Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Food Column – Carol Taylor – A – Z of Food ‘T’ for Tea and Toast, Turmeric, Tobasco, Tahini, Tamarind and Elephant’s Ears (it is a T)


This week some favourites from childhood that is still enjoyed by millions today.. and some more unusual foods and methods beginning with the letter ‘T’. 

 Tea and Toast

How many times in your life have you been offered tea and toast. Maybe never but it was something which when I was growing up was a telling example of your class and status.

Drinking tea and eating toast revealed more about you than you could ever imagine…For example, the taking of sugar in your tea was seen as a definite habit of the lower classes…even just a tincy winsy tiny bit more than one spoonful and you were definitely in the lower middle class ( at best)…More than two….working class and not only that cemented your status if you added your milk first and stirred noisily…Working-class…

To the English tea also had practically magical properties and that was across all the class lines.  Headache or a skinned knee, out came the teapot. Bruised ego, bereavement or divorce, and out came the teapot.  It was the balm to soothe most ills.

Photo credit: trawets1 on VisualHunt / CC BY-NC-SA

Add toast to the equation and we really came into our own, haha

It must be cool and dry, no soggy toast and it was also a matter of class how you ate that toast. I mean if you slathered it with butter and marmalade and god forbid if it wasn’t Dundee marmalade, and then proceed to take a bite. So vulgar it was the height of bad manners.  The correct way: Take a small piece and add just a smidgen of marmalade before taking a gentile bite. That guys and gals are how Toast and Tea are taken in England, according to your class of course.

Tabasco Sauce – TABASCO®

 Original Red Pepper Sauce is made with three simple ingredients and aged in oak barrels for up to three years on Avery Island, Louisiana, before bottling. The recipe originating from Edmund McIlhenny in 1868 has been used by the McIlhenny family for nearly 150 years, just aged vinegar, salt, and peppers make this versatile hot pepper sauce.

Image by iSAW Company from Pixabay

Are you familiar with the following The Culinary Alphabet T terms?

Tabbouleh

Traditionally served as part of a Meze in the Arab world it has fast grown in popularity in the Western world.  I do love how increased travel and the internet have broadened our Culinary World. Tabouli salad or Tabbouleh is a simple Mediterranean salad of very finely chopped vegetables, lots of fresh parsley and bulgur wheat, all tossed with lime juice and olive oil.

Tahini

 Tahini is a thick paste-like sauce made from sesame seeds, with a little bit of oil mixed in to make it the right consistency, and usually not much else. Tahini is similar to peanut butter in texture: creamy, oily, and smooth, and like peanut butter is rich in calcium. Tahini is a common ingredient in many vegetarian and vegan recipes (particularly in salad dressings and homemade hummus) and it is often used in Middle Eastern cooking.

How to make your very own Tahini paste/butterit 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.

  1. Into the kitchen, just quickly toast the Sesame Seeds,
  2. then into the mini blender,
  3. 3 tbsp Olive oil, and a quick whizz,
  4. scrape down the sides,
  5. another tbsp Olive oil and another scrape,
  6. a  bit more oil and a quick whizz and voila your Tahini Paste is made.

How easy is that?

Tamarind

One of my favorite cooking ingredients I love tamarind either just eaten as a fruit or used in cooking. Available everywhere here it is very popular and healthy.  To learn more about the Tamarind tree and some recipes where Tamarind is used. Click Here

My favorite is the young tamarind pictured here only available for a very short period but a lovely way to eat the tamarind…

Tempura

 I prefer the lightness of tempura batter and it is used often in Asian recipes.  Specially formulated tempura flour is available in worldwide supermarkets. This is generally light (low-gluten) flour, and occasionally contains leaveners such as baking powder.  Tempura is very prevalent in Japanese cookery today most of the major changes to the tempura were In the early 17th century, around the Tokyo Bay area, tempura ingredients and preparation underwent a remarkable change as the Yatai (food cart) culture gained popularity.

Making the best use of fresh seafood while preserving its delicate taste, tempura used only flour, eggs, and water as ingredients and the batter was not flavored. As the batter was mixed minimally in cold water, it avoided the dough-like stickiness caused by the activation of wheat gluten, resulting in the crispy texture which is now characteristic of tempura. It became customary to dip tempura quickly in a sauce mixed with grated daikon just before eating it.

Tapenade

The name for a dish of pureed or finely chopped olives, capers, and olive oil.it is a lovely dip served with beautiful bread or crackers and of course a lovely glass of wine on a lovely summers evening. Quick and simple to make it can also be used as a stuffing for poultry.

Elephants Ears

I had lived here for a while before I realized what these huge leaved plants were in the field near our house and the river that runs alongside had massive ones some of those leaves reached 3 feet long and 2 feet wide and the plants can grow 8 feet tall.

The elephant ears thirst for water is why they are so prolific in soggy areas and they are also popular here not only for landscaping but also near water features they are quite an impressive plant.

The corms or roots are also to be found on every market stall it’s Taro. Silly me!

Tasso

 Tasso ham is a specialty of south Louisiana cuisine. In this case, “ham” is a misnomer since tasso is not made from the hind leg of a pig, but rather the pig’s shoulder. This cut is typically fatty, and because the muscle is constantly used by the animal, it has a great deal of flavor.

Temper

As I make all my own Indian curries and spices I temper spices a lot.  It is also a term used in many custard and soup recipes when you are required to “temper” an egg which means that you need to raise the temperature of an egg gradually, essentially cooking it without scrambling it. A tempered egg will look basically like raw egg, but will be perfectly cooked, and used as a binding agent or thickener.

Truss

 Something I always leave to hubby as he knows his knots…It is however a way to tie a chicken…

Turmeric

 I think most of us have heard of Turmeric by now. It is most commonly used in Asian food and comes from the root of the Turmeric plant. Used in curries it has a warm, bitter taste and has many culinary uses apart from just flavoring or coloring curry powders. I use it when I make mustard which is where mustard gets its yellow color from also butter and cheeses. I also use the Turmeric leaf when I make the Indonesian dish of Beef Rendang. The root is widely used around the world to make medicines.

Last but not least one more entry on The Culinary Alphabet T

Tripe

Before we go any further I will tell you that I never have, never will, have no desire to eat tripe. My grandfather and father loved tripe. Tripe is for sale everywhere you look here and eaten and enjoyed by Thais. Tripe is a type of edible lining from the stomachs of various farm animals. Most tripe is from cattle and sheep.  National tripe day (yes) it is true celebrated on 24th October. I may be writing about it, I most certainly will not be eating it.

I eat many things, Ant eggs, chicken feet, frogs and insects, crispy fried, No squidgy ones, Never tripe.  What are your thoughts on tripe, Do you love it? Or are in my camp of never tried it and never will?

That’s all for The Culinary Alphabet T, I hope it has been both enjoyable and informative and look forward to seeing you next time with the letter ‘U’.

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 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.

 

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


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

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

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

Ingredients:

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

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

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

Ingredients:

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

Marinade:

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

For paste:

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

Let’s Cook

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

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

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

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

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

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

Enjoy!

Lemon grass Chicken Skewers.

Ingredients:

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

Let’s Cook!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Now for some versatile Fajitas

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

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

Ingredients:

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

Let’s Cook!

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

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

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

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

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

Enjoy!

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

©CarolTaylor 2018

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

About Carol Taylor

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

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

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

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

Carol is a contributor to the Phuket Island Writers Anthology:  https://www.amazon.com/Phuket-Island-Writers-Anthology-Stories-ebook/dp/B00RU5IYNS

Connect to Carol

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

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

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