Three globe-trotting dishes for those of us dreaming of travel

Asian-inspired meatballs, Italian calzone and Middle Eastern chicken with chermoula

Pork balls with coconut, cucumber and cashew nuts

Pork balls with coconut, cucumber and cashew nuts

 

I don’t profess to be an expert in any country’s food in particular, but if there was a league table, I’d say French, Italian and Spanish are the cuisines I’m most comfortable cooking, with a bit of Middle Eastern bringing up the rear. I love Indian food but don’t cook it nearly enough. Chinese food intimidates me. I feel ill-equipped and hopeless, very much like in every maths exam I ever did. 

I have a long list of countries and their food that I need to embrace as soon as I can take to the skies. Vietnam, Turkey, Malaysia. I’m so desperate to travel I’d even relish discovering the lesser-known charms of the Isle of Man.

These recipes travel the world. Like disparate children, they all have their qualities but one couldn’t possibly choose between them.

I’m very fond of this pork meatball dish. You’ll need to pull out the food processor and get stuck in. The flavours are big and bold, the creamy goodness of coconut sauce really adds to the pleasure. A plain and simple rice is the only other thing you will need.

This calzone is pure indulgence and all the more delicious for it. A chilli con carne wrapped in a pizza’s embrace – what utter madness. The smoke comes from the smoked chipotle Tabasco and the jalepeños deliver some necessary fire to the affair.

I’m giving you a great recipe for pizza dough, but there are some very good frozen dough balls out there now, or even ready-rolled dough, to make it noticeably easier for you. I would never judge. The mixture will be easier to work with if it’s chilled, so if you wanted to make it the day before, all the better.

I’ve noticed that a few of the supermarkets have started doing boneless chicken thighs. This makes me very happy as it’s my favourite part of the bird. 

Chermoula is a Middle Eastern revelation to me. It is perky and warm at the same time due to the lemon, herbs and spices. Normally served with fish, it gives life to the sticky, unctuous chicken.

Recipe: Fragrant pork balls with coconut, cucumber and cashew nuts

Pork balls with coconut, cucumber and cashew nuts
Pork balls with coconut, cucumber and cashew nuts

Recipe: Chilli calzone, smoked jalapeño sour cream

Chilli calzone, smoked jalapeño sour cream
Chilli calzone, smoked jalapeño sour cream

Recipe: Roast chicken thighs with honey and chermoula

Roast chicken thighs with honey and chermoula
Roast chicken thighs with honey and chermoula
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