With more time on your hands in retirement, you may be looking forward to brushing up on your cooking skills. Whether you’re a novice in the kitchen or have been serving up meals for your family for years, it’s a hobby that you can really get into. Plus, you’ll be able to savour your efforts too.
Over the last couple of years, food trends have been going global. A stroll through any city is likely to throw up a world of possibilities when looking for somewhere to eat, from European cuisine to more exotic dishes. So, if you’ve typically stuck with the British classics in the kitchen, now is the perfect time to spread your wings and try something different. We’ve picked out seven classic plates of food from different global destinations to turn your hand to in retirement.
1. China: Chow mein
When it comes to ordering a takeaway for a treat at home, Chinese is often at the top of people’s lists. But it can be just as tasty and far healthier if you make it at home. This noodle dish is simple, so perfect for those still finding their feet in the kitchen without compromising on taste. It’s packed with ingredients, but don’t let that worry you, as you’re adding them all to one pan and the recipe is easy to follow.
You can substitute the meat and vegetables to suit you and there’s plenty of options to try different combinations. Find a recipe to get you started here.
2. Spain: Paella
Recapture the taste of holidays in Spain by making your very own paella. This traditional Spanish dish is made up of rice, seafood, meats and plenty of herbs and spices. However, again, it’s an easy dish to put your own spin on it. It’s all cooked in one pan, saving on the washing up, and is an ideal dish for pros and those new to cooking alike.
You can find an authentic seafood and chicken paella, that mixes some of the best flavours from Spain, here. Once you’ve mastered the traditional recipe you can start adding your own mix of ingredients to suit your tastes.
3. Russia: Stroganoff
Perfect for a chilly winter evening, Stroganoff is a creamy casserole dish that comes from Russia. Its origins date back to the mid-1800s, but there are now many variations of this classic dish as it’s become increasingly popular. The recipe traditionally contains strips of beef, mushrooms and a creamy sauce. It’s a hearty dish that’s ideal for the colder months.
You’ll find stroganoff paired with many different dishes to create a meal, from potatoes and noodles to a fresh salad, so it’s entirely up to you what you serve it with. Find a recipe that mixes it with rice here.
4. Italy: Risotto
When it comes to selecting an Italian dish, there are so many to choose from. Pizza and pasta meals have become staples in UK households, but the risotto is often overlooked. Luckily, it’s pretty easy to make and there’s plenty of scope for adding different flavours and ingredients. Risotto comes from northern Italy and involves cooking rice with broth until it’s creamy – delicious!
You can find a chicken and pea risotto recipe to follow here, you’ll soon be ready to start experimenting with your own risotto creations and mixing up the meat, fish and vegetables used.
5. Greece: Moussaka
Whilst Moussaka is most commonly associated with Greece, it’s enjoyed across the Middle East, Balkans and Levant. It’s essentially a layered aubergine or potato-based dish with warming spices, often including ground meat. But, as with many traditional dishes, there are a few variations you can experiment with here.
This recipe contains cinnamon-spiced lamb for an extra kick. It can take a little longer to cook than some of the other options on this list, but it’ll be worth it and it might just become a family favourite.
6. Vietnam: Pho
Asian flavours are becoming more popular in the UK and dishes hailing from Vietnam are just one of the options to try in your own kitchen. If you want to try your hand at authentic Asian flavour, pho is a great place to start. It’s a popular street food option, that mixes rice noodles, herbs and meat, most commonly beef, in a rich broth. It’s ideal for a light meal throughout the year.
You can find a delicious recipe for beef pho here, but feel free to swap the meat and vegetables used to suit your own tastes.
7. Thailand: Thai green curry
Continuing with Asian cuisine, let’s move on to Thailand. Ask someone to think of curry in the UK and it’s likely an Indian dish springs to mind, but Thai curries are just as appetising. Amongst the most popular is the Thai green curry, which is more fragrant with a sweetness to it rather than spice.
Enjoy this fragrant dish in your own home by following this recipe. If you enjoy making and tucking into your attempt at a Thai green curry there are plenty of different types to try, from Thai red curry to Massaman.