From: Kitchen Hero: HomeCooked
Vietnam is all about incredible street food and when I visited the country, this was one of my favourite dishes to eat on a plastic stool at a roadside pop-up vendor. It's a feast of smoky pork skewers, wrapped in lettuce leaves with fresh herbs and dipped in a salty sweet sauce. Barbecue the pork to get the essential smoky element of South East Asian cooking, but a griddle pan will also work. The classic version uses pork belly to form little pork patties, but this is a quicker variation.
Chorizo is one of my favourite ingredients to use, it provides really delicious smoky flavours and, when fried, renders the most amazing red oil. One of the first few times I visited London, I got myself down to world-famous Borough market where you can pick up some of the best Spanish chorizo outside Spain. This salad is nicest if you can get your hands on some really good-quality chorizo – you will generally find the best stuff in Spanish specialty food shops.
Tartines – open sandwiches are absolutely adored by the French. Because they are simple, you need good bread, preferably sourdough, and the best, ripest blue cheese you can find. Serve it with the watercress tossed in vinaigrette made with walnut or hazelnut oil, and some toasted nuts.
Any time you ask my dad about food he always brings up oxtail. I’m fairly sure it would be his dessert island dish. When he tried out this recipe, he told me it was "bloody great!" so I think it got his seal of approval! If you haven’t cooked oxtail before the aim is to cook them until the meat just falls off the bone. I serve mine sitting proudly on top of some creamy colcannon mash.
This soup is a great favourite in the spring when the nettles are young. Nettles are full of minerals and vitamins which purify the blood. In the country, nettle tea was also drunk, made by pouring boiling water over chopped nettles, boiling for about 15 minutes, then straining and adding milk and sugar. This was often given to children who had measles. It is said to have been a favourite of St Columcille. Nettle soup is still served in some hotels in Ireland; this recipe is from Declan Ryan, who was chef-proprietor of the much-starred Arbutus Lodge, Cork - sadly no longer in existence. Use gloves and a scissors when cutting the nettles. Do not gather them from sprayed verges or after the end of May as they will be too tough.
These mini banana bread loaves are deliciously moist and are extremely easy to throw together. I’ve added some chocolate chips to this recipe but you could use some toasted chopped nuts instead if you prefer. This recipe will also fill a 900ml loaf tin and will take about 50 minutes to cook in the oven.