Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Food Column – Carol Taylor – A – Z of Food – Baking Soda, Bananas, Broccoli, Butterflying food and cooking with a Bain Marie


Welcome to the series from Carol Taylor, the wonderful A – Z of Food and I am looking forward to expanding my knowledge of wonderful ingredients across the food groups, spices and herbs over the year.

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

Baking Soda – A leavening agent which is used as an essential ingredient in baking powder. When used alone as a leavener, recipes must include some type of acid to neutralize the resulting sodium carbonate in the finished product. Either Buttermilk, yoghurt, sour cream, and citrus juice are all adequate acids to use. You may also use baking soda to help neutralize the acid in recipes that call for large amounts of fruit.

Bananas…Living where I do Bananas are everywhere sold on every street corner and almost everyone has at least one Banana tree in their garden…Every single part of the banana is also used…The leaves are used to serve food on or used as wraps to steam food like rice or fish. The banana flowers are can be steamed and eaten…The banana flowers can be used in a stir fry. There are also more types of banana than I ever knew before I lived here…

Bananas can be used to make  Bread, Smoothies, Shakes and Banana Koftas bread, smoothies shake even green Banana Koftas…

Barding... The practice of wrapping lean cuts of meat to be with thin slices of back fat. The converse of this is larding, in which long strips of fat are inserted into the cut of meat to keep it moist during cooking.

Beetroot...Comes in different colours it can be pickled, baked made into chutney…Beet greens Who throws them away or composts them…?

Here’s a tip:

When you’re washing and peeling the beets, and you trim off the green leafy tops, don’t toss them away! The greens and the stems are edible and make a great substitute for any green such as spinach, swiss chard, and bok choy. They can be steamed, sauteed, braised, added to soups, and eaten raw…

Bierre douce, A Louisiana Creole beer made from pineapple skins, sugar, rice and water. Who throws pineapple skin away? Tough on the outside and sweet on the inside, pineapples are a tasty tropical fruit packed with nutrients.

Bind, To thickening a sauce or hot liquid by stirring in ingredients such as roux, flour, butter, cornstarch, egg yolks, vegetable puree or cream.

Blanch, To partially cook vegetables by parboiling them in highly salted water then cooling quickly in ice water.

Bouquet Garni, A bundle of seasonings; bay leaf, thyme and parsley stems tied with leeks, carrot and celery stalk. It’s used to season braised foods and stocks.

Broth or stock, A liquid made by gently simmering meats, fish, or vegetables and/or their by-products, such as bones and trimming with herbs, in liquid, usually water. Broths usually have a higher proportion of meat to bones than stock.

Broccoli…Mini trees…

Broccoli belongs to the cruciferous vegetable family, which includes kale, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, bok choy, cabbage, collard greens, rutabaga, and turnips. These nutrition powerhouses supply loads of nutrients for few calories.

If you are trying to eat healthier, cruciferous vegetables like broccoli should be at the very top of your grocery list…

Bruschetta – Grilled slices of bread brushed with olive oil and fresh garlic. This was the original garlic bread.

Butterfly, To cut food down the centre without cutting all the way through to open and then spread it apart. Shrimp cut this way is popular and also enables the vein to be removed for food safety reasons.

Meat may be butterflied when cooking it well done so it isn’t burned during the process as if it remained thick.

Buttermilk – Originally a by-product of butter making, buttermilk is commercially produced by adding lactic acid culture to skimmed or partially skimmed milk.

Bain-Marie – Simply a water bath. It consists of placing a container of food in a large, shallow pan of warm water, which surrounds the food with gentle heat. The food may be cooked in this manner either in an oven or on top of a range. This technique is designed to cook delicate dishes such as custards, sauces and savoury mousses without breaking or curdling them. It can also be used to keep foods warm.

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

About Carol Taylor

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

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

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

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

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

Connect to Carol

Blog: Carol Cooks 2
Twitter: @CarolCooksTwo
Facebook: Carol Taylor

My thanks to Carol for sharing this new series with us as she also works on her cookbook and novel this year…As always we are delighted to receive your feedback and if you could share that would be great.. thanks Sally.