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The Culinary Alphabet: The letter N

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Welcome to this month’s The Culinary Alphabet beginning with the letter N bought to you by moi @ CarolCooks2. It seems to me that the time is just flying by we are in the month of March already.



In French, “a la nage” means “in the swim”. The classic definition of nage is a stock typically used to poach seafood, especially fish. Traditionally, nage is a broth flavored with vegetables, white wine as well as herbs. However, nage is also the cooking technique of simmering something gently in a flavourful broth. This broth can be served as a light sauce at the same time to accompany the main dish.


Nicoise Salad

A descriptive term for dishes served with particular foods used by the chefs of the City of Nice, France.  This garnish usually includes garlic, tomatoes, anchovies, black olive, capers, and lemon juice. Salad Nicoise is the most famous of all these dishes, consisting of potatoes, olives, green beans, and vinaigrette dressing.


Nori Seaweed

nori seaweed flakes

Image by F_A on Pixabay

Is the Japanese name for edible seaweed (a “sea vegetable”) As a sea vegetable, nori is naturally rich in iodine, which converts to iodide in your body.  Iodine also is essential to maintaining healthy hair, skin, teeth, and nails. Nori is also a great source of micronutrients, containing more vitamins and minerals than most vegetables and fruit.


Nut Butters

Nut butter is easy to make and free from additives, saves money and you can create your own blends…Homemade peanut butter is so easy and quick to do …

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, Nutella or flavoring of your choice then add now.

Blitz again for 1 min and put in a suitable container. Stores in fridge for 3 to 4 weeks.  It is easy and delicious.


Noisette (Butter)

Noisette Butter (meaning “nut butter” in French) is a simple sauce that is made solely from butter. It is butter that has been melted and cooked until it starts to turn light brown, but not as dark brown as for brown butter. It is called “nut butter” because the browning gives it a tawny, nut color, and also gives it a bit of a nutty taste. It is used as a sauce for brains (calves’ or lambs’), eggs, poached skate or boiled vegetables. Also good with crêpes.

A noisette is also a term in the French language for hazelnut. or In French, noisette is a small version of noix, which means a “walnut.”  The noix of a leg of lamb or ham means a “small walnut-shaped” which is a juicy morsel.  It is a small, round, or oval slice of lamb or mutton, which is cut from the leg, rib, or fillet. It is cut to provide an individual portion.



Noodles come in all shapes, sizes, and colors…Some are good for you and others not so much. However, if you make your own or buy fresh noodles colored with vegetable dye they are better than most store-bought noodles.

Here is my recipe for a lovely Thai noodle soup… You can use chicken or pork…

Thai Pork Noodle Soup…Gaeng Jeud Woon Sen…


Nettles (Stinging)

Who hasn’t gotten stung as a child particularly when it was time to pick blackberries or if your ball went into the bushes and there happened to be stinging nettles and did they sting and itch…Well, they can also be eaten they are in actual fact a very versatile plant and used as a medicine by herbalists.

How to cook the little blighters…


Napa Cabbage

Is a sweet, crunchy, flavourful Chinese cabbage which can be eaten raw, added to salads, sandwiches, and burgers. Napa can be used to prepare coleslaw. Napa cabbage is also popular as “pe-tsai,” one of the popular vegetables employed in Korean fermented dish-kimchi.



Needling is the process of injecting fat or flavors into an ingredient to enhance the flavour…my first experience of this was when on a visit to my American cousins they injected a turkey with spices and after doing this over a two day period they then deep fried the turkey…It was lovely spicy and delicious.



One of my favorite spices which is great as a topping for rice pudding or an egg custard tart…A little known fact about the nutmeg is that it is technically a hallucinogenic drug. Consuming .2 ounces can cause convulsions while eating .3 ounces can cause hallucinations. … If you eat a whole nutmeg be warned, you’ll enter what’s called “nutmeg psychosis,” which can lead to death. However, the small amount used in cooking literally a pinch is unlikely to cause any of those.



Again is a French term and it means to completely coat food with a thin layer of sauce or jelly.


Naan Bread

naan bread Daal curry rice


Great with an Indian Curry it is easily made at home and can be plain, stiffed or with garlic…there are many recipes for naan bread some with yeast and some without I prefer to use natural yogurt.


  • 4 cups of flour
  • 1 tsp of baking powder
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • 2 cups of natural yogurt.

First, mix all the dry ingredients together and then add the yogurt if the dough too wet then add more flour. Turn the dough onto a floured board and knead for about 5 minutes until smooth and elastic then form into a round and put in an oiled bowl cover with a damp cloth and leave to rest for about an hour.

Then cut into 10 equal sized pieces and form into a ball. then press flat with your hand and roll into an 8-10 circle about 1/4 inch thick. Heat your griddle and cook for 3-5 mins there will be as pictured some brown spots underneath transfer to the oven for 1-2 minutes until they puff up and slightly brown on the top remove from the oven and brush with melted butter or ghee if required. Wrap in a cloth to keep warm while you are cooking the other pieces of bread



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 vegetable 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 that I cook with 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

Connect with Carol

  • Make tomorrow more amazing than today!
  • Just believe in yourself and dream big.
  • Do not give up on your hopes. Take care always.


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My goal is to provide the best homemade recipes that are healthy for all families to enjoy. I also endeavor to showcase and share other bloggers and promote them on my Blog.    You will also find Resources and Courses and Services for Bloggers which I promote from time to time. 

5 thoughts on “The Culinary Alphabet: The letter N”

  1. Bravo – another great culinary letter! I have eaten nettle soup, and nori seaweed is a miracle food as well – Naan bread and nutmeg as well, what a delicious letter and thanks as always for the insightful information and great recipes!


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