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The Culinary Alphabet – The letter S

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The Culinary Alphabet – The letter S.  Welcome to this months issue!


Now S should be an easy one as I can think of many items which begin with S.  I do however like to throw in the odd curveball and come up with at least one which you may not have heard of or don’t know what it means.



My favorite is this one.  Mango and avocado with red onion.


  • 1 mango, diced
  • 1 medium avocado, diced
  • ½ medium red onion, finely chopped
  • ½ bunch fresh coriander (about 1/2 cup chopped)
  • Juice of 1 medium lime (about 2tbsp)
  • 1/4 tsp salt and a pinch of black pepper, to taste


Let’s Cook!

In a medium bowl, combine diced mango, avocado, finely chopped red onion, and chopped coriander. If you like a hint of spice like me then add chopped chili.

Squeeze 2tbsp of fresh lime juice over the top and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Toss gently to combine and serve. If not serving right away, cover and refrigerate.



Is one of my most used herbs in my cookery I love sage. Sage is probably most well known as one of the main ingredients of sage and onion stuffing, which is traditionally served on Christmas Day with roast turkey or roast goose.

Sage is another herb that has been around for thousands of years and which was not only used in cooking but also as a popular medicine. In fact, the word sage derives from the Latin “salvare”, which means to heal or to save.

Culinary I use it with both chicken and pork.  Sage can be bought cut fresh or dried from your local supermarket. You can grow sage in your garden, although if you live in a cold climate, it will not grow as well as in a warm and sunny country.

Dried sage can keep for about six months but must be stored in an airtight container or glass jar.

Cut fresh sage leaves should be stored in the refrigerator in a plastic bag or you may wrap them in a damp paper towel to maintain their freshness for as long as possible. They will usually last for three or four days.

Freshly picked sage leaves from your garden will keep for at least a week longer if stored wrapped in a damp paper towel and placed in a plastic bag in the refrigerator.


Ideas for using sage in cooking

Sage is not only ideal for flavoring meat or poultry dishes, but it also goes well with cheese, apples, and tomatoes. Try some of the ideas below.

  • Use to make your own homemade stuffing mixed with onion.
  • Use to flavor homemade vegetable soups.
  • Add to your homemade sausage mix or sausage stew.
  • Add some chopped sage leaves to macaroni cheese or other cheese dishes.
  • Sprinkle chopped sage leaves or dried sage onto toasted rustic or French bread rubbed with garlic and drizzled with olive oil.
  • Now add a fresh tomato and cheese salad.
  • Use sage to season and flavor any type of tomato sauce for pasta.
  • Add a small amount of fresh sage to a cheese omelet or frittata.



  • Sprinkle freshly cut sage leaves onto your pizza.
  • Use to flavor roast chicken or fish.
  • Fry sage leaves in butter to make a delicious sauce for pasta.
  • Use sage in your own homemade pâté recipe.
  • Add some chopped sage to your bread recipe.
  • Rub sage and garlic into pork chops before grilling.



Is a mixture of foods combined with or without sauce and served cold.  It dates back to Elizabethian times and was a favorite with pirates on the high seas…A stew…A changing recipe from region to region and countries it can be anything from a dry stew to a salad where the ingredients included fruits, nuts, citrus juice, herbs and vegetables, and meats.  A showpiece sometimes or just a family favorite.



I used to hate squid with a passion…..the only squid I had ever tasted was those squid rings in batter..fried to death and tasting like a rubber tire, that is until my son bought his Thai girlfriend home and she introduced me to this amazing salad with the softest squid I have ever tasted. Doesn’t that just look amazing?




  • 400 gm(14 oz) baby squid.
  • 5 Spring Onions. (sliced)
  • 5 sm shallots. ( thinly sliced)
  • 20 cherry tomatoes. ( halved)
  • half sm cucumber sliced and quartered.
  • Coriander big bunch or again to taste…I like lots…(chop)
  • Mint. ( optional)
  • 1-3 birds Eye Chillies chopped( seeds optional)
  • 2 tbsp Fish Sauce.
  • Half lime,  juice.
  • Palm Sugar ( up to 2 tbsp ) again optional I don’t use it but depends on personal preference.


Let’s Cook!

  1. Clean the squid. Getting all membrane off and remember to pull out the plastic quill.
  2. Cut head/parrots beak off leaving the  tentacles(the best bit)
  3. Slice squid into 3/4 to inch slices.
  4. Heat a small amount of water in a pan and add squid,  cook until opaque less than a minute, Drain on kitchen paper and combine with other ingredients.
  5. Again TASTE and check to season. You cannot taste too much. It is just getting those delicious Thai flavors of sweet, sour, spicy and salty just right for took me a while so just keep tasting…



Simmering is bringing a liquid to the state of being just below boiling. You’ll see lots of little bubbles forming and rising to the surface. If your pot begins to boil, turn the heat down to maintain that gentle bubbling. It is a cooking technique that can mean the difference between fluffy and burnt rice and between tender and tough stew meat.

And we have more for you on The Culinary Alphabet – The letter S


Salt Hoss

Yee Ha, Cowboy. It is a cowboys term for corned beef.  Now depending on where you live corned beef can also mean something different but to a cowboy corned beef typically comes in two forms: a cut of beef (usually brisket, but sometimes round or silverside) cured or pickled in a seasoned brine.



Very quick and easy to make using either chicken fillets or a chicken breast sliced. These are something I make 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 it with additional peanut sauce and a salad maybe some cucumber relish.


Ingredients: for peanut sauce

  • 1 cup fresh dry roasted peanuts (unsalted)
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 2 cloves garlic very finely chopped or minced
  • 1/2 tsp dark soy sauce
  • 2 tsp. sesame oil
  • 1 to 2 tbsp. brown sugar (to taste)
  • 2 to 2 1/2 tbsp. fish sauce (for vegetarians: substitute 2 1/2 to 3 tbsp. regular soy sauce)
  • 1/2 tsp. tamarind paste (or 2 tbsp. lime juice)
  • 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper (or 1/2 tsp Thai red chili paste more or less to taste)
  • 1/3 cup coconut milk


Let’s Cook!

Place all ingredients in a blender or food processor. Blend until the sauce is smooth. If you prefer a runnier peanut sauce, add a little more water or coconut milk.

Taste,  adding more fish sauce (or soy sauce) if not salty enough, or more red curry or cayenne if not spicy enough. If too salty, add a squeeze of fresh lime juice. If you’d prefer it sweeter, add a little more sugar.

This sauce tends to thicken as it sits–just add a little water or coconut milk to thin it out, as needed. Otherwise, it stores well if kept covered in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

Add to your baked sweet potato and top with chopped red onion, green onions and coriander, and some crispy fried garlic, yummy if you love Thai flavors.




Photo credit: dalecruse on Visual Hunt / CC BY

Searing meat is 100% about building flavor. And oh, what flavor it is! When that meat hits a scorching hot pan, the surface instantly begins caramelizing. In your stew or braise or roast, this translates into the kind of deep, savory flavor. Searing meat is worth the effort. It’s an extra bit of work that results in a huge pay off in the flavor of your finished dish.



The saddle is a butchery term that refers to the meat that is at the animal’s back and hips. Think of it in terms of the meat that would be in more or less the same place as a saddle on a horse.

It is commonly only left as a whole saddle for smaller animals like rabbits and lambs where the saddle is a common cut. For larger animals like pigs, the saddle is fairly large so it often gets broken up into smaller cuts for sale, the loin, and tenderloin come from the saddle, in North America in the context of grocery stores the saddle will usually be broken down into loin chops or loin roasts. There are parts of the world where pork saddles, especially from suckling pigs are left whole and roasted. If you are trying to make a recipe for roasted pork saddle a specialty butcher should be able to sell you a saddle of suckling pig (you will probably have to order it in advance) or if you can’t find that a pork loin roast will work fairly well.





Salt there has always been so much about salt and our health for years and now it seems the tide is changing and salt is not as bad as was initially thought.  I think that like hidden sugars it is the hidden salt we need to be wary of and food needs salt so in moderation I think it is ok. What are your thoughts on this?




Photo on VisualHunt

Salami is a type of cured sausage consisting of fermented and air-dried meat, typically pork. Historically, salami was popular among southern, eastern, and central European peasants because it can be stored at room temperature for up to 40 days once cut, supplementing a potentially meager or inconsistent supply of fresh meat. Countries and regions across Europe make their own traditional varieties of salami.



Salpicon (or salpicón, meaning “hodgepodge” or “medley” in Spanish) is a dish of one or more ingredients diced or minced and bound with a sauce or liquid. There are different versions found in French, Spanish, Central American and the broader Latin American cuisine. A salpicon is sometimes used as stuffing. In contrast to the usual savory versions of other cuisines, in Colombia “salpicon” refers to a sweet and cold beverage.

Thank you for reading this post I hope there was something that piqued your interest if you liked it please share or reblog, Thank you xx

About Carol:

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 I use to 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 to Carol (Moi)


Thank you once again for reading this post and if you love it please feel free to share or bookmark for later.  If you have any queries then drop me an email [email protected]  xx

For more posts similar to The Culinary Alphabet – The letter S from Carol on the blog, check out her monthly column

  • 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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26 thoughts on “The Culinary Alphabet – The letter S”

  1. The author has gone through so much thinking and research for writing this article. Thank you for sharing this great article with us. This blog is worth to read. Keep sharing this kind of post in the future. I’m also an author. So if you have time, I invite you to have a look at my vitrarange com site. Have a nice day!

  2. Love these ideas for the letter S with foods…sage is one of my favorite herbs. I have a huge bush growing in the garden. Thank you so much for these. #SeniSal

  3. You had me at salsa. Seriously, that mango/ avocado salsa recipe sounds divine. And interesting! I would never have thought about using coriander in a salsa. All the others look good too. Thanks for this! So creative! –Paige Bainbridge (

    • It really is a lovely alternative to traditional salsa, Paige…I always use coriander in my salsa so pleased you enjoyed the recipes..Thank you for dropping in and leaving a comment 🙂

    • Paige, you should when you have a moment, take the time to revisit my blog and then go to the tab, Columns and then Carol and read some of her other posts she already shared in this series. I am sure you will find many more interesting and great recipes and ideas.

      • Lots of amazing recipes, think I might try adding more Sage to dishes. Have never thought that Saddle could be related to food. I thought it was just something you put on a horse before you ride it.

        I’d never heard of Salmagundi. I try and avoid salt and will rarely add it as it occurs naturally. I use it when boiling an egg to harden the shell but that’s about it.

        An interesting post.

        • Thank you, Marian…I use a bit more salt here as it is so hot and humid. I just avoid processed foods which are laden with salt and I think the reason many eat more than the recommended amount of salt per day.Thank for your valued comment 🙂


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