Trying, learning and even creating different dishes from around the world is a massive part of travelling to new places.
But with international travel off the cards for the foreseeable future, have you thought about bringing a little bit of holiday home?
Will it be as good as the real thing? Only time (and an ease in international travel restrictions) will tell. But it may just help you decide and get excited about your next holiday destination, all while learning how to make something new. And that can't be a bad thing, right?
Gnocchi with sage butter sauce
When thinking about Italian cuisine, it's hard not to go past gnocchi. It's delicious pillows of potato - what more could you ask for?
Traditionally gnocchi comes from northern Italy, where the climate makes it more suited for growing potatoes. And before using potato for the dumplings, gnocchi existed using other types of ingredients such as semolina. Today, there are still different types of gnocchi such as ricotta gnocchi.
This particular recipe focuses on the popular potato variety, with a sage butter sauce. Of course, like other types of pasta, gnocchi can go with pretty much any type of sauce and still be delicious.
And while it may look difficult to make, it's actually pretty easy. Plus, you can easily freeze the dumplings it so you can have gnocchi on hand just like you may have instant pasta in the cupboard ready to go.
5 washed red potatoes
1 cup plain flour, plus extra for dusting
1 free range egg, lightly beaten
100g unsalted butter
1/2 cup sage leaves
parmesan, to serve
Step one: Place potatoes in large pot, cover with cold water and a pinch of salt, and boil for 30 minutes or until tender.
Step two: Dust a clean work surface with the flour and use a potato ricer to rice potatoes in an even layer onto the floured surface, discarding the skins. If you don't have a potato ricer, wait for the potatoes to cool enough to handle. Peel the potatoes and then grate over the floured surface.
Step three: Pour egg over the potato and sift half the flour over the egg. Using a butter knife in a chopping motion, roughly combine the mixture. Then use your hands to gentle knead the dough, using the remaining flour until it comes together and is no longer sticky. Use extra flour if needed.
Step four: Cut dough into eight equal pieces and roll each into a 2-centimetre-thick log. Cut each log into 2cm pieces suing a sharp knife or a pastry cutter.
Step five: Heat a large frying pan over medium heat. Add butter and cook until foaming. Add sage and cook, stirring occasionally for two minutes or until sage is crispy and butter has started to darken. Remove from the heat.
Step six: Bring a large pot of water to the boil and season with salt. Add gnocchi and boil until it has risen to the surface. This could be as little as 30 seconds. Use a slotted spoon to remove the gnocchi from the boiling water to the sage mixture pan. Using a slotted spoon will keep the delicate pieces intact, rather than straining out the water.
Step seven: Return the sage mixture and gnocchi to a medium heat and gently toss for four minutes or until gnocchi is golden brown.
Step eight: Season and serve with Parmesan.
Polish cucumber soup
For anyone who loves pickled foods, this is certainly a recipe to try. While the recipe is called cucumber soup, it uses dill pickles rather than fresh cucumbers.
In Poland and other parts of eastern Europe, pickling was once a common way of preserving food so it tends to show up in a lot of traditional recipes.
As for this soup recipe in particular, the dill pickles and the juice really takes what would be a plain vegetable soup and elevates it to another level.
6 cups chicken stock
2 medium russet potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 onion, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
2 carrots, peeled and sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp unsalted butter
1 tbsp olive oil
5-6 large dill pickles, finely diced or shredded
1/2 cup pickle juice
1 cup sour cream, room temperature
1 tbsp chopped fresh dill
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
Step one: Heat olive oil and butter in a large pot on a high heat. Saute onions, celery, carrots, until just softened. Add garlic and stir frequently until fragrant, about one minute.
Step two: Add chicken stock, diced pickles, pickle juice, and diced potatoes to pot. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer until potatoes have softened.
Step three: Stir in sour cream and fresh dill. Continue to simmer for five to seven minutes.
Step four: Season with salt and black pepper and serve with bread, if desired. You also have the option to blitz this soup in a blender if you prefer a smoother texture.
Chicago deep dish pizza
The Chicago pizza is a staple in the American city and is really not like any other pizza you have had before. It really is a pizza pie, but beware, it is super filling.
This recipe makes two pizzas, which would easily feed six people or more - particularly if you wanted to serve it with garlic bread or a salad.
Makes 2 pizzas
3 1/4 cups of plain flour
1/2 cup of polenta
1 1/4 tsp salt
1 tbsp sugar
1 packet of yeast
1 1/4 warm water
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened.
olive oil for coating
2 tbsp unsalted butter
1 onion, finely diced
3/4 tsp salt
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp chilli flakes (optional)
3 cloves of garlic, minced
800g tinned crushed tomatoes
1/4 tsp sugar
4 cups shredded mozzarella
1/2 cup grated parmesan
Chosen toppings (optional)
1 pepperoni sliced
6 sausages, casings removed
Step one: Start with the pizza dough. Combine the flour, cornmeal, salt, sugar and yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer with a hook attachment. If you don't have a mixer, do everything by hand, using a large bowl.
Step two: Add the warm water and 1/4 cup of melted butter. Make sure neither the water or the butter is too hot as it will kill the yeast.
Step three: On low speed, beat the ingredients until everything is combined and is gently pulling away from the sides of the bowl. If making it by hand, stir the ingredients until everything is moist, and then knead on a floured surface.
Step four: Lightly grease a large mixing bowl with olive oil and place the dough inside, turning it around so all sides are coated. Cover the bowl tightly with aluminum foil and allow to rise in a warm place for about 1-2 hours.
Step five: Once the dough is ready, lightly flour a large work surface. Remove dough from the bowl, set the bowl and aluminum foil aside (to use later). Gently punch down the dough to remove any air bubbles and roll the dough into a large 38 centimetre by 30 centimetre rectangle.
Step six: Spread 1/4 cup of softened butter on top of the dough. Cut the dough in half and form the two pieces of dough into balls and place back into your greased bowl. Cover with aluminum foil and allow to rise in the fridge for one hour.
Step seven: Place butter in a medium saucepan over a medium heat and allow it to melt. Add the onion, salt, oregano and chilli flakes. Once the onion has slightly browned add the garlic, tomatoes and sugar. Turn the heat down to a low-medium heat and allow to simmer for 30 minutes. It's at this point you want to cook your chosen toppings (if needed) such as the sausage.
Step eight: Once the sauce and dough are ready, preheat the oven to 220 degrees. Roll out one dough ball, working in a 23-centimetre circle. Then place over a 23cm springform cake pan. Use your fingers to press the dough into the pan, making sure it is a tight fit and trimming any excess from around the edge. Repeat with the second dough ball.
Step nine: Fill each pizza with half of the mozzarella cheese, then add your toppings, before pouring the sauce into the pan. On top sprinkle the parmesan. Put in the oven and bake for 20-30 minutes or until golden brown. Loosely cover the pizzas with aluminum foil after the 15 minute mark to prevent any heavy browning.
Step 10: Allow pizzas to cool in the pans for 10 minutes. Slice and serve.
Lamb raan with gunpowder potatoes
This Indian-style roast takes time but trust us when we say that it is worth it. Marinated in a delicious blend of aromatic spices for up to 24 hours and then roasted for four hours until it is tender and succulent, this dish is sure to impress friends and family. Paired with the potatoes - which alone could be eaten all day, every day - there's nothing not to love here.
Dishoom, a trendy Indian restaurant in London's West End, has become famous across the world for recipes such as these, so when thinking about your culinary holiday prep, this may just cross two places off your bucket list.
For the lamb
1/2 leg of lamb on the bone (1.2-1.4kg)
2 tsp salt
1 3/4 tsp chilli powder
8-9 cloves of garlic
30g fresh root ginger
1 bay leaf
16 black peppercorns
2 cinnamon sticks
6 green cardamom pods
3 black cardamom pods
75ml malt vinegar
40g unsalted butter
2 tsp garam masala
25ml lime juice
For the potatoes
500g of baby potatoes
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp coriander seeds
1/2 tsp fennel seeds
1 tbsp vegetable oil
6 spring onions, finely chopped
5g coriander leaves, finely chopped
3 green chillies, finely chopped
1/2 tsp salt
30ml lime juice
1-2 tsp of garam masala
12-24 hours before serving
Step one: Place the lamb in a dish and rub the salt and chilli powder over it. Leave to marinate in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Step two: Grate the garlic and ginger or grind to a fine paste using a pestle and mortar. When the 30 minutes is up, rub this over the lamb. Cover and refrigerate for 12-24 hours.
On the day
Step three: Take the lamb out of the fridge five hours before you want to eat and leave it at room temperature for 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees, fan forced.
Step four: Place the lamb in a deep casserole pot and add the bay leaf, spices and vinegar, before adding enough water to come at least halfway up the meat. Cover and place in the oven. Roast for four hours, turning the joint over every hour and topping up the water if it goes below one-third of the way up the lamb.
Step five: Remove the lamb from the oven and let it rest in its cooking liquid for 20-30 minutes. Preheat grill to high.
Step six: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, then add the potatoes and cook until just tender (12-15 minutes).
Step seven: Meanwhile, add cumin, coriander and fennel seeds in a hot dry frying pan and toast for two minutes or until fragrant. Crush the toasted seeds, using a mortar and pestle and set aside.
Step eight: Drain the potatoes and allow them to steam-dry for a minute. Place them on a baking tray. Brush them with the oil and grill until they are crispy and evenly browned (five to seven minutes). Turn the potatoes and repeat.
Step nine: Put the crushed toasted spices into a large bowl with the melted butter, spring onions, coriander and chillies. When the potatoes are thoroughly brown, remove them from the grill. Use a spoon to cut each of the potatoes in half. Put the potatoes into the bowl with the melted butter mixture and toss until well covered.
Step 10: Add the salt, lime juice and masala to the potatoes and mix again.
Step 11: Pour the cooking liquid through a sieve into a measuring jug. Discard the residue. Use two forks to pull the meat away from the bone and set the bone aside. Shred the meat and add 120ml of the cooking liquid, the butter and the garam masala.
Step 12: Scatter the meat on an ovenproof tray and pace in the hot grill for four to five minutes, until it is starting to crisp on the top. Serve with lime wedges.
Japanese curry is perfect for winter nights. It's not particularly spicy but it still has that comforting feeling.
If you want to save time, you can opt to use a Japanese roux mix, which you can get from the supermarket, rather than making your own.
3 cups cooked rice
250g your preferred protein (I used beef)
1 brown onion
1 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves of garlic
1 apple, grated
1 tbsp honey
Pinch of salt and pepper to taste
2 cups of water
3 tbsp unsalted butter
4 tbsp plain flour (plain flour)
1 tbsp curry powder
1 tbsp garam masala
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
Step one: Cut the meat into bite size pieces and set aside. Peel and cut the potatoes, carrot, and onion into large bite size pieces and set aside.
Step two: Heat oil and garlic in a pot over medium heat. When the garlic is fragrant, add the beef and cook until browned.
Step three: Add the potato, carrot and onion and stir with a wooden spatula. When the outer-edge of the potatoes have become transparent, add the water, honey, and grated apple.
Step four: Bring it to boil and then turn the heat down to low to simmer until the potatoes become soft and all the other ingredients are cooked. Turn off the heat.
Step five: Melt the butter in a saucepan to make the roux. Once it's completely melted add the flour and stir until it is combined. Keep stirring because it will easily burn. Cook for 12-15 minutes on low heat, until it is a light brown colour.
Step six: Add the spices and stir for 30 seconds before removing from the heat.
Step seven: Add the roux to the curry and stir. Serve curry with the rice.