Green beans with pine nuts

Green beans should have a bright, strong colour, with crisp pods with a satin-like sheen. They should not look wilted, discoloured or brown. They are best eaten when young and tender. To More »

Lamb koftas in yogurt with cinnamon and chilli

Lamb koftas are one of the classics of Indian cuisine, well adopted by Westerners around the world. In the simplest form, koftas consist of balls of minced or ground meat—usually beef, chicken, More »

Deep-fried zucchini flowers

Deep-fried zucchini flowers are Italian speciality and it becoming recently much wider popular. The flowers have a subtle flavour, reminiscent of young zucchinis, and can be eaten even raw. The flowers can More »

Croque senor

Croque senor is actually sandwich of Cheddar cheese and ham given a Mexican flavour with salsa of tomatoes, chilli and red pepper. It is a version of the croque-monsieur, that originated in French More »

Courgettes on garlic bread

Courgettes on garlic bread are delicious choice for quick lunch or light dinner, or even a party bite. Easy to make and with ingredients that may be found in any shop, this More »

 

Vitello tonnato

Vitello tonnato

There are two versions of vitello tonnato, North Italian dish, both featuring a sauce of mashed tuna and anchovies. In the older, Milanese, version the sauce is thinned the cream; this recipe is for the Piemontese dish, which uses mayonnaise rather than cream. Vitello tonnato is a cold dish. It is served chilled or at room temperature, generally in the summertime, as the main course of an Italian meal or as “an exceedingly elegant antipasto for an elaborate dinner. The dish is allowed to refrigerate for a period up to 5 days to fully develop the flavor. This dish is also the traditional centerpiece of the Ferragosto dinner in Milano (Assumption Day, August 15th).

Persimmon bars

Persimmon bars

Persimmon bars are delicious and if you have not cook with persimmons earlier it will be a great surprise to you. Persimmons are the edible fruit of a number of species of trees. Like the tomato, persimmons are not popularly considered to be berries, but in terms of botanical morphology the fruit is in fact a berry. Persimmons are eaten fresh, dried, raw, or cooked. When eaten fresh they are usually eaten whole like an apple or cut into quarters, though with some varieties it is best to peel the skin first. One way to consume very ripe persimmons, which can have the texture of pudding, is to remove the top leaf with a paring knife and scoop out the flesh with a spoon. Riper persimmons can also be eaten by removing the top leaf, breaking the fruit in half and eating from the inside out. The flesh ranges from firm to mushy, and the texture is unique. The flesh is very sweet and when firm due to being unripe, possesses an apple-like crunch.

Risotto nero

Risotto nero

You can sometimes buy the ink of the squid from your fishmonger, although most are lost or burst by the time the squid reaches the shop. The little sachets of ink are more easily found. Squid ink qualifies as seafood, so don’t serve this risotto with parmesan.The ink make risotto looks very much like gravelly tar. However, it’s extremely delicate, with much of the delicacy coming from the ink, which imparts an evenness to the cuttlefish flavor of the risotto that would have been absent otherwise. You could also make this with squid or calamari. The deep, murky aroma and flavor of squid ink is unmistakable, and risotto nero is a classic Italian recipe which highlights that flavor.

Preserved lemons

Preserved lemons

Make preserved lemons with ripe, new-season fruit that have not been waxed. Store-bought lemons are usually coated with wax, which has to be removed by scrubbing in warm water with a soft-bristle brush; even then it is very difficult to remove. Pieces of pickled lemon may be washed before using to remove any surface salt, or blanched to remove more of the salt and bring out the natural mild sweetness. They may then be sliced, chopped, or minced as needed for the texture of the dish. The rind may be used with or without the pulp. Preserved lemon is the key ingredient in many Moroccan dishes such as tagines. In Cambodian cuisine, it is used in dishes such as Ngam nguv, a chicken soup with whole preserved lemons. They are often combined in various ways with olives, artichokes, seafood, veal, chicken, and rice. Lemon Pickle is a standard accompaniment to curd rice, which is often the last course in South Indian Cuisine.

Jacket potatoes

Jacket potatoes

The secret of perfect jacket potatoes like the one described above is not to hurry them – give them up to 2 hours to get the really crunchy skin, learn to use the time when you’re out, so they can be ready when you come home, or go and do something else and forget about them till they’re ready. Another clue to the perfect jacket potato lies in the name – any old baked potato can have a delectably fluffy interior, but it takes real skill to achieve that wonderfully crunchy skin. It’s not something which can be rushed, which is presumably why most high-street potatoes are such damp squibs: this is a treat best cooked at home.Jacket potatoes are the ultimate winter convenience food. They’re popular with everyone from hearty outdoors types who can knock up a campfire in less time than it takes me to strike a match, to Saturday shoppers.