over the BBQ FOR 3-5 minutes then add to the coconut mixture…
  3. Cook for a few minutes until the egg pant has absorbed some of the coconut curry and serve with rice or noodles…

Sally has told us how beneficial they are to our health so I am now going to give you some recipes which I hope you enjoy.

Starting with? Thai Green Curry

Ingredients:

  • 2 chicken breasts cut into cubes.
  • 6 Thai egg plant. cut into quarters……They are the larger ones in the pictures.
  • 2-4 tbsp green curry paste
  • Bunch small egg-plant (optional) Pea like size in Picture.
  • 10 straw mushrooms quartered or use button mushroom.
  • 5/6 stems of Thai sweet basil (pick of leaves1 large or 2 small cans of coconut milk

Let’s Cook!

  1. Heat a small amount of oil in your pan and add the curry paste I would start with 1/2 tbsp curry paste …You can always adjust the heat later in your cooking… I don’t know how hot you eat curry so would always suggest start small.
  2. Cook for 1-2 minutes to release the flavour, add tbsp fish sauce cook for a further 2 minutes then slowly add coconut milk and simmer gently.
  3. Add the chicken, cook on simmer for 20 mins then add vegetables and Thai basil cook for further 20 mins.
  4. Serve with Steamed or boiled rice.
  5. If you are making veggie curry just omit chicken and add carrots and broccoli or veg of your choice.
  6. When we had our restaurant, chef always put extra veg in mine as she knew I liked veg so can add to chicken curry as well if you like although that is not the norm just how she did mine.
  7. You can use beef or pork instead of chicken if you like but will req longer cooking.
  8. Garnish with sprig Thai basil and extra sliced chilli… if required.

N.B. You can get curry paste called Nam Ploy from supermarkets in the UK which is a good substitute unless you prefer to make your own paste. We buy ours from local markets which is freshly made and the curry is a lovely vibrant green colour.

Image Pinterest

Aubergines are also nice just sliced, seasoned and put on an oiled baking sheet in a hot oven for 5-7 minutes then brushed with a mixture of herbs of your choice and popped under the grill for 30 seconds. Serve immediately. Nice as an accompaniment to chicken or fish with a nice salad on a summers evening.

Fancy a quick dip for unexpected guests

  • 2 aubergines
  • 100ml natural yogurt
  • juice ½ lemon/lime
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 green chilli, chopped
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • olive oil , to drizzle

How to prepare

  1. Char the aubergines over a flame or cook in the oven and remove skin.
  2. Tip into a food processor with the yogurt, lemon juice, garlic, chilli, coriander and olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Blend until smooth tip into a bowl, and drizzle with more olive oil.
  4. For a chunkier dip, the aubergine, garlic and chilli can be chopped by hand and mixed with the other ingredients.

Enjoy!

Aubergine dip the Thai way.

  • 1 medium egg plant
  • 2-4 chillies
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 med shallots
  • 1-2 tsp fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • Big handful coriander

Let’s cook

  1. BBQ your egg plant, shallots, chilli and garlic the chilli and garlic will be done first , pop the chillies into a sealed plastic bag to cool it makes it easier to remove seeds and skin.
  2. When eggplant is soft then scoop out flesh and add all the ingredients to your food processor or just a pestle and mortar like it is done here.
  3. Taste and adjust seasoning if required more fish sauce or lime juice.
    Serve with noodles or raw vegetables.

The Greek Moussaka is a beautiful dish with luscious layers of minced meat, tomato sauce, béchamel sauce and sweet eggplants.

Also they make a very nice au-gratin layered with potatoes and goats cheese.

Grilled and cubed with watermelon they make a lovely salad using sesame oil as a dressing.

Eggplants are also used in Indian cuisine and pair very nicely with cumin, garam masala and other Indian spices….

All in all a very versatile vegetable….

Quick and easy Aubergine and feta rolls.

Ingredients

  • 1 large eggplant, trimmed and sliced into 6 1/2-inch-thick lengthwise slices
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, for brushing
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup crumbled or cubed feta
  • 2 Tbs. chopped pitted Kalamata olives optional
  • 2 Tbs. chopped mixed fresh herbs (such as chives, parsley, and basil); more for garnish

Let’s Cook!

  1. Cut aubergines into slices long ways; brush them with oil and season. Grill until the aubergine slices have griddle marks on one side about 3 minutes. In a small bowl combine either crumbled feta or feta cubes and mix with olive oil and herbs.
  2. Put the feta mix or cube of feta on the widest part of the aubergine and roll. Put on a serving dish and sprinkle with olive oil, pepper and herbs before serving.

Egg Plant sauce for pasta

Ingredients – Makes 7 pints or 4 quarts.

  • 2 tbsp Olive oil
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves chopped
  • 1 bell pepper chopped
  • 2lbs egg plants peeled and cubed
  • 8 cups tomatoes peeled and chopped
  • 6 oz tomato paste
  • 4 tbsp fresh basil
  • 2 tsp dry oregano
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/8 cup salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 cup dry red wine

Let’s Cook!

  1. In a very large pan, heat olive oil over medium heat.
  2. Add onion and garlic; cook until the onion is soft.
  3. Add tomatoes, eggplant, bell pepper, tomato paste, basil, oregano, sugar, salt, pepper, and wine; stir.
  4. Bring to boil; reduce heat, cover and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. Put into hot sterilised jars and seal.
  6. Process the jars of sauce in a hot water bath for 40 minutes.
  7. This is a great sauce served over pasta with Mozzarella cheese.

Baba Ganoush

Ingredients:

  • 1 large eggplant
  • ¼ cup tahini
  • 3 garlic cloves finely diced
  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 pinch ground cumin
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tbsp virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp flat leaved parsley
  • ½ cup brine cured black olives optional

Let’s Cook!

  1. Prepare a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill.
  2. Preheat an oven to 375°F.
  3. Prick the eggplant with a fork in several places and place on the grill rack 4 to 5 inches from the fire.
  4. Grill, turning frequently, until the skin blackens and blisters and the flesh just begins to feel soft, 10 to 15 minutes.
  5. Transfer the eggplant to a baking sheet and bake until very soft, 15 to 20 minutes.
  6. Remove from the oven, let cool slightly, and peel off and discard the skin.
  7. Place the eggplant flesh in a bowl.
  8. Using a fork, mash the eggplant to a paste
  9. Add the 1/4 cup tahini, the garlic, the 1/4 cup lemon juice and the cumin and mix well.
  10. Season with salt, then taste and add more tahini and/or lemon juice, if needed.
  11. Transfer the mixture to a serving bowl and spread with the back of a spoon to form a shallow well.
  12. Drizzle the olive oil over the top and sprinkle with the parsley.
  13. Place the olives around the sides.
  14. Serve at room temperature.

Once again many thanks to Sally for sharing her wonderful knowledge on the benefits of the Aubergine and allowing me to share my recipes for the Aubergine which I hope you have enjoyed.

As you can see it has been a busy week in the kitchen, and so grateful to Carol for all the hard work that she has gone to again, to make recipes that do the ingredients justice.

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!

Connect to Carol

New additional Blog: http://myhealthyretirement.com/welcome-to-orienthailiving-my-first-post/

Carol is a contributor to the Phuket Island Writers Anthology.

 

Phuket Island Anthology: https://www.amazon.com/Phuket-Island-Writers-Anthology-Stories-ebook/dp/B00RU5IYNS

Blog: https://blondieaka.wordpress.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/TheRealCarolT
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/carol.taylor.1422

Please feel free to share thanks Sally

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/

Smorgasbord Christmas Round Up – Songs, Stories, Poems, Books Galore and pets doing festive thangs……….


Image result for christmas gif pinterest

Doesn’t time fly when you are having fun. Cannot believe how fast this year has gone but I only have to look back over the year’s posts, and particularly the contributions from so many to the blog, to appreciate the amount of effort and time so many of you have given to making my life amazing.

Today a look back at this week’s posts that you might have missed and also an update on the next week.

I am going to be in and out of the blog as I settle in to getting my next book up and running. However, I will be doing a review of 2017 with the top viewed posts under the various categories.. There will also be posts on the new promotions for authors and bloggers in the coming year, and some updated versions of existing ones.

Recently I posted about the new format for the blog, moving more towards a magazine style. I am delighted that we have some confirmed columnists who will focus on specific aspects of lifestyle and health.

William Price King will be our music columnist with not only more artists to showcase with their backgrounds and hits, but also posts on various aspects of music that will enhance our listening pleasure.

This week William shares some more of his favourite Christmas music with Natalie Cole singing Jingle Bells.

Paul Andruss will continue to contribute one of his unique and always fascinating posts each month, but he will also be sharing his gardening expertise in a monthly column.

This week Paul had written about the connections between Camelot, King Arthur and John F. Kennedy.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/12/22/smorgasbord-reblog-writer-in-residence-camelot-by-paul-andruss-jfk/

Carol Taylor will be our food columnist and will be sharing foods exotic and more everyday and include her wonderful recipes.

This week the ingredient in question had to be turkey of course.. and apart from the health benefits.. advice on how to buy, thaw and cook.. with delicious recipes for every part of the bird from Carol.

I will let you know about the other columns in due course and there will be some magazine favourites.. Including a monthly horoscope provided by a rather reclusive but talented astrologer.

Anyway time to get on with the show…..

My personal reviews and book recommendations from 2017

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/12/20/sally-cronins-book-reviews-2017-my-recommendations-for-christmas-mary-smith-judith-barrow-cynthia-reyes-kristina-stanley-and-jack-eason/

 

 

 

 

 

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/12/21/sally-cronins-book-reviews-2017-recommendations-for-christmas-d-g-kaye-john-w-howell-tony-riches-and-terry-tyler/

Christmas New Author on the Shelves

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/12/18/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-author-for-christmas-the-storyteller-speaks-by-annika-perry/

Christmas Book Fair specials

A selection of my books….

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/12/21/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-christmas-book-fair-extra-i-nearly-forgot-to-promote-my-own-books/

A selection of Children’s and YA books in the Cafe and Bookstore.

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https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/12/22/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-christmas-book-fair-childrens-and-ya-books-special/

Christmas Book Fair

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/12/18/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-christmas-book-fair-cynthia-reyes-christy-birmingham-terry-tyler-sue-coletta-and-deborah-jay/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/12/19/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-christmas-book-fair-yvonne-payne-linda-bethea-sacha-de-black-deborah-bowman/

Thom Hickey continues with the Christmas Cornucopia of Art, Music and Poetry

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/12/18/smorgasbord-christmas-posts-from-your-archives-christmas-cornucopia-louis-armstrong-kay-starr-day-five-by-thom-hickey/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/12/19/smorgasbord-christmas-posts-from-your-archives-christmas-cornucopia-day-six-christina-rossetti-gothic-voices-by-thom-hickey/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/12/20/smorgasbord-christmas-posts-from-your-archives-christmas-cornucopia-day-seven-tintoretto-janet-baker-by-thom-hickey/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/12/21/smorgasbord-christmas-posts-from-your-archives-christmas-cornucopia-patrick-kavanagh-the-chieftains-day-eight-by-thom-hickey/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/12/22/smorgasbord-christmas-posts-from-your-archive-christmas-cornucopia-day-nine-rubens-chopin-by-thom-hickey/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/12/23/smorgasbord-christmas-posts-from-your-archives-christmas-cornucopia-day-ten-rublev-fats-waller-by-thom-hickey/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/12/24/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-christmas-cornucopia-eleventh-day-emmylou-harris-lawrence-sail-by-thom-hickey/

There will be a special The Immortal Christmas Day post tomorrow at the same time. 

Five Part Christmas Story – The Snowman by Gordon Le Pard

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/12/18/smorgasbord-christmas-posts-from-your-archives-the-snowman-a-story-for-christmas-part-one-by-gordon-le-pard/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/12/19/smorgasbord-christmas-posts-from-your-archives-the-snowman-part-two-by-gordon-le-pard/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/12/20/smorgasbord-christmas-posts-from-your-archives-the-snowman-part-three-by-gordon-le-pard/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/12/21/smorgasbord-christmas-posts-from-your-archives-the-snowman-by-gordon-le-pard-part-four/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/12/22/smorgasbord-christmas-posts-from-your-archives-the-snowman-the-finale-by-gordon-le-pard/

Christmas Posts from Your Archives

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/12/18/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-more-christmas-at-the-house-of-1000-santas-by-marcia-meara/

 

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/12/19/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-my-welsh-christmases-by-joy-lennick/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/12/19/smorgasbord-christmas-posts-from-your-archives-the-magic-of-gifts-by-balroop-singh/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/12/20/smorgasbord-christmas-posts-from-your-archives-youre-fired-a-christmas-fable-by-frank-parker/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/12/21/smorgasbord-christmas-posts-from-your-archives-poetry-as-snow-falls-by-pamela-s-wight/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/12/23/smorgasbord-christmas-posts-from-your-archives-the-christmas-story-in-scripture-and-songby-bette-a-stevens/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/12/23/smorgasbord-christmas-posts-from-your-archives-the-little-match-girl-by-karen-dowdall-2/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/12/23/smorgasbord-christmas-posts-from-your-archives-how-to-be-one-of-santas-elves-by-lillian-csernica/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/12/24/smorgasbord-christmas-posts-from-your-archives-christmas-greetings-and-music-from-john-howell/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/12/24/smorgasbord-christmas-posts-from-your-archives-twas-the-night-before-christmas-with-presents-to-wrap-by-judy-e-martin/

Humour

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/12/21/smorgasbord-christmas-posts-from-your-archives-the-morning-after-the-zoos-christmas-party-photographed-by-the-story-reading-ape/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/12/20/smorgasbord-afternoon-video-looking-for-entertainment-for-christmas-party/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/12/19/smorgasbord-christmas-posts-from-my-archives-opening-the-presents-canine-style/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/12/22/smorgasbord-christmas-party-laughter-the-best-medicine/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/12/23/smorgasbord-christmas-laughter-academy-time-to-get-the-party-started/

Some personal stuff

garden-in-snow

 

haiku-2

 

pigeons-on-roof-dscn0441

 

All that is left to say is Happy Christmas, Merry Christmas, Feliz Navidad, Joyeux Noel, Buon Natale, Sona Nollag and Geseënde Kersfees

Best wishes for a fun, laughter and love filled holidays.