Tamal Ray’s recipe for honey and almond brittle biscuits

These teatime cookies are absurdly easy, needing just a stir and a short stint in the oven

The act of caramelising sugar, with its blowtorches and crystallisation points, can seem intimidating to the novice baker. Although the chemical reaction itself is complex, transforming a homogenous jumble of simple sucrose molecules into a thousand new forms, the actual process is a simple introduction of heat to sugar. These biscuits are a celebration of that dichotomy: an absurdly easy method, comprising no more than a bit of stirring and a short stint in the oven, to produce a complex mix of dark, rich sweetness.

Prep 5 min
Cooking 10 min
Makes 10-12

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How the sushi boom is fuelling tapeworm infections

As eating raw fish has become more popular, gruesome tapeworm tales have emerged. But how worried should sashimi lovers be – and how else might we become infected?

The good news, said A&E doctor Kenny Bahn, was that the patient who had turned up at the emergency department was not dying. That is about the only happy element of the story Bahn, who works at a hospital in California, went on to tell on This Won’t Hurt a Bit, a medical podcast, about a man who arrived at hospital carrying a plastic bag. Inside the bag, wrapped around the cardboard tube of a toilet roll, was a 1.7-metre (5ft 6in) tapeworm. Bahn measured it once he had unravelled it on the hospital floor.

The patient had complained of abdominal pain. During a bout of bloody diarrhoea, reports Bahn, “he says: ‘I look down and I look like there’s a piece of intestine hanging out of me.’ What’s racing through his mind is he thinks he’s dying … He grabs it and he pulls on it and it keeps coming out. ‘What is this long piece of entrail?’ And he picks it up and looks at it and what does it do?” There is a dramatic pause to enhance the horror. “It starts moving.”

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Venice authorities step in after four tourists charged £1,000 for meal

Quartet of Japanese tourists ordered steak, grilled fish and water and were charged €1,100 in restaurant

The police chief and mayor of Venice have pledged action after four Japanese tourists said they were presented with a bill of €1,100 (£970) for four steaks and a plate of mixed grilled fish, washed down with water.

Another three women in the same group suspected they might be taken for a ride at the restaurant near St Mark’s Square and ate elsewhere, the Ansa news agency reported, but still ended up paying €350 (£308) for three dishes of seafood pasta.

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Paul Bocuse obituary

Colossus of French cooking dedicated to promoting his country’s cuisine

For many people around the world, Paul Bocuse, who has died aged 91, was the incarnation of French gastronomy, a colossus of haute cuisine. He was among the first chefs to understand the value of publicity, and was a tireless promoter of French food and of his own restaurant, L’Auberge du Pont de Collonges, near Lyon.

Bocuse travelled the world making guest appearances, pronouncing on matters culinary and gastronomic. He even posed nude for the French magazine Lui to celebrate his 60th birthday. When he was made a chevalier of the Légion d’honneur in 1975, he named what became one of his best known dishes, soupe aux truffes noires VGE, after President Valéry Giscard d’Estaing to mark the occasion. However, Bocuse would not have been able to achieve this degree of public influence if he had not been such a superb chef.

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Win return flights to the beautiful Isles of Scilly

Scilly Isles Competition

Lying just 28 miles off the coast of Cornwall, Scilly is the first place summer arrives in England – and the last place it leaves ­– and is a truly unspoiled paradise that offers a welcome sanctuary. Its five inhabited islands of St Mary’s, St Martin’s, Bryher, Tresco and St Agnes all offer crystal-clear turquoise seas and white sandy beaches, and you can easily hop between the islands by tripper boat.

It’s easy to discover Scilly with Skybus flights from Exeter, Newquay and Land’s End reaching the islands in less than an hour. Alternatively, you can opt for a relaxing sail from Penzance aboard the iconic Scillonian III passenger ferry.

Enter the competition and discover for yourself why people who visit the Isles of Scilly come back time and again. The prize offers return flights for two to the Isles of Scilly with Skybus, departing from your choice of Exeter, Newquay or Land’s End airport.
Travel to and from the point of departure and airport car parking is not included.

For more information about Isles of Scilly Travel, and to discover how you can #ConnectScilly, visit islesofscilly-travel.co.uk/connect or call 01736 334 220.
To enter, simply answer the following question.

Terms & conditions
Not to be used in conjunction with any current bookings or discounts. Excludes travel and accommodation on bank holiday weekends and school holidays. Travel to be taken in March, April, May, September or October, and bookings are subject to availability on requested dates. Deadline for competition entry on 8 March 2018. Winners will be selected at random after that date and no cash alternative will be offered. Click here for full T&Cs

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Best ever meatballs recipes

Italian Baked Meatballs Recipe

Try our easy meatball recipes. We love meatballs, and we have everything from Swedish meatballs to Italian meatballs to Spanish meatballs.

Check out our quick and easy meatball ideas for midweek including our baked meatball recipes and, of course, spaghetti meatballs. Or go for some proper comfort food with our cheesy meatball and mozzarella pan bake or Sloppy Joe bake. There’s no doubt about it, we have the best meatball recipes around…

Swedish meatball recipes

Swedish meatballs with mash and lingonberry sauce

We love this Swedish meatball recipe. Lingonberries are a European relation of the cranberry, you can buy lingonberry sauce from Ikea or use cranberry sauce instead (it’s great with either). Try our top Scandinavian recipes here.

Swedish Meatballs Recipe With Lingonberry Sauce

Scandi meatball bake with cucumber salad

This Swedish meatball bake is perfect for sharing with family and friends. Drizzle with soured cream and serve with a homemade cucumber salad and some crusty bread.

scandi meatballs

Baked meatball recipes

Meatball sage and squash lasagne

Cooking for a crowd? Make our easy meatball lasagne recipe with sage and squash. This generous family recipe makes for a comforting midweek meal during the winter season. Being a baked meatball recipe it can be made in bulk and feeds plentifully, making it perfect for freezing – giving yourself something to look forward to on lazy nights in. Make one of our easy lasagne recipes here.

Meatball Lasagne Recipe with Sage and Butternut Squash

Meatball and mozzarella pan bake

This easy meatball and mozzarella pan bake is a one-pot that will please everyone. You can’t plate this up politely, so just put it in the middle of the table and let everyone enjoy.

Meatball and mozzarella pan bake

Baked greek lamb meatballs with feta and tomato

Check out this rich, indulgent baked meatball recipe for lamb meatballs. This simple traybake is a super easy, all in one family recipe. It is one of our best meatball recipes as it’s the perfect comfort food.

Greek Lamb Meatballs Recipe with Feta and Tomato

Italian baked meatballs

Try our easy baked meatball recipe. Think meatballs baked in rich tomato sauce with a melting mozzarella topping, this recipe is all about comfort food. It’s also perfect for freezing, making it a great option for when you don’t want to cook mid-week.

Italian Baked Meatballs Recipe

Check out our easy sloppy joe meatball bake. This indulgent recipe is one for all the family to dive into, serve with buttered crusty bread to tuck into that cheesy goodness.

Baked pecorino and white pepper meatballs with sweet potato wedges

Try our baked pecorino and white pepper pork meatballs. This baked meatball recipe comes served with chunky sweet potatoes, a quick and flavoursome midweek meal that looks colourful and impressive. White pepper gives a lovely fiery heat to these juicy meatballs. Use whole white peppercorns rather than the ready-ground white pepper, as the flavour is far superior. More tray bake recipes here.

Baked pecorino and white pepper meatballs with sweet potato wedges

Italian meatballs recipe

Melting-middle meatballs

These melting-middle meatballs are a great twist on a classic Italian meatball recipe to make for the family midweek. It’s bound to be a new favourite.

Melting-Middle Meatballs Recipe

Spaghetti meatballs recipes

Italian spaghetti and meatballs 

Who doesn’t love a spaghetti meatball recipe? This is a classic Italian staple that you can cook and eat now, or freeze for later. Just serve them simply with pasta for a delicious quick dinner during the week. Here are 17 easy spaghetti recipes to try.

Lamb meatball recipes

Smoked lamb meatballs with sweet-sour harissa sauce

These lamb meatballs have all the flavour dimensions – smoky meat is paired with sweet and sour harissa sauce, making this a wonderful mid-week supper. Using ready-made meatballs means it can be on the table in under 30 minutes without compromising at all on flavour.

Smoked Lamb Meatballs Recipe With Harissa Sauce

Lamb meatballs with dill and horitaki salad

Upgrade a standard Greek salad (horitaki salad) with delicious lamb meatballs. It is quick and easy to make, gluten free and still under 500 calories. What more could you want?

Moroccan meatballs with herb couscous

Gorgeous little lamb meatballs, sitting in a rich tomato sauce and served with buttery coriander and parsley couscous. One of our favourite meatball recipes.

Moroccan Meatballs Recipe With Herb Couscous

Other meatball recipes

Fennel and pork meatballs with gremolata 

Make your meatballs that little bit more special with a gremolata topping, made from parsley, lemon and garlic. We love the creamy white wine sauce these porky balls come with, make sure you have some crusty bread to mop it up.

Honey-siracha glazed meatballs and smashed cucumber

Try our Asian inspired honey-sriracha meatballs. These punchy pork meatballs make for a quick and easy midweek fix, plus they’re low in calories too! This easy meatball recipe will be impressing your guests in under 30 minutes.

Honey Sriracha Glazed Meatball Recipe

Spicy pork meatballs with tzatziki

Cook these spicy pork meatballs for an easy midweek meal. This easy meatball recipe is simple yet punchy. Serve it with orzo making it low in calories and low in fat. A winner all round.

Spicy Pork Meatball Recipe with Tzatziki Dip

Pork and sage meatballs

Our easy meatball recipe flavoured with sage will make you really popular. Serve with orzo, the rice-shaped pasta and let everyone dig in.

Turkey meatball subs with quick wedges

Fill bread rolls with meatballs for a speedy midweek meal. This easy meatball sub recipe, made healthier with turkey mince ,is served with quick sweet potato wedges.

Turkey Meatball Sub Recipe With Wedges

Smoky albondigas

The best Spanish meatballs recipe: these albondigas are made with beef and pork mince and served in a quick, rich tomato sauce. Make for easy tapas, or part of a dinner-party menu.

Smoky Albondigas Spanish Meatballs Recipe

Meatballs with tomato and green olive sauce

Our most grown up meatball recipe, these are cooked in a rich tomato, garlic and olive sauce. Serve with pasta, rice or mash.

Easy Meatball Recipe With Tomato and Green Olive

Lentil ‘meatballs’ with fresh tomato sauce

Lentils are a great way to make a meal vegetarian. Swap these for your usual meatballs and your family will hardly notice the difference. Plus, they’re low-cal and ready in just 40 minutes – perfect midweek. Check out all our vegetarian recipes here.

Smoky chipotle meatballs

These meatballs are a firm favourite with us thanks to their smoky, spicy flavour. We like them served with avocado, warm orzo and soured cream but they also make a great tortilla filling.

Smoky Chipotle Meatballs Recipe

Tamarind pork meatballs with papaya salsa 

Check out our easy tamarind pork meatballs with a fresh papaya salsa. This simple gluten free recipe is packed with plenty of flavour, plus it’s low in calories.

Tamarind pork meatballs with papaya salsa recipe

Harissa chicken meatballs with bulgar

This recipe for harissa chicken meatballs with bulgar is quick, easy and healthy, but packs a flavour punch. It is delicious cold the next day – prepare for packed lunch envy. Here are our favourite bowl food recipes.



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Micro chips: Brussels’ friteries get stylish redesign as mirrored shacks

The kiosks serving frites, Belgium’s favourite street food, are getting a design revamp that will include mirrored facades and personalised signs

No trip to Brussels is complete without a stop at a friterie, the simple kiosks serving the classic Belgian snack – crunchy fries served with a choice of condiments, from the national favourite, mayonnaise, to spicy samurai sauce.

Now, thanks to an architecture competition run by the city in collaboration with the National Federation of Friteries, the city is to gain 10 new friteries that promise to take the humble kiosk to new heights.

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Anna Jones’s kale recipes

January is all about wintry greens such as kale, which brings a bright and fresh note to verdant garlic pasta, and a deep and rich one to a hearty soup

I am in a green phase, and drawn like a moth to sea-green velvet cushions and dresses, while the tear sheets for my new kitchen are an almost-black green. I’m sure this is all inspired by the minerally winter greens of the season, which are ever-present in my cooking right now. The majestic cavolo nero – an intense black-blue green that’s hard to match – is most beautiful when wet, with tiny droplets of water running down its dusty leaves. Or the pleasingly curly kale with its forest-green frills (or, if you’re lucky, deep burgundy-purple ones). The verdant freshness of these greens has me using them daily at this time of year: here are two of my favourites.

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Terroir, natural wines and indie producers: how booze has changed since 2001

Since the first issue of Observer Food Monthly in 2001, the world of wine has altered radically

OFM began publishing in what now feels like a decisively different era for wine. It was a time when a very particular style of winemaking was approaching its peak – a style that, with hindsight, seems very much in keeping with the credit-fuelled pre-2008 economic boom: big, brash, loud, crafted from a limited set of well-known grape varieties in expensive, toasty French oak barrels.

This was a style designed to please the axis of powerful American critics led by Robert Parker and the glossy Wine Spectator magazine. Its origins were in California and Australia, but the lure of a 100-point score, particularly from Parker, led winemakers all over the world to adopt the same recipe, often from the same small set of consultant winemakers.

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How can I be allergic to shiitakes, but fine with other mushrooms?

The long-running series in which readers answer other readers’ questions on subjects ranging from trivial flights of fancy to profound scientific concepts

A few years ago I discovered that I’m extremely allergic to shiitake mushrooms (don’t ask) but I can still happily eat “normal” and chestnut mushrooms, cepes and porcinis. What do shiitake mushrooms contain that the others don’t? And what others should I avoid?

Alec Sandison, Ottery St Mary, Devon

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