Most of us have our go-to recipes, be it for a mid-week lunch, a dinner party pleaser or a sumptuous cake that Nigella Lawson would be proud of. In case you’re stuck in a food rut, however, here are some of our readers’ fail-safe recipes from around the world to add your repertoire. Bon appétit!
Ayse Davies, UK
“We are a family of five with three children aged six to ten. All the kids love their food, especially Japanese, and will eat most things. We tend to eat mainly at home, but two or three times a month we head out for dinner with the kids for Western or Asian food.”
Grilled Mustard Herb Salmon
“I’m actually not sure where I got this recipe from, but we use it a lot! It’s healthy, delicious, super-simple and fast to make. My nine-year-old daughter loves it, and everyone who has tried it has asked for the recipe. We serve it with lemony couscous, and a mixed green salad or green beans.”
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon minced shallot
- 1 teaspoon dried dill
- ¼ teaspoon ground coriander
- Four 170g skin-on salmon fillets
- Kosher salt (coarse-grain) and freshly ground pepper
- Lemon wedges, for serving
- Preheat a grill pan. In a small bowl, mix the mustard with the shallot, dill and coriander. Season the salmon with salt and pepper and brush the mustard mixture over the fish, avoiding the skin.
- Grill the salmon skin-side down over a moderately high heat until the skin is crisp, about 5 minutes. Carefully turn the fillets and grill over a moderate heat until just opaque in the centre, about 4 minutes longer. Transfer the salmon to plates and serve with lemon wedges.
Way Ling Wiesser, UK
“I’m a mother of two and my husband is French. I’m a slave to the juicer, the blender and the wok and a firm believer that everyone can and should cook at home, and that kids should start in the kitchen from as early an age as possible.”
Quick and Easy French Chocolate Mousse
“This is one of our standby sweet and indulgent favourites. It’s posh enough to serve at a dinner party (if you dress it up a little), yet it’s also bang on for an indulgent afternoon treat. It is quite rich, so it’s better served inshooter-size glasses. Making the servings small also means that the kids aren’t having too much sugar in one go.
It’s a really great recipe for the kids to make with only a little adult supervision. In fact, I love it when my son helps as he is much more patient than I am at filling the small glasses, and does it so much better than I do! He takes his time and wipes off all the untidy drips, just like in the restaurants.”
Note: Due to its raw egg content, this mousse should not be eaten by pregnant women, young children or the elderly.
Serves 10 (mini-portions)
- 200g good quality dark chocolate
- 400ml cream, whipped
- 4 eggs, separated
- 50g sugar
- Break the chocolate into pieces, melt in the microwave or in a bowl over a pan of simmering water, then set aside to cool down.
- Separate the eggs.
- Beat the egg whites until foamy, but not stiff.
- Mix the egg yolks with the sugar.
- Add the cooled chocolate to the yolk and sugar mixture. Stir well.
- Fold in a large tablespoon of whipped cream, followed by a large tablespoon of egg white, and repeat until all the ingredients have been used up. The mixture will look very liquid but will firm up in the fridge.
- Pour into small serving glasses, cover with cling film and refrigerate.
- Serve with raspberries and blueberries, or whatever takes your fancy.
- The secret to a great mousse is in the quality of the ingredients, so don’t scrimp on the chocolate.
- Halve the recipe if you only want a small amount.
- You could substitute the dark chocolate with white or milk chocolate.
- A delicious, but time-consuming addition is to put a layer of berry puree in between the layers of mousse