Category Archives: Fruity Fridays

Fruity Friday’s…The Tomato!

Fruity Fridays bruscheta

The tomato botanically known as a berry type fruit is also considered to be a culinary vegetable it belongs to the nightshade family and was at one time called the poison apple. In the 1700’s many aristocrats got sick and died after eating tomatoes the actual truth of the matter was that because tomatoes are so high in acidity and the wealthy ate off pewter plates the fruit would leach lead from the plates and the many deaths were from lead poisoning not from eating the actual tomatoes.

This is pretty much why I don’t buy tinned tomatoes any more as the coating inside the tins reacts with the acidity of the tomatoes which then leaches nasties into the tomatoes so similar scenario to all those years ago except it is now manufacturers who are poisoning us by their actions.

I make my own and it is so very simple to do… I choose the ripest, sweetest tomatoes and blitz them in my food processor…freeze them in portions and no nasties. Cheaper by far and healthier it takes me 20 mins to make enough portions for the month ahead. Simples!

Tomatoes can be eaten raw, sun-dried, pickled, cooked so many ways to enjoy the tomato, they come in many colours particularly the Heirloom variety which is growing in popularity and usually grown organically or by small companies so as of yet are not widely available everywhere.

heirloom tomato-2375152_640

I have heard they come in black, brown, ivory, purple, blue, pink as well as the red, yellow and green varieties …Have you seen or tried black or blue tomatoes???

Living here and not being able to buy sun-dried tomatoes I have resorted to drying my own and they are very nice …Hubby made me a little wire cage and I just sit them in the sun and watch the magic happen. Some fresh rosemary and a good olive oil and I am in foodie heaven.

 

Of course, I have to mention that they also make a damn good Bloody Mary…Just saying…

Ingredients:

  • 3 ¼ cups of tomato juice
  • 1 ¼ cups of vodka ( or thereabouts) Hic
  • 1/3 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1 tbsp horseradish
  • 2 tsp Tabasco sauce or peri peri sauce
  • 2 tsp Lea & Perrins sauce ( Worcestershire sauce)
  • ½ tsp celery salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 6 stalks of celery with leaves.

Let’s Brew!

Combine everything together in a jug or cocktail shaker and TASTE… this is where I adjust and give it a tweak or two…I make my own tomato juice and as tomatoes vary so does the TASTE….It is a fine art and needs much testing to get this just right …
Chill in the fridge until required… this recipe makes about 6 glasses.

Bloody Mary

Bliss Beach club Phuket my favourite place to drink a Bloody Mary.

To serve.

Add some ice to a chilled glass and fill with the Bloody Mary mix…pop in your celery stick and a slice of lime and or some olives and if you are feeling really …well… If you have some bacon to use up then crisp it up and stick a slice in with the celery… Anything goes when I am making cocktails.

Enjoy!

A lovely vibrant salsa or a topping for a bruschetta or just sliced with mozzarella cheese, some good olive oil and some fresh basil and you have a wonderful little snack.

Chilli? well, I couldn’t do a post without using a chilli or three and they are red… Chilli and Tomato Chutney is a wonderful thing.

This lovely vibrant chilli and tomato chutney gets hotter the longer you keep it if it lasts that long..but is lovely with cold meats, cheese, hot sausages, Pork Pies or just use as a glaze over your meat when you are cooking it or your prawns…it is lovely on your BBQ prawns.

Ingredients:

  • 500 gm of mixed tomatoes..some can be green.
  • 4 large red chilli..deseed if you don’t want your chutney too hot or maybe just reduce the chillies.
  • 4 cloves of garlic, peeled and sliced.
  • An inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and sliced
  • 300 gm of sugar golden or brown.
  • 100 ml red wine vinegar or balsamic.
  • 2 tbsp of fish sauce.

Let’s Cook!

Skin the tomatoes by putting in hot water. Then add to the food processor with the chilli and ginger.

Blitz…I love that word…

Then put in a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Add the sugar, fish sauce and vinegar and bring it to the boil slowly so as not to burn the mixture, keep stirring and then lower heat and let it simmer for 25-35 minutes or until the mixture has gone slightly darker and sticky.

Pour into warm sterilised jars with secure lids.

I turn my jars upside down to get rid of any airlocks until cooled.

tomato-chutney

This will get hotter the longer it is kept although it doesn’t last that long in this house and by the time my friends have begged a jar from me…They normally return the empty jars hoping I will give them a full one in return…lol

Enjoy!

Did you know ??? The tomatoes scientific name is Lycopersicum which translated is Wolf Peach…

Just some words of caution tomatoes are acidic and as with anything moderation is advised because it may cause heartburn in some individuals.

My recipe for tomato sauce for spaghetti Bolognese or lasagna.

pasta-329522_640

Ingredients:

  • I kilo minced beef or pork
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 250 gm mushrooms sliced
  • 3/4 cloves garlic
  • 5/6 Fresh Basil leaves.
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 500 gm fresh tomato pulp
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree.
  • 2 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tsp Worcester sauce
  • 1 tsp mixed herbs
  • 1 tsp sage.
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Let’s Cook!
Heat a glug olive oil in a pan and saute onions and garlic.
Add the mince and cook until browned
Add tomatoes and cook for a few minutes then add tomato puree and mixed herbs, bay leaf, oregano, balsamic and Worcester sauce.
Cook on a slow simmer for 20 minutes and then add mushrooms, cook for another 10 minutes and stir in fresh basil…

N.B. I always add extra herbs depending on what fresh herbs I have…I think herbs and spices are down to the individual as we all have our own preferences so I say taste and adjust as necessary.

This sauce can be served with pasta of your choice if making lasagna then you will need to make a white sauce.

To make lasagna start with a layer of mince then pasta sheets, Then meat sauce, white sauce, pasta until you have completed 4 layers finishing with the white sauce.
Grate over your favourite cheese… I use cheddar or a mix of mozzarella and cheddar.
Cheese can be difficult to get here so if I have plenty then I also use some cheese between my layers for a cheesier lasagna.
I think lasagna is the type of dish where anything goes really sometimes I add bell pepper to my sauce it depends what I have in my larder.
Cook lasagna on 180 degrees for 30 minutes or until pasta is cooked and cheese is golden and bubbling.

Lasagne with salad
Serve with mixed Salad and or Garlic bread.
Enjoy!

Lastly, did you know that on the last Wednesday of August in a little town called  Buñol just outside Valencia in Spain one of the highlights of Spain’s Summer Festival is La Tomatina Tomato fight and they use at least 245,500 lbs (110,000)kg of tomatoes and have a massive tomato fight… anything that moves gets pelted. I bet that is fun though have you ever been to a tomato fight???

That’s all, for now, I hope you enjoy the recipes and don’t forget ..tomatoes lose their flavour if you store them in the fridge.

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Have a great weekend everyone I hope the weather is kind to you…Until next time xxx

 

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Fruity Friday’s …Apples!

Carol cooks! (1) Apples Collage

It’s that time of year when the apple trees are coming into bloom and to me, there is nothing as pretty as an Apple Tree in full bloom…They are just beautiful.

Did you know that worldwide 7,500 different varieties of apples are grown? My favourite apples are Bramley’s, Cox’s and Braeburn apples which ones are your favourite apples ???

As the saying goes an ” Apple a day keeps the doctor away” and that little round ball of goodness is 2/3 fibre has lots of anti-oxidants especially in the peel so do not peel it…please. They are also fat-free, sodium free and cholesterol free and come in all shades of red, green and yellow so many to choose from…Which apple or apples are your favourite????

Apples have been around since at least 6500 BC and used to be called winter bananas or melt in your mouth… Mmmmm, don’t really get that connection…

Who loved doing apple bobbing at Halloween?? Or that party game where you were blindfolded and had your hands behind your back and had to take a bite of the apple sometimes it was a doughnut…But good fun…

Still mainly picked by hand apple growing is called pomology and the apple is a member of the rose family.

The cook in me can tell you that two pounds of apples will make a 9” pie…that apples ripen 6-10 times faster kept at room temperature than if you refrigerate them.

Apples go well with many dishes and recipes I mean you cannot have roast pork without applesauce or coleslaw without apple my mum used to make wonderful pancakes with slices of apple in the batter and her apple pie was also the best ever… I am still trying to bake a pie as good as my mum’s.

apple- pie

Apple Pie

Here are some of my favourite recipes using apples…Starting with coleslaw…

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 Cook!

 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.

Put in Bowl, add some mayo,  pinch of salt, freshly ground black pepper and a good squeeze of fresh lemon juice.

apples- white cabbage-carrots

Apple Coleslaw

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 so easy to make enough for 1 or 10.

Enjoy!

Applesauce is one of the easiest sauces to make and can be used in so many different ways.

apple-sauce-544676_1280

To make applesauce just peel your apples add a tiny bit of water and depending on which apples you are using you can add a little sugar…I don’t…Sometimes I add some cloves, cinnamon stick it depends…Cook until softened and then you can puree if you like a smooth sauce or just roughly mash it or leave it as it is…

Applesauce pureed is a lovely food for babies when they first start eating solids maybe mix a little with rice or porridge for them.

*You can use 1/4 cup of unsweetened applesauce in place of one egg in most baking recipes. Some say to mix it with 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder. If all you have is sweetened applesauce, then simply reduce the amount of sugar in the recipe. Applesauce is also a popular healthy replacement for oil in many baked goods.

N.B I haven’t used applesauce as an egg substitute myself…Have you????

I love baked apples which is something my mum used to make filled with sultanas and baked in the oven she also used to cover the apple in suet pasty and make a suet apple pudding… All served with a bowl full of custard…None of which I cook now I must admit but I have happy childhood memories…

What is your favourite childhood memories of eating apples????

My mum’s apple pie recipe…

apple pie-2760064_1280

https://blondieaka.wordpress.com/2017/01/02/apple-pie/it

To serve: Add a squirt of cream or some lovely clotted cream if you can get it, custard or a scoop of lovely Cornish ice cream.

Watching the calories then top the apple with some meringue ..very nice or add a crumble mix my recipe for crumble made separately is very nice and you could add as little as you like just a spoonful layered in a glass gives that little bit of added crunch.

https://blondieaka.wordpress.com/2018/03/28/apple-and-mulberry-crumble/

What else are apples used for ?? Apple juice, Apple cider vinegar ( A post on this coming shortly), Cider, Apple vinegar all of which have many health benefits and uses… Just be careful if you buy apple juice that it is not loaded with loads of sugar and other nasties which those sneaky drinks companies put in everything…Don’t get me started…lol and if it’s cider( scrumpy) moderation is the name…

I hope you have enjoyed this post on the humble little apple if you have please hit the share button…Thank you, XXX

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Until next time have a brilliant weekend , stay safe, and laugh a lot xx

 

 

 

 

 

Fruity Friday’s …The Juniper Berry.

Fruity Friday's Juniper Berries

Welcome to Fruity Fridays today it is the lovely Juniper Berry something I hadn’t used in recipes until I moved to Thailand… Where I discovered that Juniper Berries…..make a beautiful sauce.

The Juniper grows either on a beautiful evergreen tree which can grow as high as 131 ft or Junipers come on small low growing spreading shrubs so depending on where in the world you are you should able to find these luscious little berries although I use them dried and they are very nice.

They are the only spice which comes from a conifer tree and the spice is used in a variety of cuisines and culinary dishes.

The extract is also used to make essential oils.

Also Girls just in case you didn’t know it the primary flavour in Gin… Oh yes, one of those would go down very nicely at the moment…lol

The berries are green when young, and mature to a purple-black colour over about 18 months in most species. The mature, dark berries are usually but not exclusively used in cookery, while your Gin ladies is flavoured with fully grown but immature green berries.

Paired with game meat like Venison, quail or pheasant it makes a great sauce.

Juniper Sauce:

quail-727968_1920

Ingredients:

  • 1 banana shallot peeled and finely chopped.
  • 8 juniper berries very lightly crushed.
  • 2 cloves of garlic finely chopped.
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 200 ml white burgundy or a dry white wine.
  • 4 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 40 gm butter
  • 25 gm flour
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme leaves.
  • 300 ml venison stock
  • 100 ml double cream
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.

Let’s Cook!

Put shallot, garlic, sugar, white wine vinegar, juniper berries, white wine and thyme in a pan and bring to the boil.

Lower the heat and simmer for 3-4 minutes this needs to reduce to about 2 tbsp.

In another pan melt the butter and whisk in the flour to make a roux.  Strain your wine reduction through a fine sieve and still whisking…we don’t want a lumpy sauce now do we? Add the wine reduction….keep whisking!

Pick out the juniper berries and add to the sauce. Keep whisking and add the stock slowly now….to the sauce a ladle at a time.  Cook the sauce for 10 mins or until it coats the back of a spoon.

Finally, pour in the cream and bring to a very slow simmer.

Remove from the heat and season.

The sauce can be used immediately or reheated when it is needed.

This is a beautiful sauce over when poured over a  luscious piece of beautifully cooked venison or my favourite quail… if you have guests for dinner or just for that special occasion.

Enjoy!

Juniper berries are used widely in European and Scandinavian cuisine they go especially well with wild birds and game.

My next recipe was given to me by my Swiss friend Marianne and it was a recipe which her mother used to make every single weekend for her father…A family tradition. I have copied Marianne’s recipe exactly as she gave it too me..no changes…

Marianne’s Recipe:

Surre Moche- Swiss-recipe- authentic

The beef marinating in the red wine

Tip: 1dl equals 100ml.

Sauerbraten ( Suure Moche) is popular in many regions of Switzerland, but the taste is always unique because it is marinated in the local wine. Those that do not have their own wine add vinegar to the marinade and bind the sauce with sour cream.
 
1kg (2,2 lbs) beef chuck, eg. shoulder, 1/2 celery root,1 leek, 2 carrots, 1 garlic clove, 1 clove, 6 juniper berries, 4 cardamom seeds, 4 coriander seeds, 12 peppercorns, thyme 1, Liter (1 gt) wine, 2dl (3/4 C) liquid instant gravy, 3 Tbs butter, 1 Tbs flour, salt, pepper, 2 Tbs sour cream, 1 piece dark bread (end piece)
 
Dice half of the vegetables and cut half of the herbs into fine strips. Bring to boil in 7 dl (2 3/4 C)wine. Place the meat in a deep bowl and pour over the hot marinade. Let stand in a cool place for 5 days. Be sure that the meat is always completely covered with wine.
After the 5 days have passed, remove the meat and pour out the marinade. Dab the meat dry with paper towelling. Sauté on all sides in 2 Tbs butter. Add the remaining chopped vegetables, herbs and bread. Let steam briefly, then pour in 3 dl (1 1/4 C) wine and simmer slowly for 2 hours. Add the dissolved instant gravy and reduce slightly. Knead the flour with the rest of the butter and stir into the sauce.
Season with salt and pepper and enhance with sour cream. Simmer over low heat for 15 minutes.
Serve with mashed potatoes.
That’s all for Fruity Fridays I hope you enjoyed the post if so please hit the share buttons…Thank you xxx

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Have a lovely day xxx

 

Fruity Friday’s…Korlan Fruit…

Carol cooks! Korlan Fruit

This tiny little sweet and sour fruit is part of the Sapindaceae family which includes lychee, longan and rambutan.

It is a tiny little fruit which grows wild and is often called the wild lychee the tree it comes from is enormous and the fruit so tiny it also quite rare to find… I came across this fruit quite by chance when I took a ride back from the market in a tuk-tuk.

The tuk-tuk driver had a bag of these in the back and told me to try some which I did ..of course…when I expressed my pleasure he gave me some…Thais are very generous if you try what they offer and you like it you will always be gifted some. He told me that he had a tree in his village which was where he got the fruit from…

korlan fruit on bunch

When peeled they look like a very small lychee and I could find very little information about this lovely little fruit… It may be found locally on markets or often people just sit on the sidewalk with a few fruits and vegetables from their land which they are selling to make a few baht but this is also where you come across unusual fruits and vegetables which are not commercially grown or grown wild.

Korlan fruit with one peeled

Found also in Laos and Myanmar it is not grown commercially or generally cultivated so quite rare.

Korlan… the rare wild fruit juice has a delicious and unique taste of sour and sweet variety with health benefits from vitamins and antioxidants.

It is said to regulate blood sugar and also to improve concentration and stress. Locals say eaten daily or taken as a syrup/extract made from the fruit it gives increased energy and boosts the immune system, therefore, combating flu viruses and colds.

korlan fruit in chilli sauce

My daughter in law said they were also eaten with a dried chilli, fish sauce and lime sauce and they were quite nice this type of dip/sauce is quite commonly eaten with fruits.

Not that we would eat the stone but it is said that it is probably poisonous.

Have you come across this fruit?? Do you have any recipes using this fruit?? If so I would love to hear from you in the comments x

Thank you for reading this post I do hope you enjoyed it and if you did please hit the share buttons xxx

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Fruity Friday’s…The Tamarind

Fruity Friday's The Tamarind

I just don’t know where the time goes it’s Friday again and this week I am showcasing the lovely Tamarind…The Tamarind is very plentiful here and used in many Thai dishes …I love just eating the fruit it has quite a sour taste but I like it…It is sold in little packs here on the markets the seeds already removed or as a paste to add to food. It is also sold dried and sugared as a snack food and although sugared is still has quite a sour…taste…

This rather plain brown pods fruit does, however, have the capacity to elevate your food to something else.

Tamarind like many fruits and vegetables has a long history of healing and aiding stomach disorders and is used as a laxative.

Tamarind Preparations are used for fevers, sore throats, inflammation of joints and sunstroke. The leaves dried or boiled are made into poultices to help reduce swollen joints, sprains, boils, haemorrhoids and conjunctivitis.

Tamarind is also great as a marinade for meat as it breaks down and tenderises tougher cuts of meat. It is used to make jams and syrups it is also one of the secret ingredients of Lea & Perrins  Worcestershire sauce which is a fermented sauce which has many uses.

Great for smoothies a mango and tamarind smoothie is very nice it also has many other culinary uses.

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.

  • 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.

It is hard for me to pick a favourite dish made with Tamarind this recipe for Beef Rendang is a recipe given to me by my friend Mamik and it is very nice the beef is amazing. It is also my go-to recipe if I want that special dish to impress although there are many ingredients and it has quite a long prep time it is so worth it and as I said earlier if I am having guests a really lovely dish. You can see how rich and flavoursome that meat looks and it tastes amazing…

beef rendang

Ingredients:

  • 2” Galangal
  • 2” Ginger
  • 1 kg beef (Bottom Round)
  • 1-litre  Coconut Milk (3 sm tins and made to one litre with water)
  • Grind together and put on one side, 1 tbsp Coriander seeds, 1 tsp Cumin seeds and 1 tsp white peppercorns.
  • 2 Star Anise.
  • Half cup toasted coconut (pound in pestle until oil is released and it looks like a paste.)
  • 1 Turmeric Leaf (Leave the leaf whole but tear side to stem along leaf) this releases the flavour.
  • 2 stems lemongrass crushed along the stem.
  • 2 Lime leaves.
  • Soak 1-2 tsp Tamarind pulp in a little water and set aside for later.

Curry Paste:

Blitz the next 4 ingredients together to make the curry paste.

  • 2cm Fresh Turmeric.
  • 10 Shallots
  • 5 Cloves Garlic
  • 10 large red chillies (de-seed if you want a milder curry)

Let’s Cook!

Cut the beef into large cubes.

Put a tbsp oil of your choice in a cooking pot (I use a wok). Add Curry paste, ground coriander seeds, cumin and white peppercorns plus add chopped ginger,turmeric and galangal stir for 5 mins, add beef and stir to combine. Add coconut milk/water mixture and stir to combine.

Slowly bring to a gentle simmer, add torn turmeric leaf, lemongrass and lime leaves and star anise.

Cover pan and cook until meat is tender at least 3 hrs on a low simmer, stirring occasionally.

Add the ground coconut paste about half hour before the end of the cooking time and also the tamarind liquid and this is when the magic happens and the taste goes from just another curry to something wonderful.

When the meat is cooked and tender remove the turmeric leaf and lemongrass stalks although if we are not eating the curry until the next day I leave them and remove them before we eat the curry.

This curry should traditionally have a very thick paste and is also best eaten the next day to allow the flavours to develop.

However, as Europeans prefer a thinner sauce you can choose not to reduce down as much.

Enjoy!

Another of my favourites is Miang Kham although I have made at home some markets sell all the little bits ready cut in bags with the sauce much easier and they taste just the same as much of the food sold on the markets here is made in home kitchens and brought to market…

miang-kham-1188212_1920

 

Ingredients: Filling:

  • 3/4 cup grated coconut (this is often available in the baking section of most supermarkets) if you are not as lucky as me and can buy from our local fresh markets.
  • 2 small limes, unpeeled (try to get limes with thin skin), cut into small cubes
  • 6 tablespoons shallots, peeled and cut into small cubes
  • 6 tablespoons roasted peanuts
  • 6 tablespoons small dried shrimps
  • 4-5 fresh Thai chillies, cut into small slivers
  • 4 oz fresh ginger, peeled and cut into small cubes.

Ingredients: Sauce:

  • 1 tablespoon shrimp paste, roasted until fragrant
  • 2 oz fresh galangal, cut into slivers and roasted until fragrant (see note below)
  • 1/4 cup grated coconut, roasted in a low-heat oven until lightly brown
  • 4 oz small dried shrimps.
  • 2 oz shallots, peeled and coarsely cut
  • 1.5 teaspoons fresh ginger, sliced
  • 8 oz palm sugar (broken into small chunks)
  • 2 tablespoons table sugar
  • 1 tbsp tamarind soaked in 3 tbsp water for about 10 mins.
  • salt for seasoning

Let’s Cook!

The Sauce.

In a pestle and mortar, pound together the shallots and galangal until fine (note about galangal: it’s ok to use dried galangal as long as it’s placed in a dish of lukewarm water for a few minutes to reconstitute). Add roasted shrimp paste, ginger, coconut and dried shrimp, and continue pounding until smooth. Remove the mixture and place in a pot with 1.5 cups water. Bring to a boil over medium heat, add palm sugar and table sugar, then reduce heat and simmer, wait until reduced to 1 cup or a bit less. Add tamarind liquid. Taste, and adjust by adding a bit of salt. Remove from heat and transfer to a small bowl.

Wrapping Leaves

Your choice of what leaves to use is up to you. Some use lettuce or spinach leaves due to ready availability, but to get an authentic flavour you should use the fresh Betel Leaves.

To serve:

Roast the coconut in a low-heat oven until lightly brown. Spoon the roasted coconut into a serving plate. In separate small bowls, arrange each filling ingredient listed above. With a fresh wrapping leaf in hand, fold it once across the bottom then sideways to form a pocket. Place about 1 teaspoon toasted coconut in the leaf together with a small amount of each filling to create a bite-sized quantity. Spoon the sauce on top, pop in your mouth and enjoy!

Although this can be a little time-consuming to prepare it is well worth it.

Lastly a beautiful salad with a Tamarind Sauce.

Yum Takrai (Spicy Lemongrass Salad)

Lemon Grass-Authentic recipe-Thai food

Ingredients:

  • 15 stalks fresh lemongrass.
  • 14 cup finely chopped ginger
  • 2 tbsp. toasted cashews
  • 2 tbsp. whole dried shrimp
  • 12 tbsp. fish sauce
  • 12 tbsp. fresh lime juice
  • 1/2-1 12 tbsp. sugar
  • 1 tbsp. whole dried shrimp, finely ground
  • 4-6 red Thai chillies stemmed and thinly sliced
  • 2 shallots, very thinly sliced lengthwise
  • 3 raw stemmed long beans, cut into 4″ pieces for garnish.

Let’s Cook!

Trim and slice lemon grass very finely. Transfer lemongrass slices to a medium bowl, separate rings with your fingers. Add ginger, cashews, shrimp, fish sauce, lime juice, sugar, ground shrimp, Thai chiles, and shallots, and toss well. Garnish with long beans. Serve on Banana Leaf or Betel Leaf as in my picture.
We also serve with a tamarind sauce made by combining 3 tbsp tamarind pulp with cup water in small pan, bring to boil and simmer 5 mins.
Remove from heat and stand 15 mins you can help break tamarind down with a spoon, strain through sieve extracting as much liquid as possible.
Add 2cm peeled finely chopped ginger and 2 cloves finely chopped garlic, 11/2 tbsp palm sugar,2 tsp fish sauce,1 tbsp chilli/garlic sauce and 1 tsp soy sauce to tamarind liquid. Bring to boil, simmer 5 mins.
Whisk 1 tbsp cornflour with little water whisk into sauce cook 1 min or until thickens.
Taste and adjust seasoning add more sugar if required.
Keeps in an airtight container in the fridge for up to one week.
Enjoy!

Thank you for reading this I hope you enjoyed it and found it helpful if you did please feel free to share……Thank you xxx

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Fruity Friday’s…Rosella Fruit.

Carol cooks! Rosella Fruit

 

And yes it is Saturday but yesterday was Thai New Year…Songkran and it was hot, wet and very alcoholic…Hic….But today is another day…

Rosella Fruit.

I have only ever seen these dried before not fresh…so something new to try… I just love it when I come across something I have not used or seen before…I get so excited.

I love finding fruit and vegetables which I haven’t come across before and this one caught my eye when shopping …I did have to put out a call on FB as I didn’t know the name or what I could do with it…Luckily one of my Indonesian friends came to the rescue…Once she told me the name I recognised it as having had a tea made from the dried fruits a while ago and loving it.

Rosella grows easily here it loves a tropical climate it is also a very pretty plant the species grown here in Thailand has broader leaves and pink rather than cream flowers and the leaves are used more than the fruits.

In Australia, it is still thought by many to be an exotic plant but has been mentioned in early Australian history and known by many as “Bush Tucker”

Also known by the more recognisable name of Hibiscus it is rich in Vitamin C and when made into a tea is promoted as a cure for colds if taken regularly.

A very nice sugar syrup can also be made for using in cocktails…Just saying!

After some scouring of the internet, I came across a recipe for jam…I only made a small amount as I was not familiar with the fresh fruit or the taste.
Ingredients:

rosella flowers

  • 500 gm Rosella fruit, seedpod separated from the Calyx and Bracts ( cut into small pieces)
  • Approx 2 cups Sugar depending on exact weight of fruit
  • Approx 2-3 cups Water

 

Firstly I soaked the fruits in cold water for about 20 minutes so as to not only clean them but remove any insects.
It was then a case of removing the seed pod from the inside of the fruit…Covering the seed pods with water and cooking them for about 20 minutes.
The seed pods contain naturally produced pectin…I simmered these for about 20 minutes and then removed the pods and disposed of them aka binned them.Remember to keep the cooking water.
I weighed the flowers before cooking them and then I measured exactly half their weight of sugar.

rosella fruit in pan
The Rosella flowers were then added to the cooking water in which the seed pods were cooked and the fruits cooked until they were softened and the liquid starts to turn syrupy which took about 10 minutes I then added the sugar and cooked the fruit until it softened and turned jam-like..
Remove from the heat and put in sterilised jars…

The key to this recipe is to weigh the fruit and do the exact amount of sugar and water.
This makes a very nice fruit preserve and one which I will definitely make again.

N.B. Next time I will cut the fruit into smaller pieces rather than leave them whole.

Now you all know me well and know I can’t resist thinking would it be like if I added some ginger and chilli…very nice as it happens…

Rosella Relish

rosella-fruit-relish

Rosella fruit

 

Ingredients

  • 250 gm Rosella fruit
  • 60 ml sugar
  • 2cm piece fresh ginger grated finely
  • 2 red shallots chopped finely
  • 5 ml red chilli powder/flakes
  • 10 ml apple cider vinegar
  • 375 ml water
  • A pinch of salt

Let’s Cook!
Remove the red portions/calyces & discard the seed pods
Wash & place in a pan along with water, shallots, ginger, sugar, salt and chilli flakes
Bring to a soft rolling boil and cook until the liquid is greatly reduced. This takes approx 25-30 mins.
When the chutney is almost done, add the vinegar and stir well.
Remove the pan from the heat and allow to cool slightly and put in a sterilised glass container.

Lovely as a relish with cold/ hot meats or in a burger… with brie and freshly made bread it is very nice.

Thank you for reading this I do hope you enjoyed it and loved the recipes if you did please feel free to hit the share button……Thank you xxx

 

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