Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – The Food and Cookery Column with Carol Taylor – East meets West.


East meets west with Carol Taylor

I hope you are well on this Wednesday morning …Thank you for joining me @ Sally’s Blog Magazine…We are well and truly into our wet season now and everything is lush and green and yesterday I had a lovely walk in the rain…No I am not totally mad…Well I think that depends on whom you ask…ha-ha…

I am really trying hard…harder I should say to make my recipes equally tasty but healthier where I can…Although Pork is my favorite meat and is eaten a lot here as lamb is really not popular and beef is very expensive which means chicken, pork and fish are the favoured proteins here…I am trying use more chicken in my cooking than I normally do and pack it with flavor…

These chicken meatballs are packed with flavor with parmesan cheese and capers in the sauce…I have use milk instead of cream which in all honesty still makes a lovely sauce I have also bitten the bullet and now buy a piece of parmesan as I really am not sure about the grated parmesan any more…Some doesn’t even look like parmesan in colour and states parmesan type cheese and that word always rings alarm bells with me…

Chicken and parmesan meatballs with a creamy lime and caper sauce…

Ingredients: Meatballs

• 500 gm ground chicken
• 1 egg
• 3/4 cup breadcrumbs
• 3 garlic cloves finely chopped /minced
• 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
• 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
• Salt and pepper

Ingredients: Sauce

• 1 tbsp olive oil
• 3 tbsp butter
• 1 tbsp all purpose flour
• 1 cup fresh chicken broth
• 1 cup heavy cream/milk
• 1/4 – 1/3 cup lemon/lime juice adjust to taste
• 1/4 cup capers drained
• Salt and pepper

Let’s Cook!

Put all the meatball ingredients in a bowl and mix to combine either use a wooden spoon or your hands I use hands as I find it mixes the ingredients together more thoroughly.

N.B…I always find chicken mince wetter than pork mince and I opted not to use the egg as the meatballs shaped well and held together with the egg.

Using wet hands scoop about a tbsp of the chicken mix and shape into balls as pictured below.

Heat the oil in a non stick pan and cook the meat balls I cooked in batches so as they brown nicely and don’t simmer in the juice…

As the meatballs are browned but not cooked completely through transfer to a plate and cook the remaining balls.

Once this is done wipe the pan with a paper towel and put over medium heat…Add the butter and when melted add the flour mix and add chicken stock, milk(cream) and lime/lemon juice…At this point don’t add all your juice.

Bring the sauce to a simmer add the meatballs and cook for about 5 minutes until the sauce thickens and the meatballs are cooked through. Then taste …Season with salt and pepper. Add the capers and adjust and add more lemon/lime juice if required.

 

To serve sprinkle with chopped parsley.

Then serve with noodles and a selection of vegetables of your choice…Initially I thought there was not going to be enough sauce for our taste… but it coated the pasta nicely and those ( the men folk) who love their sauces did not complain and say it was too dry…

These meatballs would also go well with mashed or boiled potatoes and even rice.

 

Enjoy!

Going from pasta and meatballs to pasta using rice noodles an iconic dish here in Thailand called Pad Thai…

Pad Thai is the ultimate “street food” The best cooks have cooked the same dish day-after-day, year-after-year and have achieved near perfection.

A great Pad Thai is dry and light bodied, with a fresh, complex, balanced flavour. It should be reddish, brownish in colour.

Pad Thai is another perfect vegetarian dish, just omit shrimp and substitute soy sauce for fish sauce. Add tofu if you like and viola perfect for a vegetarian.

Ingredients:

• 1/2 pack Thai rice noodles
• 1-1/3 cup bean sprouts.
• 1-1/2 cup Chinese chives.
• 2 tablespoon cooking oil
• 2 tablespoons tamarind paste
• 2 tablespoon sugar ( I use palm Sugar)
• 1 minced or finely chopped shallots
• 1/2 lime
• 2 tablespoons peanuts ( Optional )
• 1/2-1/4 lb shrimp.
• ground pepper
• 1/2 teaspoon ground dried chilli pepper
• 3 cloves minced garlic
• 1tbsp Soy sauce
• 4 teaspoons fish sauce
• 1 egg

Tips:
The trickiest part is the soaked noodles. Noodles should be somewhat flexible and solid, not completely expanded and soft. When in any doubt, under-soak. You can always add more water in the pan, but you can’t take it out.

In this recipe, pre-ground pepper, particularly pre-ground white pepper is better than fresh ground pepper.

For kids, omit the ground dried chilli pepper.

Tamarind adds some flavour and acidity, but you can substitute white vinegar.

Now to cook……

Start with soaking the dry noodles in lukewarm or room temperature water while preparing the other ingredients. When you are ready to put ingredients in the pan, the noodles should be flexible but not mushy.

Cut the Chinese chives into 1 inch long pieces. Set aside a few fresh chives for a garnish.

Rinse the bean sprouts and save half for serving fresh. Mince or finely chop shallot and garlic together.

Cooking:

Heat wok on high heat and pour oil in the wok. Fry the peanuts until toasted and remove them from the wok. The peanuts can be toasted in the pan without oil as well. Add shallot and garlic; stir them until they start to brown.

Drain the noodles and add to the wok. Stir quickly to keep things from sticking. Add tamarind, sugar, fish sauce, soy sauce and chilli pepper. Stir. The heat should remain high. If your wok is not hot enough, you will see a lot of juice in the wok at this point. Turn up the heat, if it is the case.

Make room for the egg by pushing all noodles to the side of the wok. Crack the egg onto the wok and scramble it until it is almost all cooked. Fold the egg into the noodles. The noodles should soft and chewy. Pull a strand out and taste. If the noodles are too hard (not cooked), add a little bit of water. When you get the right taste, add shrimp and stir. Sprinkle white pepper around. Add bean sprouts and chives. Stir a few more times. The noodles should be soft, dry and very tangled.

Pour onto the serving plate and sprinkle with ground pepper and peanuts. (I serve peanuts) on the side as do many restaurants now.

Serve hot with a wedge of lime on the side, raw Chinese chives and raw bean sprouts on top.

Enjoy!

I do hope you have enjoyed these two very different noodle/pasta dishes today…East meets west…Thank you for reading xxx

My thanks to Carol for more delicious recipes. Since Carol began her column, I have begun incorporating her Thai recommendations into western dishes and I eat a lot of stir fries that now taste a great deal more interesting… old dogs can learn new tricks…♥

©Carol Taylor 2019

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

You can find out more about Carol and catch up with her Food and Cookery Column HERE

Connect to Carol via her blog: https://carolcooks2.com/

My thanks to Carol for all her efforts to bring great cookery and healthy options into our diets and I know she would love your feedback. thanks Sally

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – The Food and Cookery Column with Carol Taylor – Family Favourites and Spices in action Part Two


Last week I gave you recipes for mixes and spices that I always make but thinking about it, I wasn’t really very fair, as I didn’t give you my recipes that I made with the mixes did I?

This week I will be using my spices /mixes and giving you the recipes that again are ones we know and love here at home… Of course if you have recipes which you make using the mixes I shared then please share with us…Sally and I would love to know what you cook…

Green Sauce… A wonderful dressing for fish or chicken… made with tahini

Ingredients:

• 3 tbsp white miso
• 3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
• 2 tbsp fresh lime juice
• 2 tbsp olive oil
• 4 tsp Tahini
• 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
• 1 tbsp honey, preferably raw
• 2 cups cilantro leaves with tender stems
• ⅓ cup sliced chives
• 1½ tsp grated peeled ginger
• 1 tsp ground coriander
• Coarse salt, freshly ground pepper

I love these sauces because they are quick and easy to make once the ingredients are measured out. Liquids first, and a quick whizz until the miso is dissolved and the sauce smooth, then add the herbs another quick whizz and you are done …It will keep in the fridge for at least 3 days so you can make it in advance.

Next is the chicken or pork Masala curry we make using my Chettinad spice mix.

Ingredients:

• 500 gm Chicken thighs or legs cut into two or pork hip cubed
• 2 tbsp ghee or Oil.
• 1 large Onion., chopped
• 2 Large tomatoes pureed.
• 1-2 sprigs Curry Leaves.
• 1 Bay Leaf( Optional)

Marinade:

• 1/8th tsp Turmeric.
• 1-2 tsp Chilli Powder.
• 2 tbsp Natural Yoghurt.

For paste:

• 4 /6 garlic cloves
• 2/3 in piece fresh ginger chopped finely.
• Salt as required.

Let’s Cook

Marinade the chicken in the yoghurt, turmeric and chilli powder for about 20 minutes.
Blitz the ginger and garlic together I have a small blender for this purpose

Add ghee/oil to pan and add the ginger and garlic paste with some cumin seeds and cook for a few minutes add the onions and Masala powder and let this mixture sweat until the onions are golden this adds more flavour.

Then add the chicken, curry leaves and tomatoes stir well to combine.

Add little water, bring to slow boil and reduce heat to simmer until chicken cooked.

N.B. If this is the first time you have used the masala mix then start with 1 spoonful you can always add more.

If I am making more, then I increase either the tomatoes or the yoghurt as we prefer ours with more tomatoes. If you prefer a creamier one, increase the yoghurt…personal choice and practice makes perfect. Ours are definitely much better than when we first started making them I believe that with Indian the same as Thai food the ingredients are just a guide.

Enjoy!

Lemon grass Chicken Skewers.

Ingredients:

• 1 kg minced chicken
• 4 – 5 garlic cloves , grated ( adjust to taste )
• 4 tsp white pepper powder
• 2 1/2 tsp salt ( to taste )
• 1/2 egg yolks
• 5 tbsp pounded lemongrass , white part only
• 10 pieces of coriander roots , pounded
• 2 tbsp coriander leaves , finely chopped
• 1 carrot , regular size , grated
• 10 stalks of lemongrass (maybe more), cut the green bit into 10 cm long pieces to make skewers.

Let’s Cook!

Mix all the ingredients above together, you may not need all the egg yolk ( I would separate 1 ) to start with and just add it bit by bit If the mixture is too sticky you may add a little bit of bread crumb.

Take one dessert spoon of the mixture and shape it on the lemongrass stalk.

Arrange the chicken skewers on a baking tray lined with aluminium foil

Bake it in preheated oven at 180 degree C, for 20 – 30 minutes. The baking time may vary.

My oven tends to be very hot and it takes only 20 minutes , then I switched the oven off , left the chicken there for while to get the slight brown colour .

Serve with the Thai Peanut sauce or the Rujak sauce if you want something a little spicer.

We love these and the lemon grass imparts a lovely flavour but a dish I make more so when I have guests.

For quickness I just cut a couple of chicken breasts in slices and put a few pieces on a wooden skewer brush with the peanut sauce and cook either on the BBQ or on the griddle turning often so as not to burn them.

Then serve them with additional peanut sauce and a salad maybe some cucumber relish.

Now for some versatile Fajitas

Fajitas were very popular when had our bar/restaurant in Phuket…Quick to make and served sizzling on a cast iron skillet they went down a treat…

Fajitas are a versatile meal and you can you thin slices of beef/ pork instead of chicken and add some baby corns sliced if you have them…

Ingredients:

• 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into thin strips
• 1/2 medium sweet red pepper, julienned
• 1/2 medium green pepper, julienned
• ½ medium yellow pepper ( optional)
• 4 spring onions, thinly sliced
• 1/2 cup chopped onion
• 6 flour tortillas (8 inches), warmed
• Shredded cheddar cheese, taco sauce, salsa, guacamole and sour cream
• Lime Juice
• Oil to cook

Let’s Cook!

In a large zip loc bag, combine 1 tbsp oil, lime juice and 1-2 tbsp of fajita spice add the chicken. Seal and turn to coat; refrigerate for 1-3 hours.

In a large skillet, saute peppers and onions in a little oil until crisp-tender. Remove and keep warm.

In the same skillet, cook chicken not the marinade over medium-high heat for 5-6 minutes or until no longer pink. Return pepper mixture to pan; heat through.

Spoon filling down the centre of tortillas; fold in half. Serve with cheese, taco sauce, salsa, guacamole and sour cream or take to the table and let everyone make their own.

N.B. As with any spice mix the first time you use it start small you can always add more when cooking your chicken.

Enjoy!

That is all for this week I hope you enjoy the recipes and careful with the spice …start small …Have fun xxx

©CarolTaylor 2018

The other posts in the Food and Cookery Column 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

More amazing food from Carol’s kitchen -That is lunch sorted for the rest of the week…. note to self….. do not read Carol’s posts when hungry!

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 – Home cured Ham and Bacon.


Welcome to Carol Cook’s and this week I thought I would bring to you most people’s favourite meats now who doesn’t love a bacon sarnie a BLT or a nice ham sandwich with lots of English mustard ?

Can I get bacon or ham here well yes I can and it is of dubious origins and doesn’t resemble the lovely smoked back bacon I used to love or the lovely home cured ham on the bone which I used to buy from the deli…? It is rather slimy and not something I would want to eat.

Time to make my own … I did my research and I tried alternative cures which were ok just didn’t quite cut the mustard… The celery juice was the most successful and one I do use from time to time…

My research told me that the very small amount of salt petre that I use was not likely to be harmful especially as we don’t eat copious amounts on a daily basis …Our bodies can deal with it however if I tried alternative ways and the deadly botulism reared its head our bodies probably wouldn’t survive … Common sense rules and I decided that for the above reasons using salt petre was our preferred way of curing… Look at that sizzle!

Home cured Bacon

Ingredients:

• 2 Kilo’s Pork Belly.
For every kilo of pork use:
• 2 parts rock salt to 1 part sugar.
• 4 cloves garlic.
• 2 bay leaves
• A bunch of Lemon Thyme.
• 20/30 Mustard Seeds,
• 12 Pepper Corns,
• Celery Juice.

Let’s Cook!

Finely slice the bay Leaves and lightly crush with other Spices in Pestle & Mortar.
Combine with Sugar and Salt and mix with Celery juice until damp then rub into the pork.

Place Pork in a sealed container or bag (I used a brining bag). Store in Fridge for 5 Days. I also turned the bag daily.

Remove and wash thoroughly. Cook in the oven @100c for 2 hours.

Completely cool and then slice to your desired thickness.

It also looks lovely and pink (no grey) which means the natural nitrates in the celery juice had worked their magic.

All I need now is a home-made smoker and some lovely flavoured woods. Maybe use some maple syrup, honey, someone suggested coffee…some nice tea springs to my mind so many options…A different blend of herbs or cut of meat…

Have you made your own bacon and if you did what did you use?

Enjoy!

One of my favourite snacks with bacon is Jalapeno Peppers.

I have had an ongoing tussle with Jalapeno poppers and finally found a way which is easier than trying to keep the breadcrumbs on them when you deep fry them so a little healthier…

But everyone liked them and thought they were better baked and easier to eat.

Ingredients:

• 12 Jalapenos halved
• 8 oz cream cheese
• 2 cups of mozzarella shredded (I didn’t have any) so omitted this.
• 2 tbsp coriander
• 2 chopped green onions
• 8 strips of bacon cooked and crispy
• 1/4 cup breadcrumbs
• Squeeze lime juice
• 2 tbsp parmesan cheese
• A little olive oil to drizzle

Let’s Cook!

Clean and halve the jalapenos (use gloves) I don’t I just thoroughly wash my hands after.

Place halves on a baking sheet or dish (I halved this recipe) so a dish was sufficed.

Mix the cream cheese, shredded mozzarella (if using) coriander, squeeze of lime, bacon pieces and season black pepper.

Fill the little Jalapeno boats with the mix. Then mix breadcrumbs and parmesan and spoon over the top of the mix.

Drizzle with a little olive oil and pop in a hot oven 200 degrees for 20-25 minutes.
When ready cool for 5 minutes and tuck in.

Enjoy!

I personally don’t think it needed the mozzarella as they were cheesy enough.

The jalapenos were still quite crisp…I thought they could do with longer in the oven…I was however outvoted and the men folk liked them very much so I think it is down to personal taste…

This was also far easier and less messy than trying to keep the breadcrumbs on whole jalapenos and they were better to hold and eat.

Next as many of you seem to be having some salad weather is my recipe for Home Cured Ham

If it was Christmas or Easter or some other family occasion when you want a fair-sized ham I would do the leg… For us just for salad or sandwiches then I cook a piece of pork loin which is quicker to cure it only takes 5 days depending on how salty you like your ham and this is trial and error I cured two or three pieces before I got it exactly correct for us.

Ingredients:

• A piece of Pork…top of leg……mine was 3 kilo.
A suitable plastic (not metal) container to brine the meat in.
Ingredients for Rub:
• 4 tbsp salt (coarse)
• 2 tbsp Sugar.
• 1/2 tbsp Saltpetre(saltpetre)
Ingredients for Brine:
• 5 litres water
• 900 gm salt (coarse)
• 2 tbsp Sugar
• 1/2 tbsp Saltpeter.

Day one:

  • Mix the dry rub, and rub the ham, making sure it’s well covered. If using a 7-8 kilo ham you will need a double batch.
  • Place the ham in a large container, cover with a clean tea towel and leave in a cool place, like the fridge.
  • Now mix the brine in a pot and cook up and cook for 10 min. remove the pot from the heat.
  • Remove the foam when it stops bubbling and leave to cool and save in a cold place.

Day two:

  • Pour the cold brine over the ham so it is covered.
  • Store the ham cold.
  • Turn the ham from time to time during the curing time. Use clean tongs and plastic gloves.
  • Let the ham brine for 14-20 days.
  • IF the brine goes cloudy, make new brine and replace the old brine with that and keep curing it.

Tip: Wear gloves even when dry rubbing. I didn’t the first time as I used my fingertips and thought I was being clever… I wasn’t… I had bad hands for about 10 days and now I always wear gloves… I learnt my lesson the hard way.

When the ham is cured use your favourite recipe to cook and voila a lovely ham.

I have cooked mine all ways usually I cover with water, bring it to the boil and then drain off all the water. Add fresh water and all my spices…I add a couple of bay leaves, mustard seeds, coriander seeds, about 3/4 cloves, a star anise and maybe a cardamom pod also about 2 tbsp of brown sugar…I cook for 20 mins per 500 gm of meat and then allow to cool overnight in the cooking water it is then ready to eat.

If it is a special occasion then once it has finished cooking I score the fat and stud with cloves, brushed with honey and put in the oven for 20 minutes.

Another way which I did last Christmas was to use loin of pork instead of the leg and scored the fat….when I got to the boiling stage I added water to just below the fat and then when it was cooked covered the meat with foil leaving just the fat exposed then oiled and salted the fat whacked it in a high oven to crisp of the crackling…

It went down a storm everyone loved it…A bit more work but crispy crackling with your ham…awesome!

That is my home cured recipes for bacon and ham… I have a plan to buy a small smoker and have a go at smoking some bacon but that will be for another day I am sure once I get it that it will take a few goes before we find the perfect recipe and smoke for us and I do think with cooking and curing your own ham and bacon it is down to personal taste and trying different cuts of meat and herbs and flavourings until you get it perfect for you…

Now as it is salad time for many of you I don’t think that a lovely piece of home cured ham needs anything else but a lovely salad with some homemade dressings and this is where I am handing you over to Sally as she has some perfect dressings and also one for home made mayo and you can’t beat that…

Doesn’t that ham look lovely and the crackling?

Someone has just looked over my shoulder and asked me to make another one with crackling…So once we have eaten this normal home cooked ham I guess I will be making that one …

I will now hand you over to Sally and her lovely salad ideas: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/06/28/smorgasbord-health-column-summer-eating-chilled-soups-salads-and-dressings/

You could start with her lovely chilled Gazpacho soup.

Then Home cured ham with a lovely salad and homemade dressing.

Some home cooked bread… With a recipe to make your own buttermilk.
https://blondieaka.wordpress.com/2017/01/06/buttermilk-bread/

And if you still have room some lovely fresh fruit salad: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/06/12/smorgasbord-health-column-make-the-most-of-summer-fruit-salad/

Who’s coming to dinner???

©Carol Taylor

I think that is lunch sorted for the next few days and I usually boil my own ham but I will whack it in the oven next time and get some of that crackling… thanks Carol… I always learn a new trick or two when reading your posts.

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 Food and Cookery Column – Carol Taylor Cooks with Mince


Welcome to this week’s cookery column where I will be cooking with mince…sometimes I buy my mince ready to go and sometimes I mince my own using a very sharp knife it is a coarser mince then but some recipes call for a coarser type of mince meat.

If I am mincing already cooked meats i.e. that elusive lamb for a cottage pie I would use my Nan’s mincer which I still have, which is many years old and has been around the world with me, it must by now be 70 plus years old or more and still works .

Mince is a very versatile ingredient and today I thought instead of dishes with all the sauces and preparation I would show some quick meals which can be made with mince…
Any meat can be used chicken, pork, beef and where to start??

I prefer chilli to spaghetti Bolognese so I normally make a tomato base and then separate the sauce and make spag bol with one and chilli with the other and there is always enough over so I can freeze some portions. This is handy especially if you work as you can take a portion out of the freezer in the morning and either take it to work or all you have to do when you get home is heat it up cook some fresh pasta or rice or use it as a jacket potato filling .

Fresh Tomato sauce.

Ingredients

• 3 x 14 oz tin tomatoes or 18 fresh whole tomatoes.
• 6- 8 cloves of garlic finely chopped
• 6 tbsp Tomato paste
• Salt & Pepper
• 2 Onions finely diced.

Lets’s Cook!

Heat some olive oil in a pan and add the onions and garlic cook until the onions have softened. Add the tomatoes and the puree and simmer until the sauce has thickened about 20-25 minutes. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper.

This tomato paste I freeze in portions ready to make my spag bol or chilli.

For Spaghetti Bolognese;

Ingredients

• 500 gm Minced Beef/Pork
• 4 rashers of smoked streaky bacon
• 2 bay leaves
• 200 gm button mushrooms sliced.
• 2 sticks of celery chopped
• 1 carrot chopped finely
• 2-3 sprigs fresh rosemary
• Fresh basil
• 1 veg/beef stock cube
• 1 tsp dried/fresh oregano
• Red chilli finely chopped ( optional)
• 125 ml red wine.
• 6 cherry tomatoes halved.

Let’s Cook!

Put a large saucepan over a medium heat and add 1 tbsp of olive oil. Add the bacon and fry until crispy and golden.

Reduce the heat and add the carrot, celery, and rosemary and fry for about 5-6 or until the veg has softened.

Increase the heat and add the minced meat and cook stirring for 3-4 minutes until the meat has browned.

Add your fresh tomato paste, chopped basil, oregano, bay leaves, stock cube, chilli ( if used), wine and cherry tomatoes. Stir with a wooden spoon and reduce to a gentle simmer, cover with a lid and cook for at least an hour or until you have a rich sauce . I add my mushrooms about 15 minutes from the end of the cooking.

Serve with pasta of your choice, salad and or some nice homemade garlic bread.

Chilli Sauce.

Ingredients

• 500 gm beef/Pork mince
• Half green, red and yellow Bell pepper cut into chunks
• A thumb sided piece of fresh ginger finely chopped
• 2 heaped tsp dried chilli
• 1 tsp Smoked Paprika
• ½-1 tsp cayenne pepper
• 1 tsp majoram
• 1-2 tsp cumin seeds
• 400 gm of kidney beans…I use dried and soak them.

Let’s Cook!

Heat some olive oil in a pan and add ginger, and spices cook until fragrant Add mince beef and cook stirring until browned.

Add fresh tomato sauce, puree,stock cube and cook for about 45mins then add peppers and kidney beans cook for at least 20 minutes.

I like my chilli hot and I also add more cumin seeds..I love cumin but taste and adjust seasoning if required. Allow chilli to stand for 10 mins and then serve.

Serve with rice, sour cream or over potato wedges or as a jacket potato filling.

I make my own tomato sauce with fresh tomatoes as I don’t buy tinned tomatoes or beans I always use dried beans and soak the myself.

The reason ? Because the white coating on the inside of the tins is known to leach into food…It is this BPA rearing its head and I don’t take any chances.

Mince ..as you probably know I also make my own burgers..not often but I do and we won the best burger competition when we had our bar for my beef burger a beef, red onion and parmesan burger.

This will be the first time I have given out my burger recipes unless it has been friends and family..

Beef, red onion and parmesan Burger.

Ingredients:

• 350 gm best beef mince
• 1 med red onion very finely chopped… cut of a few rings first to go into the burger buns.
• 2 med egg yolks beaten.
• 25g breadcrumbs
• ¼ tsp chilli powder
• ¼ tsp ground cumin
• ½ tsp Dijon mustard
• ½ tsp dried oregano
• 35g parmesan cheese
• Olive oil
• Sea salt
• Freshly ground black pepper

Let’s Cook!

If you are cooking your burgers on the BBQ then the first job is to get the BBQ going as you want it nice and hot.

Chop the onion finely and blitz in the food processor…add the egg yolks with the breadcrumbs, spices and Dijon mustard mix to combine. Finely grate the parmesan and mix in well.

Add the mince and season well..I always cook a tiny little patty as a tester that way it is easier to adjust the seasoning.

I find mixing with your hands is a good way to combine the ingredients properly once mixed then form into the sized burgers you require.

Cover with cling film and leave in the fridge for 10 minutes or so to firm up before putting onto the BBQ or grill.

Drizzle with olive oil and season when you put them on the griddle and cook for 4 mins each side more if you like your burgers well done.

Once the burgers are done then let them rest for a few minutes before putting them in the burger bun.

Serve in a toasted bun with sliced red onion and relish of your choice. Plain and simple but really tasty.

Enjoy!

If like me you don’t eat very much bread then the burger with a nice side salad again makes a lovely tasty quick meal…

My second burger is a Thai burger…

Ingredients:

This Larb recipe can be made using chicken or Pork. I have used Pork Mince for this.
Pork Larb Burgers.

Ingredients:

• 300 gm Pork or chicken mince.
• 3 shallots finely sliced.
• 2 spring onions finely sliced green tops as well.
• A handful of fresh Mint, pick the leaves from stem and tear the leaves into pieces (mine is a big handful) I love mint.
• A handful of fresh coriander chopped.
• A few Thai Basil leaves chopped
• I Lime use half to a whole lime juice depending on personal taste.
• Dried chillies…dry roasted in a pan and grind in pestle and mortar.
• 1 large tbsp toasted rice.( recipe below)
• 1-2tbsp Fish Sauce.
• A sum amount of palm sugar…I use it sparingly
.
Let’s cook!

Mix all these ingredients together using your hands and use some beaten egg to bind the mixture together. Shape into the size patties that you want and cook on a griddle until browned both sides.

This was an experiment of ours and we served in small pitta breads with some shredded cabbage, thinly sliced fresh ginger and fresh sliced Thai chillies you can slice or leave the chillies whole. .Drizzle with a little tamarind sauce or sweet chilli sauce…

Enjoy!

These were truly amazing and the first time we had made these … very nice I made the patties quite small and added 2/3 to each pitta bread…

If you make some mince with onions and mushrooms then top with creamy mash potatoes and sprinkle with some grated cheese pop it under the grill and you have a nice little individual shepherd’s pie.

If you are watching the calories then instead of potato top the mince with slices of courgette and sliced mozzarella cheese. Brown in the oven and serve with some steamed vegetables.

Or cook some pasta and mix some of the mince with pasta, top with parmesan cheese and you have a quick meal…

Again if you make up a batch of mince and onions freeze in portions and just use as required.

Mince is such a versatile meat it cooks very quickly and with a tomato sauce makes a quick tasty meal just take an onion, garlic a few mushrooms and some mixed herbs you can rustle up some meatballs and add to the pasta sauce they cook fairly quickly and topped with some cheese…lovely.

What is your favourite meal made with mince???

A shepherd’s Pie – Mince and onions with mash – Lasagne – Mince with noodles
The list could and is endless so much you can make…

We love mince and spag bol is a favourite as our hand made burgers.. thanks as always to Carol for all the effort she puts into preparing these dishes for our delight.

©Carol Taylor 2018

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 Food and Cookery Column with Carol Taylor – Getting to Know You.


I know that you were expecting some new and delicious recipes here today from our resident cookery expert Carol Taylor… however, I thought instead that I would share Carol’s Getting to Know you post instead. Since you were already here!!!

Carol and I teamed up a year ago for a cook from scratch series (expect that to be reshared at some point). And then as the blog moved towards a more magazine style, I suggested that Carol might like to be the food columnist. Since the beginning of the year we have been treated to recipes for many of our favourite ingredients but also some of the more exotic offerings of her home in Thailand. Always beautifully presented and easy to follow.

Carol’s column directory: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/carol-taylors-food-and-cookery-column-2018/

Before Carol shares the five questions that she has chosen for her interview, here is a little more about her.

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

Time for you to put your feet up as Carol shares her craziest moment, phobia, her childhood lessons about life, singing and favourite vegetable…..

What can you tell us about your craziest experience?

Come on when you get to my age how on earth do you pick one let alone remember your craziest experience? Was it sitting at the top of the highest ever sand dune in Lancelin WA knowing that there was only one way down? Nope! Was it completing all 26.2 miles around London for the Moon Walk…Close.

I was taken by a friend, and yes we are still friends, to an Improv night, which I hadn’t to my knowledge ever heard of. The only person I knew was my friend Annie. One of the exercises was being in a lift with others. This lift was of course fictional, and the aim was to, for want of a better word, get on the nerves of the other people in that lift, which by the way was stuck.

I chose to have a screaming baby, and I think my impression of that said baby was awesome as I tried to pacify it. There were also other various exercises to perform and what got into me that night I shall never know!  It was the best and craziest fun I have ever had…ever … I do think Annie saw me in a different light that night. The actress in me was born…a crazy night..

Do you have any Phobias?

Those who know me well know by now that I don’t do processed anything or trust anyone (manufacturers) in particular. Where did that start? I put it down to this most traumatic childhood experience. Every year without fail we went to Great Yarmouth and stayed in a B & B.  This particular night we had meat pies lovingly homemade… I cut into mine and all this green stuff oozed out.

My protests were cut short by my father, “Shut up and eat it”.

What happened? The lady who made the pies had pastry left over and made herself a lovely greengage jam pie. Which was the pie I received in error, except I also got the gravy.  The rest is history…

Have you ever played or sung in public?

Both… I used to love playing my grandmothers piano every night after school I would walk to my Nan’s and practise. I loved it!

I was also a choir girl and nothing made me happier than when my oldest son joined the choir at the same church. We used to have our Easter and Christmas pageants and one time I was picked to sing a solo.

I practised and practised until we got to the dress rehearsal; all was fine, then I just dried up…couldn’t sing. The choir master came up with a brilliant idea and asked one of the other girls to sing with me. The opening night came and we all sang and performed and then came our duet. It took me a few bars until I realised that the other (preplanned) girl had stopped singing, but by then I was in full throttle and carried on. My first solo.

What did you learn from your grandparents?

 

Carol’s grandparents, and her mother as a baby.

I loved nothing more than spending my school holidays on my Granddad’s farm he taught me how to milk the cows and my grandma taught me how to cook on her Aga…my first foray into the world of cookery…

I loved every minute and I now think I am back to my roots …I used to run behind the baler and stack the hay, pick peas and potatoes. I learnt so much…

The one thing my Grandfather told me was never eat Veal as the cows were born to die…and I know now, that yes eventually they will die, but not to be born and then die to provide Veal. He was very much against that and the process involved in making foie gras and I have never to my knowledge and never will eat veal or foie gras.

What is your favourite vegetable and how do you like it prepared?

Quite simply Runner Beans. I love all vegetables and in the main just simply steamed, raw or with a lovely simple sauce.

I remember picking runner beans as a child and I can still see my dad’s neat rows of canes shaped like a wigwam … the beans’ little tendrils curling around the canes as they climbed to the top.

Those little red flowers which turned into the loveliest of beans.How I like to eat them. Just strung, sliced and lightly steamed and served with a little proper butter.  Plain, simple but delicious.

Well that was hard Sally…I could have opted to choose a few of the others but I am so opinionated on certain subjects that there would have been no stopping me… I opted for safe ones. xxx

My thanks to Carol for sharing her experiences and I am sure that you enjoyed as much as I did. She will be back again next week with her regular column.

You can connect to Carol here:

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

I am sure that Carol will love to answer your questions and read your comments. Thanks Sally

 

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Carol Taylor’s Food and Cookery Column – Mustard


I hope you all had a fantastic Easter and if you went away then had a lovely break and have come back nice and refreshed.

Mustard is one of my favourite condiments and it has many uses… Mustard seeds have been found to have been mentioned in the ancient Sanskrit writings which go back 5,000years. They have been mentioned at least 5 times in the Bible and in the New Testament, The Kingdom of Heaven is compared to a grain of mustard seed.

There are about 40 varieties of Mustard seed but generally, they are divided into 3 principal categories of black, white and brown.

Black is the most pungent and is found growing in the Middle East.

White mustard seeds are actually yellow in colour and come from the Mediterranean region, the mildest in flavour and American yellow mustard is made from these.
Brown mustard seeds are actually dark yellow and grown in the foothills of the Himalayas and are what Dijon mustard is made from.

There have and are currently many studies in the health benefits of mustard seeds and they are known to contain plentiful amounts of phytonutrients called Glucosinolates. They are also an excellent source of Selenium and Magnesium which is proven to help reduce inflammation in this case particularly beneficial in the gastrointestinal tract and colectoral cancers.

They have also been found to be an excellent source of Omega 3 fatty acids, manganese, phosphorus, copper and Vitamin B1.

The powder can be used as an effective muscle soak.

Also due to containing sulphur, mustard has excellent antifungal properties.

It can be used in your diet in many ways, it can be used to baste meat or fish, a dip for vegetables or add the seeds to cabbage at the end of cooking.

Personally I love two slices of nice bread, a lovely slice of home-cured ham spread with some nice mustard maybe a slice of lovely strong English cheddar cheese and some sliced tomatoes….FoodieHeaven!

A few ways to use mustard in your cooking.

Yellow Mustard for Deviled Eggs.

• Mashed yolks of 6 hard-cooked eggs
• 1/4 cup light sour cream
• 1 tbsp. yellow mustard
• 1 tbsp. chopped chives
• 1/4 tsp. salt; spoon into cooked whites.
Makes 12.

Dijon Mustard for Fish Topping

• 1 tbsp. Dijon mustard
• 2 tbsp. mayonnaise
• 1 tbsp. chopped dill
Spread on 6 flounder or cod fillets. Grill for 3 minutes.
Serves 4.

Grainy Mustard for Salad Dressing

• 3 tbsp. olive oil
• 1 1/2tbsp white balsamic vinegar
• 1 tbsp. grainy mustard
• 1/2 tsp. grated orange peel
Toss with some salad mix and orange segments.
Serves 4.

Honey Mustard for Coleslaw

• 3 tbsp. honey mustard
• 2 tbsp. rice vinegar
• 1/4 tsp. salt
Toss with 12-oz slaw mix and 1 chopped mango.
Serves 4.

Brown Mustard for Basting Grilled Pork Chops

• 2 tbsp. brown mustard
• 2 tbsp. brown sugar
• 1 tbsp. bourbon.

Enjoy!

My own foray into making my own mustard was a tad mixed…Well, the recipe didn’t go quite as planned however the result is a very nice whole grain mustard… but I now know why my Indian friends dry roast their spices it is not only to release their lovely flavours but to dry them out and then you should get a nice powder.

It took a while and a few tweaks but thank you for the recipe, Rex.

Ingredients:

• 1/4 cup cold quality vinegar (wine vinegar, rice vinegar etc.)
• 1/2 a cup of cold water
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
• 1/4 of a cup of mustard seeds

Let’s Cook!

Mix together the water, vinegar, salt, and turmeric, then chill this in the refrigerator for a half hour to an hour.

Grind the mustard, then pour the cold liquid over the ground mustard immediately. Set it in the refrigerator overnight before using, for the best flavour.

If you don’t want yellow mustard, simply omit the turmeric.

The reason for the emphasis on cold vinegar and water is because this retains the flavour of the mustard, otherwise, it loses its pungency quickly. Let it stand overnight as this reduces the bitterness although I found 2/3 days was much better.

Also, as it chills, it should thicken up. This is the reason that store-bought mustard can be difficult to get out of the container if it comes directly from the refrigerator and isn’t at room temperature.

This mustard will keep in the refrigerator for about a year due to its vinegar content.

My second batch as you can see from the photo is smoother but I think I need to either dry my seeds in the oven or in the sun as dry frying it is so easy to burn them..which I did with the first batch so had to start again. However on doing a little research of my own I have found another recipe which recommends soaking the mustard seeds for 24/48hrs and then putting them in a small food processor and you will have a smooth paste after then passing the paste through a fine metal sieve however if you want a grainier mustard then pass on the final step.

My quest for a smooth mustard like the famous Colman’s mustard is not yet over but a work in progress……I will keep you updated…

In the meantime, my son taste tested …we had a little Colman’s mustard left so he used both on his dinner and said he really couldn’t taste any difference so it got the thumbs up from him and as he is a very good chef that was praise indeed!

What do you use mustard for and do you make your own?

Until next week when I will have some more lovely recipes for you.

My thanks as always to Carol Taylor for the amount of work that goes into the preparation of here weekly post, let alone making the mustard.

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/

My thanks as always to Carol Taylor for the amount of work that goes into the preparation of here weekly post, let alone making the mustard.

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