Traditionally this cocktail is made with puréed white peaches and Italian sparkling wine, with a little raspberry or cherry juice to give it a pink glow. Ideally you want one-third peach purée to two-thirds champagne.
Cornbread is a popular bread enjoyed all over the Americas. It is easy to make and satisfying with chilli or other spicy stews.
This is a great sharing dish, which will keep you and your friends going while you put the world to rights.
Caramelised onions and melted cheese encased in flaky puff pastry is pure comfort food.
This dish makes a great emergency snack – the tasty little sandwiches take no time to prepare and cook. Serve them alone or accompanied by guacamole or a spicy dip. Use the remaining tortillas to make filled wraps or to eat with chilli. Reseal the package using sticky tape or transfer to a zip-lock bag and keep for a couple of days. Alternatively, freeze for use another time.
Clams and Spanish chorizo make an exceptionally good combination. The smoky meatiness of the sausage brings an interesting dimension to the seafood. This is lovely served in a big tapas dish, with a few chunks of crusty bread to mop up the delicious spicy juices at the end.
Nothing is nicer than a succulent piece of flavoursome grilled chicken. The instructions here work for a grill or an outside barbecue, depending on the weather! You can put the chicken together with the marinade in a resealable plastic bag for up to 24 hours in the fridge or make up a batch and freeze them in the bags.
Steaming a chicken over a half-filled beer can infuses it with a delicious flavour.
This classic pasta dish is traditionally served with either spaghetti or bucatini. It relies on the flavour of the pancetta and plenty of freshly ground black pepper for the best results.
A classic burger, stripped back to its basics and unadulterated by extra flavourings.
With a pitcher of margaritas or a frosty Mexican beer, enjoy the fresh flavour of these grilled fish tacos and all the authentic Baja trimmings: red cabbage slaw, fresh salsa and avocado cream. Use whatever mild, white-fleshed fish is freshest.
This recipe calls for filé powder, a seasoning made from the dried leaves of the sassafras tree. Serve gumbo on a bed of rice.
No one cooks beef as well as the Argentinians, and this method is particularly successful.
Beef and horseradish are a classic combination; both work well with beetroot, so serve with a beetroot salad or a potato salad. The flavoured butter can be made in advance and kept in the fridge or can be made in bulk and kept in the freezer until needed.
This traditional comfort food dish from the Mediterranean uses dried salt cod, usually available at specialty grocery stores. Allow 48 hours to soak the salt cod. Serve with French bread.
This popular Vietnamese dish can be prepared with fish or shellfish or both. In the Vietnamese markets, large crabs are sold specifically for this versatile dish, which can easily be adapted to feed as many people as you like.
Either skirt or flank steak makes incredible fajitas. The trick is to marinate the steak first, cook it only until medium-rare then slice thinly on the diagonal. Serve your fajitas with store-bought or homemade flour tortillas, guacamole and pico de gallo.
This is delicious warm or cold. Try taking it to work for lunch or to a picnic.
This curry comes from the southern part of India, an area that is abundantly rich in both coconuts and seafood.
Pork and apple, a classic combination, is pepped up with a few herbs and some grainy mustard here. For a special occasion, you could substitute 2 tablespoons Calvados for some of the apple juice. This dish is delicious accompanied by steamed cabbage or green beans and a couple of simple boiled potatoes.
Using soba noodles reduces the calories by about one-third over regular egg noodles.
These juicy prawns are particularly delicious with glasses of dark beer to complement the smoky flavours of the marinade.
This Scottish traditional recipe is how my granny made her marmalade, full of intense flavours. Served with homemade bread and butter, it was my gran’s vice and is mine too!
Chocolate and coffee are natural partners and combine together beautifully in this classic French dessert. Once the egg yolks have been added, transfer the mixture to a measuring jug to make it easier to pour into the ramekins.
A classic English dessert that’s warm and comforting when the weather is cold. The soft crumbly sponge makes the perfect foil for the creamy fudge sauce.
Crema catalana is a pudding that’s very similar to crème brûlée, but the custard base is not baked but thickened and set with a little cornflour. It has a great depth and warmth of flavour from the lemon and cinnamon.
Light and crumbly on the outside and moist and melting on the inside, this divine chocolate torte is perfect served for dessert with thick cream poured over the top.
This simple cheesecake, flavoured with lemon and vanilla and topped with a snowy white layer of sour cream, is an all-time classic.
Sours — cocktails sharpened with a good shot of citrus juice — date from 1850s America, when they were made with brandy. Today, whisky, usually bourbon or Irish whiskey rather than Scotch, is more popular, but any spirit can be used. It’s important to use freshly squeezed lemon juice to achieve the necessary “sour” flavour.
Rum and raisins is a classic pairing in desserts, and nowhere is it better than in this easy-to-make cheesecake. For best results, take the cheesecake out of the fridge about 20 minutes before serving.
Mild and refreshing in flavour and ever so good for you, serve with a selection of tropical sliced fruit.
This is a very rich mousse. As the quantities are generous, you can also divide the mixture into 8 and serve in smaller glasses or espresso cups.
Coffee came to Mexico from the Antilles and has been cultivated in the highlands since the late 18th century. Known as café de olla – after the earthenware pot in which it is traditionally brewed – this coffee also tastes wonderful when made in a percolator. Look for Mexican coffee varieties with “SHG” on the package for “strictly high grown” coffee beans grown in the highest altitude, which contributes to their robust flavour.
Unlike a classic baked cheesecake, this creamy, intensely flavoured cheesecake relies on gelatine to set it. Serve with fresh strawberries on the side.
Sweet and creamy with the distinctive bitter flavour of coffee, this luscious cheesecake makes a fabulous dessert or a treat to serve with coffee.
Punchy and piquant, piquillo peppers are a regular feature in Portuguese cooking. These scarlet beauties are often found pickled or tinned, which makes them a fantastic item to keep in your pantry. When stuffing the peppers, handle them with the utmost care as the skins tear easily, which will ruin their ability to contain the salt cod mixture.
A hot slaw is perfect on a cool day when the thought of a cold salad doesn’t appeal. A flavoured oil is used to scent the lamb, but if you didn’t get any as a birthday gift this year, use olive oil and a little chopped rosemary instead.
This recipe encapsulates the simplicity of rustic Spanish cooking. The mingling flavours of the marinade combine beautifully with the sweet succulent prawns, while charred edges from the barbecue or griddle give the slightest of crunches and a heady smoked aroma. You can substitute jumbo prawns, but the king prawns or royal red prawns look much more authentic.
Minestrone means ‘big soup’ – it is designed to fill you up. The vegetables used can vary according to personal taste and availability, but this is the classic recipe.
Made from the blue agave plant that is native to the desert region of western Mexico, tequila evolved from a fermented beverage drunk by the Aztecs. When the Spanish conquistadors ran out of brandy after they landed in 1521, they created tequila, the first distilled beverage in the New World. In Mexico, a margarita is made with native Key limes, the smaller, thinner-skinned version of the more common Persian lime. Use the best-quality tequila for the best flavour.
Beef-tasting portabello mushrooms, in place of traditional beef or chicken, make delicious fajitas, too. Serve with flour tortillas, guacamole, and fresh salsa.
Leaf-wrapping foods is an ancient rainforest cooking method that was popular with both Mayan and Incan cultures. The leaves allow the fish to stay moist, delicious and gently flavoured. You can find banana leaves, fresh and frozen in some large supermarkets and specialist shops. Serve these fillets with slow-simmered black beans and Mexican confetti rice.
Because the sauce is cold, this dish is never piping hot, which makes it ideal for summer eating. Use tagliatelle if serving warm, but it's equally delicious served cold with a short pasta such as ruote (wheels).
Known as caldillo (little soup), this brothy stew makes great cold weather fare.
This one is from Jamaica, where there are many mixes featuring the locally brewed rum — all designed to seduce visitors as well as locals looking to chill out as the sun goes down.
Couscous is often thought of as a grain, but it is in fact a tiny pasta. It's often used in northern Africa as a foil to spicy dishes.
This hot, spicy coconut broth ladled over fine wheat noodles makes a delicious, sustaining meal. Try it as a spicy alternative to traditional chicken noodle soup.
This light Japanese broth is poured over tender ramen noodles (fine, quick-cooking wheat noodles) and topped with seared tuna to make a healthy and delicious meal.
This is a delicious version of 'Spaghetti alle Vongole.’ Do make sure the clams are perfectly fresh before cooking them.
A thick and sustaining smoothie, but delicately fragrant with the scents of tropical fruits.