These addictively savoury noodles, laced with fiery chilli oil and fragrant, mouth-numbing Sichuan peppercorns do require a reasonably well stocked Chinese larder, but are relatively straight forward to make and will quite possibly become a regular on your weekly menu.
The beauty of making a paella - NO STIRRING! Get it on and go and do something else, the results are stunning. There are so many variations of this Catalan classic and (just like a risotto) there are so many different ingredients that you can use. When by the coast, fish and shellfish rule, the further inland, chicken, rabbit, sausage are the key. To make a good paella, there are a few things that you need to get right, the rest will take care of itself.
Fregola is a traditional pasta from Sardinia. It's made using Durum wheat semolina that's rolled into small balls and toasted in an oven, giving a nutty flavour and texture. Fregola sits somewhere between giant couscous and Levantine moghrabieh, both are wheat based. Fregola is really versatile - use it in salads, soups and risotto, or pair it with vegetables, meat or seafood.
Hawaij is a Yemeni spice blend with a wonderful sweet, earthy fragrance, it's deeply aromatic without any hot spice and is used to flavour soups and stews. This dish combines lamb with freekeh, a grain that's popular in the Middle East and used in salads and soups. If you haven't cooked with it yet, you're in for a treat - it's low in fat but high in protein and fibre.
Chicken wings are super tasty and really inexpensive here in the UK. In other parts of the world they are treated with reverence. In America they're buffalo wings; across Indonesian and in Vietnam they're street food snacks and in Portugal you'll find Piri Piri wings on every menu.
This recipe is like a beef stew with the added benefit that it all comes together in less than 10 minutes (with about 20 minutes of prep time). To save time and money use beef mince instead of sirloin.
Using mince is a great way to create quick and tasty meals from scratch. Mince is really quick to season - you don't need to marinade it for hours because there is more surface area for your spices to work their magic. Mince is pretty economical too...
It's fairly straightforward making a risotto but there are a few things you can do to take your risotto-making skills to the next level. Your choice of rice is key: Arborio is an obvious choice but in Italy, Carnaroli rice is the king for risotto. It has a higher starch content than Arborio which gives your risotto a creamier finish.
Shawarma is up there as one of my favourites, it's so tasty and the hands down winner over the Turkish Doner or the Greek Gyros. Although it's traditionally cooked on a large skewer, rotisserie style, it's easily possible to recreate this fantastic street food classic at home.
Served in the street markets of the Sichuan province of China, Bang Bang Chicken is a chilled chicken dish served with a spicy dressing, perfect for warm summer evenings. Traditionally the raw chicken is tenderised by pounding it with a wooden mallet - hence it's quirky name.
Leafy green vegetables are fantastic on pizza. Italians love 'Friarielli' but it's hard to find in the UK so I've used purple sprouting broccoli instead. Use creamy ricotta, salty olives, a good grating of Grana Padano, liberal use of some Calabrian spicy peperoncini and a fantastic pizza awaits.