Smorgasbord Health Column Rewind – Cook From Scratch with Sally and Carol – Carrots from Afghanistan


Carol is on her summer break and I am house and dog sitting for my sister, so we thought you wouldn’t mind having a reminder of some of the dishes that we put together this time last year. I supplied the ingredients and their nutritional benefits and Carol prepared delicious meals from scratch.

Carol Taylor is a wonderful cook and uses fresh ingredients that she either grows herself of buys a the market in Thailand where she lives.

First a look at the carrot’s origins and its health benefits.

The humble carrot is a vegetable most of us take for granted. Carrots have an ancient history originating in Afghanistan.  The Greeks and the Romans ate carrots and in fact, the Greeks called the carrot ‘Philtron’ and used it as an aphrodisiac.  Don’t all rush to the supermarket!

In Asia, the carrot was an established root crop and was then introduced to Europe in the 13th century.  It was the Middle Ages before the carrot became better known and doctors of the time prescribed carrots for numerous ills including snakebite!  In those days, the carrot was available in far more radiant colours including red, purple, black, yellow and white.  They were cultivated together and over time, it resulted in the orange vegetable we know today.

The Elizabethans on receiving the carrots from mainland Europe did some rather strange things with them.  Some ate the roots but others used the feathery foliage for decoration in hats (Ascot) and on their clothes.  I am sure like every fashion statement this may come and revisit us at some point.  The colonists took the carrot to America but they were not cultivated there until the last couple of centuries.

The Health benefits of carrots

Carrots eaten as a fresh, raw and unprocessed food is full of nutrients including Vitamin A (retinol), beta-carotene (turned into Vitamin A in the body), other carotenoids, B Vitamins, Vitamin C and minerals calcium and potassium.  Of all of the nutrients, Beta-Carotene and latterly Alpha Carotene are seen as the most important properties of the carrot.  As far as the eyes are concerned it is the Vitamin A and the Beta-carotene which are the most important nutrients. Vitamin A, helps your eyes adjust to light changes when you come in from outside and helps keep your eyes, skin and mucous membranes moist.

Vitamin A also prevents night blindness. If the vitamin A deficiency causing night blindness is not corrected, it can then lead to a condition called xerophthalmia, causing extremely dry eyes, possibly corneal ulcers and swollen eyelids. If left untreated, xerophthalmia can lead to blindness. In fact, vitamin A deficiency is one of the leading causes of blindness in developing countries. Vitamin A may possibly prevent cataracts from forming and may help prevent macular degeneration, which is the leading cause of blindness in the world.

Beta-carotene is one of about 500 compounds called carotenoids, which are present in most fruit and vegetables. The body changes beta-carotene into Vitamin A, which promotes a healthy immune system and healthy cell growth.  The body can only change so much beta-carotene into Vitamin A and any excess boosts the immune system and is a powerful antioxidant in its own right.  Antioxidants prevent free radical damage to cells, tissues and most importantly to the fat in our bloodstream that can lead to blocked arteries and heart disease.

Alpha carotene has often been overlooked in carrots but some interesting studies in Japan indicate that Alpha carotene might be even more powerful than Beta-carotene in the fight against cancer. As far as our general health is concerned, carrots play an important role in neutralising acid in the body.

Acidity and alkalinity in the body.

All acids have similar properties to each other because they all release hydrogen into solutions. Acidity is measure using the pH (potential of hydrogen) scales.   The scale runs from 0 to 14.  All acids have a pH measurement between 0 to below 7 on the scale.

Acids are present in all living organisms including the human body.  Acids in plants react differently than acids in protein rich foods such as animal products. All foods are burned in the body leaving an ash as a result, if the food contains a predominance of sulphur, phosphorus, chlorine then an acid ash is produced.

The body has developed different strategies to ensure that the balance between acid and alkali is optimum for each of its different organs and systemic functions.

A minor deviation from the optimum balance can have a devastating effect on the operating systems of the body and can lead to coma and death so the body has a number of buffer systems to maintain that balance. When the blood is too alkaline the heart contracts and ceases to beat and when too acidic it relaxes and ceases to beat.

Eating carrots and other vegetables and fruits that burn to an alkaline ash in the body help balance both the acidic ash foods we consume and some external stress triggers.

I am now handing over to Carol who is going to show you some terrific ways to prepare this humble but nutritionally packed vegetable.

All vegetables are versatile but I think the humble carrot which is cheap to buy, easy to grow and with so many health benefits and culinary uses that it deserves just a bit more than being called just a carrot.

Today I am going to show you a few recipes which I make using carrots so come with me and if you have any wonderful carrot recipes then please share with us in the comments we are always on the lookout for wonderful local recipes using carrots.

Sally and I hope that you are enjoying reading all her good sound advice about the healthy benefits of the carrot and having recipes in the post so that you can then incorporate carrots into your diet. We are trying to show that good healthy food needn’t be boring or bland but can be enjoyable to cook and eat.

Because food should be fun and enjoyable.

What better way to get one of your 5 a day than to add a piece of carrot to your smoothie.

I am getting a tad more adventurous and using all sorts of fruit and veggies in my smoothies.

Today I not only used a chunk of carrot but a slice of tomato and a slice of beetroot(not)pickled…lol…as well as the fruit and I think it is one of the best I have made.

I used a large chunk of watermelon, pineapple, yellow melon and dragon fruit. A slice of tomato, a slice of beetroot, a chunk of carrot and some crushed ice.
Then into the blender, blitz until smooth and viola a lovely healthy smoothie.

But play with and use whatever fruit you have which is in season…I might add a squeeze of lime or a little coconut milk it really depends how I feel and what I have..Even frozen fruits are great for smoothies.

I always find the smoothies are sweet enough for me from the natural fruit and vegetable sugars but some don’t and add a little sugar syrup with the fruit and vegetables.

And that is my tropical sunshine in a glass…. Isn’t it a beautiful colour?

Lovely new spring carrots just cooked in olive oil, glazed with honey and seasoned, delicious in their simplicity.

Photo by Thomas Gamstaetter on Unsplash

Ingredients

You need 1 kilo of baby carrots or new carrots
3 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp white vinegar
2 tbsp honey…I use fresh raw honey
Salt and pepper to season.

Heat your oven to 190C/170C fan/gas 5. Tip the washed carrots into a roasting pan and toss with the oil and season with salt and pepper. If you have some fresh or frozen herbs then in they can go. Roast for 25/30 minutes then drizzle the vinegar and honey over the carrots, toss well and return to the oven for about 20 minutes.

Serve as a side dish.

Other ways to include carrots in your daily diet.

  • Grated carrots can be added to your coleslaw, or add a few sultanas to some grated carrots and drizzled with a oil dressing they make a nice accompaniment to a salad.
  • Washed pieces of carrot can be given to children to snack on…nice and healthy.
  • Carrot batons are lovely with batons of peppers and a nice home- made hummus or dip.
  • Carrots steamed gently and then pureed with a little juice from the steaming water and a tiny bit of butter mixed in and a little pepper and no salt as there is salt in the butter it makes a lovely puree for a baby..my son lived on buttered carrots as a baby and nothing else he loved them. He is now a fit healthy adult who loves and eats lots of vegetables. You can also steam a little cauliflower and broccoli to add to the carrots.
  • Pickling Jalapenos then add a few carrots they are lovely pickled with the jalapenos. Just slice a carrot thinly and add to the pickling vinegar when you are heating it, cook for 5 minutes then add your sliced jalapenos and put into sterilised jars. So easy to do and very nice.

On a cold winters day how about a nice warming bowl of carrot soup? I also add carrots to my pumpkin soup…it is such a versatile little vegetable.

Carrot Soup.

Ingredients: Serves 2

2 carrots washed and sliced
2 tbsp olive oil
Half onion chopped
1/2 cloves garlic chopped
1 inch piece of fresh ginger finely chopped or grated
The zest and juice of half an orange 500ml of fresh vegetable stock or chicken stock
Salt and black pepper to season.
Crème fresh and coriander, to garnish. I use Coconut milk and a sprinkle of chilli flakes…but that’s me I love my chilli.

To prepare…

Gently cook the onion in a saucepan with the olive oil until it has softened but not coloured, add the garlic, ginger and orange zest and cook for a minute or 2. Then add the carrots and pour in the stock.

Simmer until the carrots are very tender and using a hand blender blend until smooth.
Serve and garnish as above with crème fresh and coriander or coconut milk and some chilli flakes as I do

Well, we can’t have a post about carrots and not have a recipe for carrot cake…Can we???

Ingredients:

  • 2 and ½ cups (310 gm) of all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 and ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp each of ground cloves, nutmeg and ground ginger (I have fresh ginger )in my garden so always finely chop or grate and add to the mix instead of ground ginger.
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1 cup of coconut oil
  • 1 and 1/14 cups (250 gm) of light or dark brown sugar (I use raw coconut sugar)
  • 4 large eggs
  • 3 large carrots grated
  • 1 cup (8oz) of crushed pineapple
  • 1 cup (125 gm) chopped walnuts

To prepare

Pre heat the oven to 350F (175C) and grease a 9 x 13 oven proof dish.

Stir the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, spices all together in a large bowl. Set to one side.

Stir the oil, sugar, eggs and vanilla extract together and then pour the wet ingredients onto the dry and stir or whisk until combined.

Fold in the carrots, pineapple and the walnuts. Spread the batter into the prepared dish and bake for 45-55 minutes and as ovens vary keep an eye out so it doesn’t overcook. If you find the edges are browning too quickly then lightly cover with foil.

When it is cooked a skewer or toothpick inserted into the cake centre will come out clean.

Allow to cool completely before adding topping.

For the topping you will need:

  • 8 ounces (224 gm) block of cream cheese softened.
  • ½ cup (115 gm) butter
  • 3 cups (360 gm) of icing sugar plus extra if required.
  • 1 tsp of pure vanilla extract.
  • Salt if required to taste.

To make topping using a hand held or stand mixer beat together the softened cream cheese and the icing sugar on low speed. Add in vanilla essence and beat on high for 2 minutes if you like your topping a little firmer then add more icing sugar but if you put the cake into the fridge the icing with set a little more.

This is a lovely moist cake made even better by the addition of the pineapple.

Cut into squares once cake is iced and ready.

That is all for now I hope you are enjoying this collaboration with Sally and myself as much as we are writing it and testing recipes. I have lots of other recipes with carrots but it would have ended up being like War and Peace so maybe we can incorporate some of the others in another post. There are plenty more exciting posts to come and if you try a recipe please let us know how it turned out as we love to hear from you.

Until next week stay safe, have fun and laugh a lot as laughter is the best medicine known to man and it has no side effects.

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

My thanks to Carol for these wonderful recipes and I hope you will join us again Please feel free to share thanks Sally

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/

Advertisements

Smorgasbord Health Column Rewind- Cook from Scratch with Sally and Carol – Banana – Nutrient Boost, no packaging required!


Carol is on her summer break and I am house and dog sitting for my sister, so we thought you wouldn’t mind having a reminder of some of the dishes that we put together this time last year. I supplied the ingredients and their nutritional benefits and Carol prepared delicious meals from scratch.

The Banana – Nutrient Boost, no packaging required

The banana is not only a superfood packed with nutrients but it is also a definite winner in the therapeutic arena. The fruit has been around for at least a couple of thousand years and many cultures have used the banana in their fight against illness.

I have often been told that people do not eat bananas because they are fattening but will admit to eating a doughnut or a bar of chocolate everyday. A bar of chocolate which is 100gm is around 500 calories and 55% fat. A 100gm of banana (large) has 120/150 calories and is virtually fat free. I will leave you to do the maths.. and to read just want that 120 calories piece of fruit can do for you.

Health benefits.

The banana has many talents including keeping your bowels healthy, reducing your risk of heart disease and strokes, protecting you from ulcers, improving blood pressure, boosting your energy and your mood and help you reduce water retention.

More specifically the banana is a medicine cabinet in its own right. If we look at the diverse diseases and conditions that it is connected to you will realise how important it is in your diet.

Anaemia is the result of a lack of haemoglobin the oxygen-carrying agent in red blood cells. Iron is essential in the manufacture of this haemoglobin in the bone marrow and bananas are high in this mineral.

High blood pressure and stress related conditions effect many people and not just as they age. More and more children and young adults are showing signs of following a poor diet, high in junk food and low in natural fresh produce. Junk food is high in salt, which in the form of sodium and in excess causes elevated blood pressure.

The potassium in bananas helps lower blood pressure by dilating blood vessels, enhancing he excretion of water and sodium from the body and suppressing the hormones that cause elevations in blood pressure.

Potassium helps normalise the heartbeat, sends oxygen to the brain and regulates water balance. When we are stressed our metabolic rate increases, reducing our potassium levels and by eating a banana we can help re-balance all these symptoms in one snack.

Depression and nervous conditions can be helped by eating bananas as they contain tryptophan, a protein that converts into serotonin. Serotonin is a chemical in the brain that makes you relax and improves your mood. The B vitamins in the fruit are also essential for a healthy central nervous system.

Heartburn is eased by eating a banana due to its antacid effect, and it has the added benefit of not causing stomach problems when used long term.

Ulcers in the stomach are very delicate and the banana is one of the few foods that can be eaten raw without causing any further distress or inflammation to the ulcer site. It also reduces over acidity and the irritation this causes to the lining of the stomach.

PMS is dreadful, not just for the woman concerned, but usually for the family around her. Eating a banana with its B6 not only helps alleviate the stress symptoms but also works to regulate the hormones causing the problem.

Weight loss – Contrary to popular belief that the banana is fattening, it actually provides one of the most complete meals in history for only 120/150 calories for a large banana.. As weight can be related to stressful environments, a banana is also very good as a work place snack to help you get through the day; without resorting to more unhealthy comfort foods.

Morning sickness and hangovers whilst hopefully not connected, tend to afflict us in the morning when blood sugar levels are likely to be low. Eating a banana is said to help stabilise this, and if you blend your banana with some milk and honey, you will also soothe and hydrate your body whilst calming the stomach.

Smoking – Cigarettes are tough to give up. I know having gone through the withdrawal symptoms myself 25 years ago. If you can manage without a nicotine patch, you might think about including a banana in your diet every day or when you have a craving. Not only will all the nutrients give you an energy boost but also the potassium and magnesium in the banana will help with your withdrawal symptoms including stress.

Warts and mosquito bites can be unsightly and the bites very itchy and whilst there are some products available in the pharmacies there are some old fashioned remedies that are worth mentioning. It is said that if you wrap the inside of the banana skin around a wart that it will disappear and it is reported that rubbing the inside of the skin over mosquito bites will take down the swelling and irritation. I cannot personally attest to that one but it won’t hurt to try.

As you can see the banana is a very useful ally in efforts to prevent illness and to help our bodies fight conditions when they occur. It is not the complete answer, as it needs to be included in a diet that contains all the essential elements. It is also not intended to take the place of necessary medication for serious illnesses. It is part of the wonderful pharmacy that we have available at our fingertips and should be enjoyed in as many ways as possible.

Now I am going to hand you over to Carol Taylor who is sharing some delicious ways to include bananas in your diet.

The Banana also known as the fruit of wise men.

I am sure most of you can get Bananas in your supermarket; these bananas will probably be the Cavendish by name as the original Banana favoured by the supermarkets was the Gros Michel which became extinct by 1960 as it was wiped out by a fungus called the Panama Disease.

This could happen at any time as Bananas are actually clones and if they become infected with a fungus it just runs rampant and kills them all.

The Banana a most versatile of fruits with so many uses…..Here in Thailand and in my garden Bananas grow in abundance.

So much so that I always freeze some ready to make smoothies.

The Bananas scientific name is Musa Sapientum which roughly translated means “Fruit of wise men”

Here it is called Kluay pronounce “ glue eye” spellings vary slightly around the regions and it is a tree-like perennial and officially classed as a herb, the world’s largest herb as it can reach 25 feet in height. The fruit is also classed as a berry.

Here in Thailand leaves are used to serve food on or wrap food in like these little parcels of tri coloured sticky rice topped with shredded pork.

The purple flowers are steamed and eaten with a spicy Thai dip.

To make Thai spicy dip:

Finely chop one small shallot, 1 clove of garlic, finely slice 6/8 fresh chillies, add 3 tbsp fish sauce and 2 tbsp fresh lime juice…I stir in a little-chopped coriander. If the dip is too salty add a little warm boiled water.

Mashed and mixed with a tbsp of heavy cream and a tbsp of honey and then applied to dry hair covered with a shower cap and a hot towel. Left for an hour and then rinsed off before shampooing the hair it is a wonderful moisturising treatment.

There is no end to the properties of this low calorie, no fat, no sodium, no cholesterol berry which is also rich in Vitamin C, Potassium, fibre and B6.

Here it is used to make bread and muffins.

Banana Bread.

Ingredients:

  • 2/3 ripe bananas.
  • 1/3 Cup melted butter.
  • 1 cup sugar (I only used slightly less than 1/2 cup) don’t like it too sweet.
  • 1 egg beaten.
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence.
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder.
  • 1 1/2 Cups Flour.
  • Handful walnuts chopped (optional)

Pre-heat oven to 350/175 degrees.
Use a 4 x 8 inch loaf tin.

Method:

  • Mash Banana, Stir in butter. Mix in Baking Soda and salt. Stir in sugar, egg and vanilla. Mix in flour.
  • Bake for 1hr- 1hr 10 mins.
  • Cool completely before removing from tin.

Once cold it can be eaten sliced on its own or with butter…I serve mine with a passion fruit butter sometimes it is nice to experiment with different flavoured butters.

If cooked the banana skins are edible, you will see fried bananas in abundance on the street food stalls…they are fried in batter, grilled on the BBQ in their skins and turned into golden fritters ( Kluay phao)

Banana spring rolls with a sweet dip or eaten green and raw with a spicy dip. (See recipe above)

They can be used to make a beautiful Banana Blossom stir fry.

Just wash the blossoms and put in a bowl of cold water with some lemon.

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp coconut oil/olive oil
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tbsp yellow split peas/chana dhal
  • 1 tbsp split green lentils/urad dhal
  • 1-2 dry red Chilli halved
  • 2 tsp tamarind juice
  • 5-8 Curry Leaves
  • 1 Banana flower blossoms
  • 1 large red onion, diced
  • ½ tsp Turmeric Powder
  • ¼ cup grated unsweetened coconut, fresh/frozen
  • Salt to taste

To cook!

Bring some water to the boil in a cooking pan and add the banana flower to a boiling water pot and cook for 10 minutes, until they are soft and done. Drain the water through a colander and squeeze with the hand to remove any excess water. Set them aside.

Heat oil in a cooking pan and once the oil is hot, add mustard seeds, Let them pop, add lentils and halved red chillies. Now add tamarind juice and curry leaves and mix well, Mix in finely chopped onion and saute on a medium flame till they are light golden brown, about 2 minutes. Add turmeric and mix well.

Add the cooked banana flower to the pan. Stir fry for 2 minutes at on a medium flame until they are mixed well with the spices.Add salt to taste and sprinkle grated coconut on top and cook for another 2-3 minutes.

Serve hot with steam rice.

Green unripe bananas are also used to make Tam Maak Kluay which is a version of the famous Som Tam (Papaya Salad) which I first had from a roadside stall near Bang Tao beach in Phuket and it is beautiful.

Just a piece of trivia…did you know? That more songs have been written about the Banana than any other fruit.

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

My thanks to Carol for these wonderful recipes and I hope you will join us again Please feel free to share thanks Sally

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/

 

Smorgasbord Posts Revisited – Cook from Scratch with Sally and Carol – Salmon – Omega 3 on a Plate


Carol Taylor is taking a break this week due to a laptop breakdown so I had decided to share the first of the Cook from Scratch posts that we collaborated on last year.

Some of you are familiar with my Medicine Woman’s larder and Carol and I have teamed up to provide you with recipes to make the most of these amazing foods.

I am providing the ingredients and sharing their nutritional and medicinal properties and Carol is taking them to a whole new level with her delicious recipes. You can find out more about Carol at the end of the post.

Today we are going to be looking at salmon and because most of these foods are very nutritious the posts with the recipes will be even longer than my usual offerings. I suggest you bookmark for a time you can put your feet up with a libation and enjoy at leisure.

Salmon – Omega 3 on a plate.

Much of the salmon available today comes from fisheries and conditions and feed of these farmed fish have improved through regulation in recent years. However, I am not convinced by the publicity and prefer to eat fish that has been caught in the ocean and to me there is definitely a difference in the taste of this salmon. You can buy ocean caught fish frozen or fresh, but be prepared as Salmon prices have been higher in the last couple of years due to longer winters and shorter fishing seasons in the north.

There is always some concern about the levels of mercury in fish and studies indicate that ocean caught salmon from the northern seas and rivers have levels that are considered to be low and safe for more regular consumption.

There are a number of health issues apart from heart function that eating salmon benefits including weight loss, bone health, a healthy immune system and brain health. The nutrients in this important source of protein are also helpful in preventing cancer and diabetes.

I will begin with Omega 3, which is abundant in fatty fish such as Salmon. Omega-3 (Linolenic Acid) is the principal Omega-3 fatty acid and is used in the formation of cell walls, improving circulation and oxygen. It is important that your overall cholesterol is kept to a normal level but it is equally important to ensure that the balance between the LDL (lousy cholesterol) and the HDL (healthy cholesterol) is maintained with a lower LDL to HDL ratio.

Omega 3 appears to maintain that correct balance. LDL (low density lipoprotein) has smaller particles than the higher density lipoprotein and when oxidised becomes dangerous. Because it is smaller it is able to clump and attach to the walls of the arteries and cause a dangerous narrowing. Pieces can also break off and travel in the bloodstream to major organs like the brain and the heart. An added bonus in eating salmon muscle is that it contains peptides that may also lower blood pressure.

Omega 3 is linked to brain health in a number of ways. The brain contains a large amount of fat especially Omega 3 fatty acids in particular DHA (docosahexaenoic acid). In studies DHA levels determined levels of brain activity and cognitive function and is thought to be essential for the growth and functional development of the brain in babies. This ability is not limited to young humans as it is vital that this brain activity and function is maintained into old age. Including Omega 3 fatty acids in our diet therefore may well decrease our risk of developing degenerative brain diseases such as Alzheimer’s.

Carrying additional weight can certainly contribute to strain on the heart muscle and the salmon has a rather unusual property that whilst yet unproven may help in weight loss.

There is a protein that is released when we begin to eat called amylin. This protein travels to the brain where it is measured and the brain then decides when we have eaten sufficient food and should stop eating. Unfortunately we have got very adept at overriding this message from the brain and consequently we tend to eat more than we actually need leading to weight gain.

The salmon produces a hormone called calcitonin, which has the same effect on animals as amylin does in humans. There is no conclusive proof but it is felt that this hormone when eaten might result in us consuming less food.

As we get older the risk of bone fractures increases with many women particularly suffering from hip joint disease after menopause. Omega 3 may be instrumental in decreasing bone loss and therefore osteoporosis.

Salmon is high in selenium,which is a very important trace mineral that activates an antioxidant enzyme called glutathione peroxidase, which may help protect the body from cancer. It is vital for immune system function and may help prevent prostate cancerin particular.

Overall, the salmon contains many nutrients in the flesh and also in parts of the fish such as bone that is often included in canned fish. It is an excellent source of calcium, magnesium, iron, iodine, manganese, copper, phosphorus and zinc, some of which are of particular benefit for the cardiovascular system and the heart.

You can read more on the health benefits of Salmon at this link: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2016/08/25/medicine-womans-larder-salmon-fresh-from-the-sea-or-wild-is-an-amazing-food/

Now I will hand you over to Carol who is sharing some wonderful salmon recipes to whet your appetite for this versatile and nutritious fish.

Fish one of my favourite foods and cooked with fish sauce, chilli, lime and coriander it’s to die for….. so yum. My favourite is Loch Fyne Salmon Trout which I can get it here but when I do it is a welcome treat.…Salmon is so good for you in many ways and Sally explains that very well so between the two of us Sally will give you the astounding health benefits of Salmon and I will provide some easy to follow healthy recipes all cooked from scratch.
Firstly we have Salmon done the Thai way very tasty, very easy and wherever you are you should be able to easily obtain all the ingredients.

Ingredients:
180gm Salmon Trout or Salmon fillet.

For the topping:

  • 1 spring Onion finely chopped.
  • 2/3 stems Coriander chopped finely…i use stem as well.
  • 1 red bird’s eye chilli finely chopped.
  • 1 tbsp Fish Sauce.
  • A cheek of lime.

To prepare

  1. Put fish on foil and spoon topping on. I reserve some of topping to add when serving. Seal foil and put in oven on 180 for 10/15 mins until cooked.
  2. This of course depends on thickness of fish.
  3. When cooked remove from oven and serve with rice.

Enjoy!

Another favourite is Salmon with Linguine.

Ingredients

  • 180gm Salmon
  • 2tbsp Olive oil
  • 1/4-1/1/2 tsp of red chilli flakes. or 1 fresh chilli finely chopped. (you can omit this step)
  • 2/3 large cloves of garlic, crushed.
  • 2 small shallots finely chopped.
  • The zest of 1 lime or you can use lemon.
  • 3/4 tomatoes chopped.
  • Chopped parsley.
  • Fresh parmesan as desired.
  • 400gm of Linguine or pasta of your choice.

To Prepare

  1. I lightly steam my salmon and set aside to cool.
  2. At the same time cook your pasta in boiling salted water as per the packet instructions.
  3. Heat your oil in a pan, add the garlic and the shallots and chilli if you are using cook for 2-3 minutes being careful not to burn the garlic.
  4. I often just add a small piece of butter to this…it stops the olive oil burning.
  5. Add the chopped tomatoes and cook for two minutes then add the flaked salmon, the lime zest and parsley and cook for a further 2/3 minutes.
  6. Drain the pasta and reserve 70 ml of the cooking water.
  7. Add pasta to the salmon mix and gently combine.
  8. Season and add some freshly grated parmesan cheese…this is where I can get a bit over zealous as we love parmesan, also adjust seasoning if required.
  9. Stir in all or some of the reserved pasta liquid and sprinkle with parsley to serve…with a lovely green salad or some lightly steamed vegetables and of course a glass of your favourite vino.

Enjoy!

Snacking

Sometimes you just want a little snack and this one is quick and easy to do…Most of us have a packet of rice cakes in the cupboard don’t we?…Well lets jazz it up a little and take it from the boring to the sublime.

Just mash an avocado coarsely add some black pepper, lemon juice and a little mint if liked or maybe a little crumbled feta.

Spread on the rice cakes and top with a little smoked salmon…divine.

Having a BBQ?

Then skewer the salmon with some small onions and lemon slices if doing chunks or cut salmon length ways and thread on to the skewer and then brush them with this lovely dip when you turn them on the BBQ or grill.

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp parsley, chopped
  • 2 smashed garlic cloves
  • ½ tbsp Dijon mustard
  • ½ tsp salt
  • Large pinch of black pepper
  • 2 tbsp olive oil preferably light as extra virgin tends to burn.
  • 2 tbsp lemon or lime juice

Salmon is very versatile and goes with lots of combinations of sauces with oil, white sauces or burnt butter sauce there are many ways you can dress up that lovely salmon

I hope you enjoyed this selection of recipes and reading about the health benefits of the Salmon.

I will be sharing more Cook from Scratch in coming weeks

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

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

My thanks to Carol for these wonderful recipes and I hope you will join us again next week another Food and Cookery Column….Please feel free to share thanks Sally

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – The Cookery and Food Column with Carol Taylor #Fajita Spice, #Tahini #Peanut Butter #Hummus


Carol Cook’s …My favourite spice mixes.

Welcome to this week’s Cookery column …This week I thought I would share with you some of my go to recipes ones which I make on a regular basis. My staples really I suppose ones, which I make quite often as they are family favourites.

As you know I mostly cook from scratch and it is something I have always done. Now more than ever as there are so many additives in products on the shelf.

Much of the time I either can’t get what I want here, or as it is imported, it is silly prices, but also because of all the negative articles about processed and manufactured food stuff.  I prefer to make my own as I know what it contains …So much now is laden with added sugars and preservatives that it is quite scary, and also increasing evidence that many chronic illnesses can be prevented or improved by eating less pre-prepared unhealthy foods.

This Chettinad Curry powder is one which I always make from scratch and it has lots of ingredients, but once you have measured them out and roasted them, all you have to do is pop them in a grinder. I have a small grinder and do it in a couple of batches it makes enough for 3-5 curries so it is always lovely and fresh.

Ingredients:

• 2 tsp black pepper
• 8 dried red chillies…
• 1 ½ tbsp cumin seeds
• 1 ½ tbsp dried coconut… I use fresh coconut which I dry but if you are unable to do that buy an unsweetened desiccated coconut.
• 2 tbsp coriander seeds
• 2 bay leaves
• 2 star anise
• 4 cloves
• 2 1” pieces of cinnamon
• 2 tbsp fennel seeds
• 10 curry leaves

Let’s Cook!

Dry roast all your ingredients in a frying pan or wok stirring to make sure you don’t burn them …Turn out on to a plate or board to cool down and then grind to a powder. Store in an airtight container.

Then make your curry as usual using your homemade powder. To test the strength of the curry you prefer, start with a smaller amount and add to it as necessary. I use about 3 tbsps per curry.

My next one is a Buffalo wing mixture which is so easy to make and I just make the amount I need at the time .

Buffalo Wing Spice Mix… For 2 lbs of chicken

Ingredients:

• 1 tbsp of chilli flakes or powder…I just grind some dry fried chillies and blitz.
• 1 tbsp sweet paprika
• 1 ½ tsp cumin powder
• 2 tsp cayenne pepper
• 1 ½ tsp dried garlic not garlic salt.
• 1 ½ tsp salt
• 1 ½ tsp black pepper.

Mix all the dry ingredients together put in zip loc bag with the chicken and about a tbsp of olive oil either seal the bag and move it about to coat the chicken or get your hands in the bag like we do and make sure the chicken is all coated. Put in the fridge for at least 20-30 mins and cook as normal.

N.B Depending on who I am cooking for I may add more cayenne or chilli flakes but as with all homemade mixes …Play with the flavours …Have fun.

My Final Mix is my Fajita Mix

Ingredients:

• 3 tbsp Cornstarch.
• 2 tbsp Chilli Powder.( I use dried chillies ground to a powder)
• 1 tbsp Salt.( I use Himalayan pink salt or mineral salt which is produced locally)
• 1 tbsp Sugar.
• 1 tbsp Paprika
• 2 1/2 tsp Powdered chicken stock/seasoning.
• 1 1/2 tsp Onion Powder.
• 1/2 tsp Garlic Powder.
• 1/2 tsp Cayenne Pepper.
• 1/2 tsp Cumin Powder.

I always make my own mixes as I find that I can save money by buying larger packs of spices and also I have a quicker rotation so the spices stay fresh and not linger in the cupboard forever.

This little dip is a recipe from Bali given to me by my grandson’s girlfriend it is very easy to
make but made more special by the addition of tamarind.

Called Rujak sauce it is lovely with mangoes or with chicken.

• Take 200 gm of palm sugar shaved.
• 15 gm of tamarind flesh and 5 tbsp of water leave to infuse for 5 mins and then drain and keep the tamarind flavoured water.
• 6 or more Thai chillies.
• 1/4 tsp shrimp paste and 1/4tsp salt.

Blitz all these ingredients together and you have fiery little sauce.

Thai Peanut Sauce.

Peanut sauce for use with satay or vegetables, pancakes or anything you fancy as it goes with almost anything. I love this easy sauce as it has so much flavour and can be made up really quickly.

Ingredients:

• 1 1/2 cup dry roasted peanuts (unsalted)
• 1 cup water
• 1 tablespoon sweet soy sauce
• 1 1/2 tablespoon sugar (palm sugar preferred)
• 1/8 teaspoon salt
• 1/4 cup oil
• 1 heaping tablespoon tamarind pulp (soaked in 1/4 cup water for 15 minutes, squeeze the tamarind pulp for juice and discard the pulp)
Spice Paste:
• 6-8 dried red chillies (seeded and soaked in warm water)
• 3 cloves garlic
• 3 shallots
• 2 lemon grass (white parts only)
• 1 inch galangal
• 1 tablespoon coriander powder (optional)

Let’s Cook!

Crush the peanuts with mortar and pestle or mini food processor until quite coarse and set aside.

Chop the spice paste ingredients and blend until fine. Heat oil and fry the spice paste until aromatic and smells spicy. Add the peanuts, tamarind juice, water, sugar, sweet soy sauce and stir thoroughly.

Simmer on a low heat while continuing to stir for about 3 minutes until the peanut sauce turns smooth. Serve at room temperature with the satay or vegetables.

N.B. I use fresh peanuts and dry cook in hot pan just make sure you keep stirring or shaking them as they cook very quickly.

I just love this peanut sauce and keep a little pot in the fridge… the taste is far superior to any peanut satay sauce I had ever had before I came to Thailand.

While we are on the subject of peanuts I always make my own peanut butter…It is the simplest thing to make and once you have tried it you will never buy a shop brought jar of peanut butter again.

Peanuts are a good source of Vitamin E, niacin, folate, protein and manganese as well as providing resveratrol, the phenolic antioxidant also found in red grapes and red wine. While it cannot compare with the fruits highest in antioxidants i.e. pomegranate, roasted peanuts do compare with the antioxidants of apples, carrots and beets.

Rather than buying store bought peanut butter which is full of nasties it is easier and it is very quick to make your own.

It is the quickest easiest recipe to make ever, the kids can help blitz it and as well as being tasty it has no preservatives or added sugars.

Let’s Cook!

Take 500 gm raw peanuts. Put in oven on tray and cook on high for 10 mins. Take out of oven and reserve a few (if you like crunchy peanut butter) like me. Put the remainder of nuts in a food processor and blitz at 1 min intervals scrapping down the sides. Do this for 4 mins or until smooth.

Add 1tsp of salt, 1 tbsp oil and remainder of reserved nuts if using. If you want to add honey or flavouring of your choice then add now.

Blitz again for 1 min and put in a suitable container. Stores in fridge for 3/4 weeks…….IT’S DELISH!

Lastly I always make my own Tahini Paste… Very easy and cheap as chips as they say.
How to make your very own Tahini paste/butter…it is so quick and easy and the cost of a packet of sesame seeds is virtually pennies against the cost of a store-bought jar of tahini and no nasties….

Let’s Cook!

Into the kitchen, Take 1 cup of sesame seeds and give them a quick toasting of the Sesame Seeds, then into the mini blender, 3 tbsp Olive oil, and a quick whizz, scrape down the sides, another tbsp Olive oil and another scrape, a bit more oil and a quick whizz and voilà your Tahini Paste is made.

How easy is that?

The next favourite follows on from the tahini…Hummus

• 3 tbsp Tahini Paste
• 2 tbsp fresh lemon/lime juice

Blitz these together in the food processor.
Add

• 2tbsp Olive Oil
• 1 clove Garlic
• ½ tsp ground Cumin
• ½ – 1 tsp salt and blitz.
• 1 can of drained, rinsed chickpeas

Add half a can of the drained, rinsed chickpeas and again blitz 1-2 mins.

Add the other half of Chick Peas and blitz again 1-2 mins.

Put in a suitable container or serving bowl drizzle with tbsp Olive Oil and sprinkle with Paprika.

So easy and healthy and it’s now ready to eat with sliced pitta bread or cut up vegetables of your choice.

This will keep up to 1 week in the fridge.

I hope you have enjoyed some of my favourite recipes and mixes and will let me know how you get on when you try them. I am sure that the whole family will enjoy.

©Carol Taylor 2018

I will definitely be trying out those spice mixes and we eat a lot of fajitas.. also the peanut butter which sounds so much more appetising than the ones on the shelves.

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

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 – #Thai #Noodles


Last week I explored rice which is one of the staples in Thai cooking this week it is noodles which are also very much in the forefront of Thai Cuisine… Again noodles are sold everywhere both dried and fresh…

There are many types and thicknesses of noodles here made from wheat flour, mung bean, rice and or egg.

Egg noodles made with buck wheat and egg which gives them that yellow colour are generally used in soups or stir fries with chicken and herbs.

Quick to make it is a favourite in this house of hubby as he prefers food less spicy than me and the kids like it as it is mild flavoured but tasty and filling.

Glass Noodles as the name suggests look just like glass …made from mung beans they require no cooking just a quick soak in hot water to soften them before adding them to stir fries or soup. Dropped into hot fat they puff up and are used as decoration.

Rice Noodles come in 4 sizes vermicelli, thin, medium and wide. Gluten free they are a delicate noodle which again just require a quick soak in hot not boiling water before adding to soup, salads or stir fry.

1. Rice Vermicelli (Sen Mee) is made from mung been starch and generally sold in packs in small looped bundles. Often served cold topped with grilled meat or fish and a dip or used to make rice paper rolls with shrimp, lettuce and herbs these are one of my favourites. Rather than me trying to explain I have found an easy to follow u tube video. Just prepare your ingredients normally cucumber, spring onions, mint, Thai basil, carrot, some precooked chicken or prawns and some pre soaked vermicelli noodles. Julienne your cucumber, spring onion and carrots and pop everything in little bowls all ready to roll. A bowl of hot water and a packet of the rice spring roll wrappers.

2. Thin Rice Noodles (Sen Yai) are used in soups and stir fries.

3. Medium Rice Noodles are similar in size to linguine and used to make that famous Thai dish of Pad Thai.

4. Wide Rice Noodles which are a similar size to Pappardelle are used again in soups, stir fries and to make the famous Pad Kee Mao (Drunken Noodles)

This is a dish influenced by the Chinese people who live in Thailand and Laos…Kee Mao means drunkard and these spicy noodles which are perfect with an ice cold beer are said to also be a cure for a hangover… A hair of the dog scenario …methinks…

When you buy a bowl of the popular noodle soup you will see a selection of the above noodles and will select your favourite, mine are the thin rice noodles with which I will have the tasty broth, chicken, spring onions and the chilli accompaniments …Not for me the processed fish balls, tofu and the congealed pigs blood which most Thais will have. I have been told that it takes the noodle soup to another level and is very tasty…Just not for this lady…

Now Pad Thai (Phat Thai) is another popular Thai dish and one that I do like.

Pad Thai is the ultimate “street food” The best of these 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 voilà, perfect for a vegetarian.

Ingredients:

• 1/2 pack Thai medium 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 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.

Let’s 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.

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!

Khao Soi is another dish made with noodles in the yellow curry and topped with crispy fried noodles that is probably my favourite noodle dish…Hot and spicy and full of flavour it is one of my all-time favourite Thai dishes.

Khao Soi originated from here in the North and holds almost iconic status…said to originate from the Chiang Mai area the name means ” cut rice” in Thai although it is thought the word originates from the Burmese word for noodles and is a corruption of the word Khao swe.

To make absolutely from scratch including the curry paste is very time consuming and the amount of ingredients puts many people of making it.

There are some very good Thai pastes available from Asian supermarkets around the world Mae Ploy is a very good one and I used to use that when I lived in the UK…

Ingredients:

• 4 chicken thighs
• 500 g coconut cream
• 200 g chicken stock
• 2 tbsp fish sauce
• 1 tbsp coconut sugar
• 250 g egg noodles
• Coconut oil
• 1- 2 tbsp yellow or red curry paste ( I would start one and add once you have tasted it)

Let’s Cook!

In a large sauce pan or wok, stir-fry the curry paste in a little oil until the fragrance has released add the chicken thighs stirring gently.

Add the coconut cream little by little and then add the stock. Bring to a slow, rolling boil and lower the heat then add fish sauce and coconut sugar.

Mix well and cook for about 15/20 minutes on low heat.

While the chicken is cooking prepare the noodles…

Cook the egg noodles as per the packet instructions until the egg noodles until cooked (if using fresh noodles, cook only half of them).

Set aside half of the noodles. To deep-fry the other half: warm-up the oil and, in your hands, form “nests” with the noodles. Deep-fry the nests on both sides (about 1 minute each side). Drain on kitchen paper and set aside.

To Serve:

In individual bowls, place first boiled noodles and then pour the hot curry sauce on it. Add in each bowl, 1 chicken thigh, 1 nest of deep-fried noodles and 1 teaspoon of each of the side dishes. Serve immediately. (See image)

Serve with side dishes:

  • Pickled mustard leaves, sliced or Pak Dong (Thai pickled cabbage)
  • Spring onions and coriander, chopped
  • Shallots, sliced
  • Lime wedges

Deep-fried chilli paste…This is fiery and not for the faint hearted.

This type of chilli paste should be accurately called nam prig pud but most people know it as nam prig pow. The term pow is referred to roasting method in an open flame until the outside is charred. Pud (or pad) is stir fry method i.e. Pad Thai – stir fried. This chilli paste is made with ground spices, and then stir fried with oil. The true ‘nam prig pow’ has roasted ingredients and is not stir fried with oil. However, the term ‘nam prig pow’ now includes ‘nam prig pud’, and often ‘nam prig pud’ refers exclusively to ‘nam prig pow,’ as evident in store-bought chilli paste.

It is quite a time consuming task so I would advise buying a commercial one if you want a hot paste although sometimes they are too sweet so you may want to add some lime juice to offset the sweetness.

Pak Dong Thai Pickled Cabbage:

• 1 white cabbage. cut or torn into pieces.
• 8 large spring onions chopped
• Coarse Salt.

Pickled cabbage is very easy to do and there are many variations I have seen it with fresh chillies. It can also be made with Chinese cabbage or Pak Choy…Our preference is just plain old white cabbage and spring onions it is quick, easy and very moreish it can be eaten on its own, stirred into soup or with a curry as an accompaniment. It doesn’t last long here at all as our little granddaughter loves it and just eats it on its own.

Let’s Pickle:

Layer Cabbage, Onions and salt in the dish add a little water. Mix it all together with your hands.

We then leave the dish covered on kitchen top or in the sun for 1 day.

Then drain and lightly rinse and add more salt if required. Cover and leave for 2/3 days or until it reaches your ideal taste. With pickled cabbage, it is purely down to personal taste some like it saltier than others. Just play with it and you will soon discover your ideal version.

Then refrigerate and enjoy!

Pad Kee Mao (Drunken Noodles) are spicy and hot…

Ingredients:

• 4 tbsp fish sauce
• 3 tbsp sweet soy sauce
• 2 tsp rice vinegar
• 6 cloves garlic
• 5 Thai chillies
• 3 tbsp coconut oil
• ½ large onion thinly sliced
• 1 pound ground pork
• 1 red bell pepper sliced
• 12 ounces wide rice noodles
• 2 large handfuls Thai basil (or sweet basil) roughly torn
• 1/2 lime juiced
• Lime wedges for serving

Let’s Cook!

Soak the rice noodles in warm tap water for about 30 minutes.

Stir together the fish sauce, soy sauce and vinegar, and set aside.

Roughly chop the garlic and 3 of the chillies together. Chop the other two chillies, and set aside.

Preheat a wok or large skillet over medium-high heat; when hot, add the oil, the garlic/chilli mixture and the onion. Cook, stirring constantly, until the garlic releases its fragrance, about 30 seconds. Add the pork and a splash of the sauce.

Cook, breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon until the pork is cooked through, about 5 minutes.

Drain the noodles and add them with the bell peppers to the pan. Increase the heat to high, and add the sauce. Cook, tossing everything together and separating the noodles, until all ingredients are coated with the sauce and it thickens slightly.

Toss in the basil, lime juice and the additional two chillies. Serve immediately with a side of lime wedges and a cold beer.

I hope you have enjoyed this post about noodles until next week enjoy the sunshine if you are lucky enough to have some…and if you need rain I hope you get some

©Carol Taylor 2018

Well I don’t know about you but I am definitely peckish after reading that… off to the kitchen. My thanks to Carol for sharing so many wonderful recipes to spice up our lives.

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

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 -Posts from Your Archives – Travel – The Red Lotus Sea Lake #Thailand by Carol Taylor


Delighted to welcome Carol Taylor for a double bill this week. As well as her regular Cookery and Food Column on Wednesdays, she is sharing some of her travel posts from her part of the world.

The Red Lotus Sea Lake – Thailand by Carol Taylor

077

It was a lovely sunny morning and we decided to take a trip to The Red Lotus Lake( Sea) locally known as Talay Bua Daeng. It was the wrong time of year to see the Lotus in full bloom so will going back in December to see that sight.We still saw a few but not many but witnessed a lot of birds and Water Buffalo who didn’t look best pleased with being disturbed…look at that grumpy face. The Buffalo are brought over in the morning and taken back to terra firma in the evening.

036

and also the boatman took us to a little temple on a tiny, tiny island.;

Head over and enjoy the rest of this photographic tour of this beautiful place and enjoy the visit to the temple: https://blondieaka.wordpress.com/2016/08/08/the-red-lotus-sea-lake/

©Images Carol Taylor.

You can find the posts in the Food and Cookery Column 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

Thank you for dropping in today and apart from this post and others on travel, you will find plenty of other topics covered on Carol’s informative and entertaining blog. Thanks Sally

 

 

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – The Food and Cookery Column with Carol Taylor – Carol Cooks #Rice – Savoury and Sweet.


Carol Cook’s…..Rice

Welcome I hope you enjoyed the salads last week and your sunny weather is still continuing. This week I thought we would have a change as rice is one of the staple foods here as well as noodles. Rice comes in so many different varieties here and colours … Many different types of white rice which includes Jasmine rice, Brown rice also comes in many different types and we get the glutinous rice which doesn’t as the name might suggest contain Gluten it means it is sticky rice and as is all rice in its natural form gluten free and of course not forgetting the wild rice and the black rice which is one of my favourites.

We grow our own rice and currently because of all the rain the weeds are growing like mad…Once the rice is harvested we store it in our rice store and generally it is enough until the next crop of rice…Rice is found on all the markets in many grades and colours.

The glutinous rice is cooked in a steamer after having been soaked in water for at least an hour once ready it is then transferred to a rice pot just like my ones which pictured above which come in very small to very large. The small ones the kids might take to school and the huge ones you would see on the markets where they sell the rice to take away with BBQ Pork or chicken and Some Tam (Papaya Salad) which is a very popular take away food. Many Thais don’t either have cooking facilities or don’t cook at home but buy or stop on the way home from work to pick up food.

Rice for sale at the local market always such a variety on offer.

Firstly I will talk about glutinous rice which is eaten far more in rural areas and in the North of Thailand places like Puce caters more for tourism so it is sold but not available at every restaurant.

Sticky rice as it is called is eaten with your hands…rolled into a small ball and eaten with either your SomTam or BBQ meat or fish dish…

It is also sold in bamboo and mixed with coconut or red beans these are sold by the road side or on local markets.

Or steamed in banana leaves with banana or topped with pork floss. Doesn’t it look pretty?

Tri- coloured sticky rice with pork or onion floss.

Sticky rice is also an iconic dish which many tourists eat the rice is steamed in coconut milk and served with mango. Very nice and probably one of my favourite deserts it is not too big or too sweet …I am not really a dessert person as you have probably gathered as I don’t post many pudding or desserts unless it is coming up to Christmas .

Sticky rice with mango…

To make this at home is very easy… First, steam some glutinous rice.

To prepare the milk:

Heat 1 cup of coconut milk in a pot over medium heat. Stir constantly and let the coconut milk simmer. DO NOT let it boil hard as coconut milk will curdle. Also, make sure that the coconut milk you buy is 100% pure as I have been informed by my son that where he lives in the UK all coconut milk sold is not 100% and that definitely separates on heating to high.

Then add 2 tbsp of sugar and 2 pinches of salt. Remove from heat. Pour 3/4 of the hot coconut milk over 1 cup of the hot sticky rice. Let it sit for 5 minutes. The hot sticky rice will absorb all the coconut milk. The rice should be a little mushy.

Spoon the rest of the coconut milk on top of the rice at the serving time.

Enjoy!

Fried rice is very popular here eaten by many who prefer something which is very mild to the taste and given to children …

Cooked using Jasmine rice with the addition of soy sauce and fish sauce it is different to Chinese fried rice which only has soy sauce.

Fried rice comes in many guises with prawns and seafood, pineapple, chicken, pork or just egg fried rice …Often served in a scooped out pineapple in restaurants which adds to the prettiness and charm…

This is my recipe for pineapple fried rice…

The pineapple fried rice with prawns and cashew nuts is not spicy. You’ll love its mix of flavours and textures.

It’s also a nice Thai dish to prepare and enjoy with children.

This recipe will serve 4 persons.

Ingredients:

• 2 small pineapples
• 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
• 100 g cashew nuts
• 2 garlic cloves, chopped
• 500 g prawns
• 2 eggs, lightly beaten
• 1 teaspoon sugar
• 2 tablespoons fish sauce
• 1 tablespoon soy sauce
• 800 g cooked rice

Let’s Cook

Cut the pineapple in half lengthwise and scoop out the flesh. Cut the flesh in 1 cm cubes. Set aside.

Heat the oil in a large pan over a medium heat. Stir-fry cashew nuts, garlic and prawns for about 1 to 2 minutes (until the prawns are pink).

Push to one side. Add beaten eggs and scramble them.

Add pineapple, fish sauce, soy sauce and sugar. Stir-fry briefly and then add rice. Mix well.

Taste to see if extra fish sauce or sugar is needed.

Serve with cucumber slices, lime, spring onions, and coriander, fresh or flaked dry chilli.

Enjoy!

Black rice is my favourite rice and we grow a small amount on the farm but as I am really the only one apart from Saangchai who likes it …It is enough to sell some and for me …

I will also explain that dogs here eat rice not dog biscuits or tinned food but rice I cook Saangchai fresh food, and all Thai dogs are the same they will turn their noses up at dog chews and the like. Even the rescue Soi dogs that I buy chicken and rice for are fine, and I once bought some treats and they wouldn’t eat them they were still there the next day…

And of course a bone to go with the rice…

Black rice or Raspberry rice as it is sometimes called here is really nice. I eat it with any recipe I make, even Indian food in fact.

My Pork /chicken Masala with black rice.

Ingredients:

• 500gm Chicken./Pork
• 2 tbsp Oil.
• 1 large Onion chopped
• 2 Large tomatoes pureed.
• 1-2 sprigs Curry Leaves.
• 1 Bay Leaf( Optional)
• 2/3 tbsp Masala powder(recipe below)

Marinade:

• 1/8th tsp Turmeric.
• 1/4 tsp Chilli Powder.
• 2 tsp lemon juice
• 1 tbsp Natural Yoghurt.
• 4 garlic cloves chopped finely.
• 1in piece fresh ginger chopped finely.
• Salt as required.

Masala Powder recipe :

• 2 tbsp black pepper
• 8 red chillies
• 1 ½ tbsp cumin seeds
• 1 ½ tbsp coconut flesh
• 1 bay leaf
• 2 star anise
• 4 cloves
• 2 1 ‘ stick cinnamon
• 2 tbsp fennel seeds
• 10 curry leaves

Let’s Cook!

To make Masala Powder.

Dry roast all of the spices , stir occasionally to make sure they don’t burn. Once the spices have released there flavours then turn out the contents onto a plate to cool down.

Once cooled down then blitz in batches into a powder. Transfer into a container with a sealed lid and store in a dark dry cupboard.

This powder should be ample for 3- 4 curries depending on how hot you like your curry.

Marinade the chicken.

Add oil to pan and cook onions until golden, Add 2/3 tbsp of Masala mix and stir.

Add chicken, curry leaves and tomatoes.

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

Serve with boiled rice, Mango Chutney and or Nan bread. Below is my recipe for mango chutney.

https://blondieaka.wordpress.com/2015/09/12/i-wont-be-impressed-with-technology-until-i-can-download-food-2/

Serve with Nan bread or mango chutney and boiled rice.

This is a lovely curry well-flavoured and not over the top spicy .

That’s all for this week …Until next week enjoy the sun and have fun xx

©Carol Taylor 2018

Rice is a staple in our household and I shall certainly be mixing it up with Carol’s recipes.. and I cannot thank her enough for all the time and effort she puts in to produce these posts.

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

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 -#Coleslaw, Potato Salad and Potato Cakes


Time for Salad

Last week I gave you ham and bacon this week as many of you still have glorious sunny weather I thought I would bring you some sides to go with your ham…

Starting with my simple Coleslaw which is lovely as a filling in a jacket potato and equally at home with your main fish or meat dish…

There are so many permutations of this dish and all wonderful in their own way…My version, 5 ingredients plus mayo and you have a beautiful slaw to eat with anything…

I add no sugar as carrots and apples have their own natural sweetness.

So….Lets Get Chopping.

  • Shred half a white cabbage or red or half and half.
  • Peel and quarter at least one apple and then slice thinly.
  • Grate or dice a carrot.
  • Cut up some spring onions or finely chop a few shallots.
  • Put all the ingredients in a bowl, add some mayo, pinch of salt, freshly ground black pepper and a good squeeze of fresh lemon juice.
  • I go easy on the mayo as I don’t like slaw with more mayo than vegetables.

Keep in the fridge until you are ready to serve. It will keep in the fridge maybe covered until the next day but I just make it as I want it…an easy dish to make for 1 or 10.

Enjoy!

Another salad which accompanies many dishes is Potato salad and again there are so many versions made with either crushed new potatoes, peeled potatoes cubed and boiled, cubed and boiled in their skins or steamed.

Whatever potatoes you use I add to mine some chopped spring onions and or shallots maybe some crispy bacon, just enough mayo not too much and stir through I always do mine when the potatoes are still warm…Season really well with salt and fresh black pepper add some lemon or lime juice an easy one to knock up and again a nice accompaniment.

Lovely creamy mashed potatoes also go well with a salad…they are lovely served with cold meats and a lovely mixed leaf salad.

Have you some left over mash then these lovely little potato cakes are so good.

This recipe use diced cherry tomatoes, okra chopped and lightly sautéed in a little butter or oil, and spring onions.

Using one cup of Sally’s Mayonnaise and to that add 6 cloves of roasted garlic, mashed, I tbsp lemon/lime juice and a tsp of cayenne pepper.

Mix well and season with salt and pepper and set to one side until required. Or cover and put in the fridge.

For the potato cakes:

• 3 or 4 cups of mashed potato.
• 1/2 cup of cherry tomatoes diced.
• 1/2 cup of okra chopped and lightly sautéed.
• 1/4 cup finely chopped spring onions again some prefer to sautéed the onions before adding to potato I add them raw.
• 1 egg beaten
• Salt and pepper to season.
• 2 tbsp parsley chopped.

Let’s Cook!

Add okra, spring onions and tomato to potato, season with salt and pepper and mix in beaten egg.

Shape into round patties. Heat your oil and cook for 4-5 minutes until they are golden on both sides.

To serve:

Sprinkle with a tbsp of the parsley and also decorate the top of the mayonnaise with parsley.

These little cakes also freeze well but defrost before cooking.

N.B Depending on the texture of your mash some people like really soft mash and others like a firmer mash but it may impact the texture of your potato cakes you may need more or less egg or if very soft add a little flour.

Sometimes I also use fresh breadcrumbs and beaten egg and dip my potato cakes in this before frying it just gives a crispier texture.

Or you could also add some parmesan to the breadcrumbs which is very nice.

Enjoy!

Rice Salad is something I have made for years and years as something to eat with ham/chicken as a salad…

The dressing:

• ¼ cup of lime or lemon Juice
• ½ cup virgin olive oil
• 2 cloves of garlic minced
• 1tsp of fresh oregano finely chopped
• ¼ tsp black pepper
• 1/8- ¼ red pepper flakes

Ingredients for rice…

• ½ each red, yellow peppers chopped finely
• 1/2cup chopped spring onion
• 2 sum shallots chopped
• 1 sm cucumber peeled and chopped finely

Let’s Cook!

Cook rice as per normal. Whisk the dressing ingredients together.

Add the dressing to the rice and allow to cool down.

Add the other ingredients and stir to combine. Serve at room temperature or cold.

Caesar Salad is very popular here the Thais love it…with crispy croutons it is lovely on it’s own as a starter or as a side with ham and salad.

Ingredients:

• anchovy fillets packed in oil, drained
• 1 small garlic clove
• Kosher salt
• 2 large egg yolks
• 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, plus more
• ¾ teaspoon Dijon mustard
• 2 tablespoons olive oil
• ½ cup vegetable oil
• 3 tablespoons finely grated Parmesan
• Freshly ground black pepper
• A romaine or cos lettuce.

Preparation

Chop together the anchovy fillets, garlic and a pinch of salt. Use the side of a knife to mash the mix to a paste then scrape it into a medium sized bowl.Whisk in egg yolks, 2 tbsp. lemon juice, and mustard. Adding drop by drop to start, gradually whisk in olive oil, then vegetable oil; whisk until dressing is thick and glossy. Whisk in Parmesan. Season with salt, freshly ground pepper, and more lemon juice, if desired.

This can be made 1 day ahead.

The croutons:

Make your own. Tearing, not cutting the bread ensures nooks and crannies that catch the dressing and add texture.

Preheat oven to 375°. Toss bread with olive oil on a baking sheet; season with salt and pepper. Bake, tossing occasionally, until golden, 10–15 minutes.

The Lettuce:

The whole leaves are crisper and just right to absorb the dressing.

The cheese…use a vegetable peeler to shave a small amount on top for salty little bursts.
I find it best to use your hands to gently toss the lettuce, croutons and dressing then top with the shaved parmesan cheese.

You could also serve just a nice, crisp salad like this…

That’s all for side dishes today to go with your ham or other meat until next week enjoy the sunshine and salads.

©Carol Taylor

As the weather continues to blaze down on us in this part of the world, these salad dishes will be most welcome.. my thanks again to Carol for her efforts each week to bring us a varied and healthy way to prepare our meals.

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 – Delicious #Duck and Sauces


This week Carol is bringing us some delicious ways to prepare Duck… I adore crispy duck and pancakes and cold on a salad.. I know you will enjoy Carol’s expertise and also some alternative sauces to serve with this bird…

Delicious Duck with Carol Taylor

Duck … Duck always conjures up pretty images and so many cartoon characters are ducks and we think of them as cute and funny…Well I do…

Growing up we didn’t eat very much duck my uncle sometimes used to bring one to my mum when he had been out on his nightly travels…I think it was called it poaching…But it was what many people did then and sometimes just to survive… I remember his pet ferrets scary, fierce little animals…

Then as the times progressed it was the Chinese duck pancakes a real treat for us and the occasional duck eggs … It has only really been since I lived here that I have cooked with duck it is readily available and used in many dishes …

Is it a healthy meat??

Duck fat is high in monounsaturated fats and some saturated fats, it remains stable during cooking as the fat monocles don’t break down at a high heat and create harmful toxins which mean the fat can safely be reused and it also has a lovely taste which it imparts to the food…

When duck is cooked the fat needs to be well rendered down as it is unpleasant to eat if it is not…The actual duck meat is very lean and has a high iron content so is a good meat to eat as always with many foods it is what is added or accompanies the food which ramps up the calories or turns it into an unhealthy food.

Often when eating out the sauces come separately so if you are watching the calories just go sparingly on the sauce.

This Laab recipe I normally make with pork but we had a duck one when we ate out the other week and it was really nice a little drier than the pork but very nice.

Thai food is a great choice for gluten–free and dairy-free eaters because it is rice-based and uses a lot of coconut milk. … Traditional Thai soy sauce is gluten–free, but just be careful when eating out as restaurants may use wheat-based Chinese soy sauce.

Thai food is low on carbs, includes lots of fresh vegetables and herbs and most dishes are cooked very quickly so everything retains its colour and flavour, in fact, preparation most times takes longer than the actual cooking.

This Laab recipe can be made using Duck, Chicken or Pork.

Ingredients: Serves 1-2 people.

  • 200 gm Duck, 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 large pieces( mine is a big handful) I love mint.
  • A handful of fresh coriander chopped.
  • A few Thai Basil leaves for the decoration.
  • 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.
  • Small amount palm sugar….I use it sparingly.

Let’s Cook!

Using a small saucepan dry cook the mince, I add a small amount of water to stop it from sticking.

Stir until cooked, remove the pan from the heat.

Stir in toasted rice, a small amount palm sugar, chilli( as desired) start with 1 tsp and once all the ingredients are added ..taste and add more if required.

Stir in the mint and coriander, shallots and spring onions, stir well but carefully.

Add fish sauce and half of the lime juice.

Taste!

If required add more chilli, fish sauce and or lime juice and Taste again.

Put in a serving dish.

Garnish with Thai Basil leaves.

Serve with steamed boiled rice /Thai sticky rice or if you don’t want to eat rice it is lovely served in lettuce cups.

As an accompaniment serve with sliced cucumber, sliced white cabbage, green beans and Thai basil leaves.

Thai’s eat a lot of raw vegetables with Laab which is why it’s a fairly healthy meal and if chicken or duck is used it has even fewer calories.

It is an ideal dish if you are watching the calories as are many Thai dishes.

NB: To make dried rice mix, take a thick bottomed pan put it on a medium to low heat, cover bottom with uncooked sticky rice( if you don’t have) normal rice will do. Stir until rice turns a golden brown colour, tip into pestle and pound until powdery but slightly coarse.

N.B. Glutinous rice is gluten–free. The misleading name simply comes from the fact that glutinous rice gets glue-like and sticky when cooked. … It all comes down to starch content.
You can store the rice in a small container and it will keep for 6-8 weeks…

I hope you enjoy this dish as much as I do…I love this salad.

It is also an ideal dish to make if you cook a duck and have some left over’s.

Now who hasn’t eaten Duck with an Orange sauce?? Here are three sauces with a little twist and still some O.J

Marmalade Sauce:

  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 50 gm marmalade
  • 1 tbsp Cointreau
  • 1 tbsp fresh squeezed O.J
  • A handful of chopped coriander to garnish.

Let’s Cook!

Put all the wet ingredients into a pan and bring to a slow simmer allow to simmer until sauce thickens slightly if it does thicken too much thin with some O.J.
This one takes slightly longer to make but well worth it…

Port and Blackberry Sauce:

  • 350 ml of Port
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • A punnet of blackberries
  • 400 ml of chicken stock
  • 1 tbsp of good balsamic vinegar
  • 1 star Anise
  • A tsp of corn flour mixed to a paste with water
  • 50 gm butter.

Let’s Cook!

Put the Port in a pan and reduce the liquid by half, add the stock, blackberries, balsamic, star anise and simmer until reduced to 2/3 this takes about 15 minutes. Pass the mix through a sieve and return to the pan, add the corn flour/arrowroot mix stir and season then add butter.

You know have a perfect smooth, shiny sauce to go with your duck.

Lastly one which still has orange but some chilli…

My orange sauce with and Asian twist.

  • 1 large orange segmented between the skins..then squeeze the core and retain the juice and maybe zest some orange skin.
  • 1 red bird’s eye chilli sliced finely
  • ½ tbsp finely chopped fresh ginger
  • 1 star Anise
  • 1 tsp of shredded lemongrass
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp water

Let’s Cook!

Heat ½ tbsp oil in a pan and add chilli, ginger, lemon grass and star Anise cook for a few minutes to release the flavours add the reserved OJ and zest if using, 2 tbsp water, 1 tsp sugar and half of the orange segments.

Cook for 2-3 minutes and add the remainder of the orange segments cook for 1 minute.

Any of these sauces can be served with a nice roasted duck accompanied by rice or boulangere potatoes and some lightly steamed vegetables.

Duck Eggs and other bits….

Ducks are generally used for their meat, eggs and feathers (down) although in Asian cultures every bit is eaten from head to toe… Beak and feet included… If you like the recipe lease let me know…

Duck eggs are again widely eaten and always readily available here…A duck egg has a higher proportion of yolk than a chicken’s egg and can be bought fresh here or preserved…

We were given a gift of preserved Duck eggs and I must say I was slightly cautious as to what I would find…

This was a first for me these dry, salted duck eggs covered in a black, soot ashes and charcoal powder.

They are dried in mud taken from termite mounds and rolled in a mixture of soot, ashes and charcoal powder these dry salted eggs are produced locally near me in Khon Kaen.

Traditionally eaten with rice soup for breakfast in a hot country like Thailand this is a way of preserving eggs…Dry Salted Duck eggs are used rather than chicken eggs as the yolks are larger.

The date on the box informs you that the eggs can be pan-fried up until that date and afterwards MUST be boiled.

Although they look strange or maybe different is the word the black outer covering washes off and underneath is the egg in its shell. This my ever curious grandson cracked and fried. The yolk was a darker yellow than a normal chicken’s egg and pleasantly salty…A completely different taste to which I was expecting…

That sentence uttered purely on my experience of some foods I have tried whilst living here…Not all quite so pleasant… The shopkeeper who gifted them to us was correct they were aroy, aroy.

I hope you have enjoyed the recipes for duck …Do you cook with duck a lot if so what is your go to duck recipe???

My all time favourite Duck Curry is this one: Red Duck Curry( Kaeng Ped Pett Yang)
https://blondieaka.wordpress.com/2017/05/08/red-duck-curry-kaeng-ped-pett-yang/

That is all for this week I think next week I will have some more everyday meals that you can cook…

©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 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

.