Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Carol Taylor’s – Culinary A – Z Rewind – ‘C’ for Calabash, Cajun, Curry, Cloud Eggs, Chilli, and Calamari

Welcome to a repeat of the series from Carol Taylor, the wonderful Culinary A – Z and a reminder, not only of the amazing variety of food we have available to us today from around the world, but delicious recipes to showcase them. Carol also introduces to cooking methods and kitchen equipment that assist in creating meals for all occasions.

Hello from sunny Thailand …this is the next post of my Culinary tour through the alphabet.

The letter C in my journey through the culinary alphabet…I do hope you enjoy it I certainly am it is quite interesting especially now I know that Pork crackling something most of us love is number 6 in the top 100 of foods which are beneficial to your health…Lots of fat but good fat and plenty of vitamins fill your boots… well not quite …Moderation is best but no need to go on a guilt trip it is ok to enjoy it now and again.

Californian Sheep’s head…

A saltwater fish which belongs to the wrasse family. The wrasses are a family, Labridae, of marine fish, many of which are brightly colored. The family is large and diverse, with over 600 species in 81 genera.

Also called fat head, and red head. Its meat is white, tender, and lean.


A variety of passion fruit native to Central America and the Caribbean. Shaped similar to an apple with a thin yellow-brown skin. In Southern cooking the term applies to breaded or battered fried fish.


Cooking influenced by southern U.S. and French cuisine. This is my favourite Cajun spice which is lovely on either fish or chicken.

Ingredients for the Cajun Spice Topping…

  • 2 tbsp. of dried oregano
  • 2 tbsp. garlic powder…
  • 2 tbsp. paprika
  • 2 tbsp. mineral or sea salt
  • 1 tbsp. black pepper
  • 1 tbsp. dried thyme
  • 1 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1 tbsp. onion powder
  • 1 tsp. Chilli flakes (optional)

Let’s Cook!

Mix all the dried ingredients together …I always add fresh garlic and chopped onion to mine so I make my mix excluding the onion and garlic and then when required I add the fresh ingredients…


To think that for the first 40 years of my life I hated Calamari having only ever sampled breaded rings which were akin to chewing on a car tyre if I chose to do so…Ha-ha…

My sons Thai wife introduced us to a Thai Squid Salad and we were hooked…squid so soft it melted in one’s mouth…It was one of the first authentic Thai dishes I had eaten and my love of Thai food was born. Thai Squid Salad

Cactus Paddle…

In the southwest and Mexico, the large, flat, fleshy, oval green pads of the nopal cactus are prepared as a vegetable. When cooked, pieces have the color and translucence of cooked bell pepper, but they are also viscid, like okra. The flavor is something between a bell pepper and artichoke or asparagus or okra.


Cabbage can vary in color from green to red and purple, and the leaves can be smooth or crinkled.

Cabbages are prepared many different ways for eating; they can be pickled, fermented (for dishes such as sauerkraut), steamed, stewed, sautéed, braised or eaten raw. Cabbage is a good source of vitamin K, vitamin C and dietary fibre. World production of cabbage and other brassicas for 2017 was 71 million tonnes with China accounting for 47% of the world total.


Chili peppers are widely used in many cuisines as a spice to add heat to dishes. The substances that give chili peppers their intensity when ingested or applied topically are capsaicin and related compounds known as capsaicinoids.

The heat of chillies is measured on what is called the scoville heat scale …The Carolina Reaper delivers an average of 2,189,000 Scoville Heat Units (SHU)

As a comparison jalapeno peppers score between 2,500 to 8,000 SHU.

It was named the world’s hottest Chilli pepper by the Guinness World Records in 2018 it just retained its crown but is hotly contested…

There are some hot chillies here but nothing on that scale and these are hot babies …I don’t see how anyone can eat those and I love chillies.

Cloud Eggs…

And I thought Sunday mornings were for a lie in…Aston had other ideas and woke me with a bowl of meringue he was whipping… Time to get up then Nannie!

Cloud Eggs Aston style.

Ingredients: Serves One.

  • 2 egg white’s
  • 1 egg yolk
  • half a small onion chopped finely
  • 100 gm. pork mince
  • A tiny bit of black soy sauce
  • Half tbsp. oyster sauce
  • Salt and black pepper to taste

Let’s Cook!

  1. Whisk the egg whites in a clean, dry bowl season with salt and black pepper. Whisk until soft peaks.
  2. Spoon onto a piece of parchment paper on a baking tray and make a hollow in the middle with a spoon. Drop the egg yolk in the hollow. Cook on 100 degrees for 7 mins.
  3. Meanwhile, chop your onion finely and start to cook in a little olive oil add your minced pork and cook for about 3 mins or until cooked…add a little dark soy and your oyster sauce…
  4. Taste and season with salt and black pepper.
  5. Put on a plate and top with your cloud egg…

This was Aston’s recipe as he loves his meat so thought he would just do some mince and onions to go with the cloud egg…an experiment really as he is already thinking he will make some additions that next time…Chilli and some green beans…You could add some parmesan cheese to the egg whites or some finely chopped spring (green) onions and serve with bacon…

He has some imagination when it comes to food…But he is a 14-year-old with a passion for cooking…


I am sometimes flummoxed by what is a fruit, a nut or a seed or indeed a tree …Take the Papaya tree which grows in abundance here and also I will add grows very quickly …It has fruit with the same name as the tree but it is a PLANT …It has no branches and a soft stem with all the very large leaves at the top and can grow up to 10 metres high. It is, in fact, an herbaceous plant as the stem bears little wood and stays green and soft until it dies. But ask anyone here and they will call it a Papaya tree…

So what is a coconut? Botanically it is known as a one-seeded drupe otherwise known as a dry Drupe.

Where does that leave us? With a fruit a nut and a seed? Coconut is it a fruit, a nut or a seed?


Now I know that crackling is a healthy fat…It must be true because I read it somewhere…How to make the perfect pork crackling…Perfect Pork Crackling


There is nothing better than rhubarb or a gooseberry crumble with custard…It was always something my mother often cooked. I am also not a great fan of deconstructed dishes it seems all the chefs at the moment are doing this…However…You just knew that was coming didn’t you? I cook my crumble topping separately now…Please don’t tell my mum. The family all love it and you don’t get that but which is between the fruit and the crumble toping which is soft …I like a crispy crumble topping…It means I can also ring the changes and add some nuts, honey or maple syrup to the crumble it also looks pretty layered in a glass with the fruit…


Crumpets are something which I have always loved and have happy memories of as a child toasting them over the fire or bonfire on guy Fawkes night…They were also a Sunday tea time treat with winkles and cockles in the winter… They were also the cause of one of my great cooking disasters when I made them for the first time here… I forgot how quickly yeast rises here…


  • 1 1/2 cups of lukewarm water
  • 1 cup of lukewarm milk.
  • 2 tbsp. of melted butter
  • 3 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 tsp. of instant yeast.
  • 1 tsp. of baking powder
  • 1 1/4 tsp. salt.

Let’s cook!

  1. Combine all the ingredients and beat for 2 minutes or use a mixer.
  2. Cover the bowl and rest for 1 hour.
  3. Near to the end of the hour preheat your griddle to 325 F or preheat a frying pan.
  4. N.B: But be careful a pan just gets hotter and it shouldn’t be as hot as when you cook pancakes.
  5. Lightly grease your pan or muffin rings.
  6. N.B: You can use well cleaned tuna cans as moulds, just make sure they are well cleaned and remover the top and the bottom.
  7. Pour the sticky batter into the ring, halfway up or a 1/4 of a cup.
  8. After 4 mins using tongs remove the rings. Cook 10 minutes on the first side until the top has lots of little bubbles.
  9. They will also start to look a little dry around the edges. They probably won’t be as full of holes as store bought ones.
  10. Turn crumpets over and cook for another 5 minutes.
  11. Remove from the griddle and repeat with rest of the mixture.
  12. Serve warm with lots of butter and or jam. Or cool and wrap in plastic and store at room temperature.
  13. To reheat put in the toaster and enjoy with butter and or jam.

Curry Plant…

This is my pretty little curry plant in flower… Curry leaves are an herb, and they are not related to curry powder. Curry leaves are a part of the same family as citrus fruits. Their glossy green leaves are very aromatic, and they have a unique flavor all their own. There is a citrus element, along with something else that’s hard to put your finger on—some say asafetida and others anise…

I have had my curry plants now for about 5 years and use the leaves when I cook Indian food or make my spice mixes…I am gradually getting little stock of recipes which will be in my cook book…

Thank you for reading I hope you have enjoyed this little trip through the Culinary alphabet…Until next time when it will be the letter D.

About Carol Taylor

Enjoying life in The Land Of Smiles I am having so much fun researching, finding new, authentic recipes both Thai and International to share with you. New recipes gleaned from those who I have met on my travels or are just passing through and stopped for a while. I hope you enjoy them.

I love shopping at the local markets, finding fresh, natural ingredients, new strange fruits and vegetables ones I have never seen or cooked with. I am generally the only European person and attract much attention and I love to try what I am offered and when I smile and say Aroy or Saab as it is here in the north I am met with much smiling.

Some of my recipes may not be in line with traditional ingredients and methods of cooking but are recipes I know and have become to love and maybe if you dare to try you will too. You will always get more than just a recipe from me as I love to research and find out what other properties the ingredients I use have to improve our health and wellbeing.

Exciting for me hence the title of my blog, Retired No One Told Me! I am having a wonderful ride and don’t want to get off, so if you wish to follow me on my adventures, then welcome! I hope you enjoy the ride also and if it encourages you to take a step into the unknown or untried, you know you want to…….Then, I will be happy!

Carol is a contributor to the Phuket Island Writers Anthology: Amazon US

Connect to Carol – Blog: Carol Cooks 2 – Twitter: @CarolCooksTwo – Facebook: Carol Taylor


My thanks to Carol for creating this wonderful series and we hope that you have enjoyed. As always we are delighted to receive your feedback and if you could share that would be great.. thanks Sally.