The Culinary Alphabet…The Letter D


Welcome to my culinary tour of the alphabet it seems from the comments that you are enjoying it and for that I thank you…

The letter D…

Durian…

The king of fruits  known here as “The Durian Fruit”

In Thailand, Durian is often eaten fresh with sweet sticky rice, and blocks of durian paste are sold in the markets, though much of the paste is mixed with pumpkin. Unripe durians may be cooked as a vegetable.
The shops also sell Durian chips and Durian ice cream.
I had lived here for a number of years before I even tried Durian as having heard the tales and smelt the fruit…I was not in a hurry to taste one. When at last I plucked up the courage…

What did I think?… I tentatively took the smallest piece expecting the taste to be absolutely horrid instead it is a strange combination of savory, sweet, and creamy all at once.

I was hooked…..The smell I think you either love or hate it…I don’t mind it although it is really cloying and invades everything so I can understand why it is banned on airlines, some hotels, and public places.

A seasonal fruit available from June to August it is in great demand here…It is sold from the back of trucks along the road, markets and in the supermarkets. It is also quite expensive due to generally having one season a year and also its popularity..

It’s also used in traditional Asian medicine, as both an anti-fever treatment and an aphrodisiac.

A piece of traditional Asian folklore: is that getting intoxicated while eating Durians can lead to death. There have been some studies into an enzyme that Durian possesses which can react to alcohol quite strongly.

Thailand loves Durian so much that each May, the Chanthaburi province hosts a nine-day festival to the stinky food.

I hope you have enjoyed learning about this very popular Thai fruit and if you get the chance to try it …Just do it!

You will not be disappointed.

Drupe...There are dry drupes and fleshy drupes…

Mangoes, peaches, and almonds are in the same drupe family as the coconut. Although the coconut is a dry drupe and peaches and mango are fleshy drupes.  Well, I clearly am not a botanical expert but in my world, I have always thought of those as fruits so the coconut to me is a cross between a fruit and a nut which we eat the flesh off and drink the lovely juice of a huge seed.

There you have it!

De-Glaze

De-glazing is a culinary term for removing and dissolving those lovely bits of browned food you get on the bottom of your pan when cooking… by either using wine or stock it is used to add flavor to sauces, soups, and gravies.

Dash...A small amount of an ingredient that is added to a dish technically equivalent to 1/8 tsp and apparently you can purchase measuring spoons to that effect.

Daube...A stew,  a classic French stew of inexpensive beef cooked with wine, herbs and vegetables and a famous Provencal stew known as Boeuf en Daube.

Dirty Rice... Is the name given to a spicy Cajun rice dish a traditional Creole dish. Made using white rice the dish gets its color from the chopped chicken livers, sausage or ground beef made much tastier by making your own Cajun spice mix…easy to do and if stored in a screw top jar in a dry cupboard will keep for a few months.

I normally make my own spice mixes and to be honest, it is easy and quick and I turnaround my dried spices much quicker rather than having a pot in the back of the cupboard which is used infrequently and loses its potency and flavor.

Cajun Spice Mix for Dirty Rice.

1 1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 1/2 tsp onion powder
1  tbsp seasoning salt
1 tbsp Paprika
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp Cayenne pepper …I always add a bit more it depends on your spice level.
1 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp red chili flakes ( optional)

Let’s Cook!

Put all the ingredients in a bowl and stir well to combine …Store in an airtight pot.
How easy is that???
I love making my own spices as you can adjust the heat if they are spicy and have no preservatives so quite frankly it is a win, win situation, isn’t it?

Lastly, I have  …

Dock Leaves…

Young Dock leaves are tender and delicious they do however get very bitter the older they get but the root boiled and drank as a tea was said to be a cure for boils I think all these old remedies are making a come back and especially living where I do know they have a plant leaf for every ailment…

I have been doing a lot more research lately into the benefits of plants and fruits and am constantly amazed at what properties most of them have both medicinally and uses as dyes, glue and so much more.

The Broad-leaved Dock leaf was also known as Butter Dock as the leaves were used to preserve and wrap butter.

Let’s Cook!

The leaves also make a great wrap for Dolmas just a 30-second blanch in boiling water and drain on paper, pat lightly so as not to tear the leaves.

Secondly, sweat 2 cloves of finely chopped garlic and half an onion in some olive oil add 2 cups of cooked rice, stir gently to combine and remove from the heat.

Squeeze a large lemon or lime you need about 1/4 cup into the mixture with a large handful of chopped mint and parsley. Season with salt and pepper.

Refrigerate as these are generally eaten cold with a dash of lemon and olive oil. I prefer mine heated up and just very lightly sauteed in a little oil and serve with a mayo dip.

Enjoy!

Dock leaf crisps are also very tasty and if you boil the dock leaves down they make a sort of paste which has a lemony flavour and mixed with feta it is a lovely thing…or olive oil, chillies, garlic and black pepper…. and yes you just knew I would sneak in a chilli or two…ha ha

But remember you want the leaves from the center of the plant the young leaves just unfurling are the best….older equals bitter.

So that broad-leafed dock plant which soothed my nettle stings and was used by my mum in her kitchen when she caught her arm or hand on the oven or cooker ..has alkaline secretions which are very good and immediately neutralize any acidic sting or burn.

And just a piece of trivia for you.

Did you know? If you slice the dock root vertically then you can age it as it has growth rings just like a tree.

That is all for this month…Next month is the letter E… I remember someone throwing out a challenge on that one and I opted for Elephants Ears which I had been seeing every day and didn’t realize what they were and their uses…Sometimes things are right in front of our noses, aren’t they?

Enjoy the rest of your week xxx

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59 Comments
  • -Eugenia
    Posted at 08:04h, 24 May Reply

    Love your new theme, Esme. I miss not being able to reblog or give a thumbs up on your posts.

    A few weeks ago, I changed BrewNSpew to the WP Business Plan and found there wasn’t the option to reblog. So I had WP put BrewNSpew back to the Premium Plan and I’m using the Business Plan on my other blog, ThusNSuch.

    • EsmeSalon
      Posted at 10:09h, 24 May Reply

      I still have the like button. For reblog just grab the link and do a short post on your blog, add the link and voila reblog with a difference

      • -Eugenia
        Posted at 12:30h, 24 May Reply

        👍 Got it!

        • EsmeSalon
          Posted at 14:47h, 24 May Reply

          🌹

    • Carol
      Posted at 20:34h, 24 May Reply

      Which is what I did but still wish WP would use that reblog across all their schemes 🙂

      • EsmeSalon
        Posted at 06:28h, 25 May Reply

        Yes, why take something away that’s working well. Do not mess and make changes if everybody (most I think) would love to have this across WP.

        • Carol
          Posted at 20:09h, 29 May Reply

          I think so to..come on WP.. 🙂 X

          • EsmeSalon
            Posted at 20:11h, 29 May

            Let’s give them a go Carol

          • Carol
            Posted at 20:14h, 29 May

            Yes, maybe we should start a petition????

          • EsmeSalon
            Posted at 21:20h, 29 May

            Yup yup

  • Lise
    Posted at 07:21h, 24 May Reply

    Did not know what de-glaze was, I don’t even know if I know the word for it in my own language, so happy to have learned something new 🙂

    • EsmeSalon
      Posted at 10:06h, 24 May Reply

      Never too old to learn new things

    • Carol
      Posted at 20:33h, 24 May Reply

      I learn something every time I do my research and I probably have a lot more to learn as well but pleased you also learnt something Lise that’s what so nice about blogging isn’t it?

      • EsmeSalon
        Posted at 06:27h, 25 May Reply

        Thank you, thank you, thank you Carol for all the effort you put into your posts.

  • johnrieber
    Posted at 06:35h, 24 May Reply

    Great list, durian is legendary for how bad it smells and how great it tastes…you can’t find it much here where I live, so I appreciate the explainer!

    • EsmeSalon
      Posted at 06:38h, 24 May Reply

      Hi John, Also not something I am familiar with, heard of it, but not seen it. Just love to learn all these new things from around the world.

      • Carol
        Posted at 20:31h, 24 May Reply

        The Durian season is in full throttle here …It doesn’t last for long but the rest of the year we can get chips, icecream so much made with the Durian:)

        • EsmeSalon
          Posted at 06:26h, 25 May Reply

          The more I read about this Durian, the more curious I get, so for sure I will go and hunt for it this weekend.

  • Smorgasbord - Variety is the Spice of Life.
    Posted at 02:03h, 24 May Reply

    Another great post Carol… and thanks for hosting Esme.. hugsxx

    • EsmeSalon
      Posted at 06:24h, 24 May Reply

      It’s totally my delight to have our mutual friend and blogger here with us.

    • Carol
      Posted at 20:29h, 24 May Reply

      Thank you, Sally 🙂 xx

      • EsmeSalon
        Posted at 06:26h, 25 May Reply

        Sally, we are so lucky to have such an awesome blogger in our midst to share all these wonderful posts with us. Thanks again Carol

        • Carol
          Posted at 07:50h, 25 May Reply

          Thank you for those kind words, Esme 🙂 x

    • Carol
      Posted at 20:08h, 29 May Reply

      Thank you, Sally…Hugs 🙂 xxx

      • EsmeSalon
        Posted at 20:10h, 29 May Reply

        You’re the best

  • TanGental
    Posted at 23:59h, 23 May Reply

    Durian… hmm, not so much the marmite of fruits but the skunk… couldn’t get beyond the smell, sadly. Still, there are plenty of other choices to go on the bucket list.

    • EsmeSalon
      Posted at 06:23h, 24 May Reply

      I just ♥ ♥ this culinary journey you have taken on, Me thinks, we need the alphabet Janet spoke about to get more such wonderful posts.

      • TanGental
        Posted at 07:56h, 24 May Reply

        I think that is true. A guest letter to select their fav and not so fav foods…

        • EsmeSalon
          Posted at 18:00h, 24 May Reply

    • Carol
      Posted at 20:28h, 24 May Reply

      It took me a while to go beyond the smell but when I did..Love it! And my marmite 🙂

      • EsmeSalon
        Posted at 06:25h, 25 May Reply

        Marmite – oh yummy

      • TanGental
        Posted at 08:52h, 25 May Reply

        One day I may overcome the smell…

        • EsmeSalon
          Posted at 17:19h, 25 May Reply

          hihi – all this talk about the smell, do I really want to go and hunt it out this weekend???

    • EsmeSalon
      Posted at 06:22h, 24 May Reply

      Thanks dear dear Carol

  • Snuffy
    Posted at 21:47h, 23 May Reply

    These are fun, Esme! And the new site does look nice. The pictures really stand out nicely! 🙂

    • Carol
      Posted at 20:26h, 24 May Reply

      Thank you : )

      • Snuffy
        Posted at 11:53h, 29 May Reply

        Hi Carol, sorry I missed this was YOUR guest post. I should have guessed with the tropical fruit!

        • EsmeSalon
          Posted at 17:23h, 29 May Reply

          How else,can only be our wonderful Carol with such an awesome post.

        • Carol
          Posted at 20:03h, 29 May Reply

          Not a problem at all …I miss posts sometimes there are so many ,I am trying a different method at the moment as my reader and inbox was just chocka all the time…Thank you for dropping by…I hope all is good with you 🙂 x

  • ourdailyscraps
    Posted at 20:38h, 23 May Reply

    Durian! Woot woot! I agree, it’s a divisive fruit: you either love it or hate it. 😀 And yes, your culinary alphabet idea is a creative way to blog! Looking forward for more

    • EsmeSalon
      Posted at 20:46h, 23 May Reply

      Thanks for popping in Our Daily Scraps

    • Carol
      Posted at 20:26h, 24 May Reply

      Thank you… I love it! Do you ??

      • EsmeSalon
        Posted at 06:24h, 25 May Reply

        I will have to go and try and find it here, not sure if I will but worth a try this weekend.

      • ourdailyscraps
        Posted at 07:22h, 25 May Reply

        I definitely do! Pity they come in seasons else I would eat it all year long

        • EsmeSalon
          Posted at 07:29h, 25 May Reply

          Would it be possible to stock and rework or freeze it? I have no knowledge of durian just a general question

          • ourdailyscraps
            Posted at 07:42h, 25 May

            I think so. Some stores sell durian products all year round, so I’m pretty sure they deep freeze it or something. But the taste is not as fresh so locals tend not to buy it during off seasons.

          • Carol
            Posted at 20:06h, 29 May

            Best way to freeze is triple wrap..clingfilm, then foil and then in a zip loc bag 🙂

          • EsmeSalon
            Posted at 20:10h, 29 May

            Thanks Carol.

  • Carol
    Posted at 19:14h, 23 May Reply

    Thank you for hosting me on your new blog Esme it looks lovely..Fresh and clean 🙂 xx

    • EsmeSalon
      Posted at 19:22h, 23 May Reply

      Thanks my friend, just still having a problem with stretching of my images, and also just noticed that the time setting was incorrect so made that change as well. I take it that I will still have a lot of small things to correct as they crop up. Thanks for your continued support and monthly posts Carol

      • Carol
        Posted at 19:26h, 23 May Reply

        Not a problem dear Esme ..I just wish self hosted had a reblog or press this option which they don’t …I will have to do a post and link it to this … 🙂

        • EsmeSalon
          Posted at 19:34h, 23 May Reply

          Mwah, sorry about that, never realized it

          • Carol
            Posted at 19:40h, 23 May

            Not your fault at all, Esme for some reason it is not an option on self hosted blogs 🙂 xx

          • EsmeSalon
            Posted at 20:45h, 23 May

            Very sad indeed

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