Easy International Recipe Ideas For Students

Never know what to cook? We’ve gathered some easy, tasty student recipes from around our office (and the world!) for you to recreate in your own home. Which will you try first?

Twenty-six nationalities make up the team at Student.com, so we’re certainly an international bunch. To celebrate, we held our first (and certainly not last) International Food Day on February 26th – and what a feast it was! Delicious dishes from over 20 different countries were prepared and brought in for the occasion, and we’ve included a selection below. We hope you enjoy making these recipes as much as we enjoyed tasting them!

Tortilla de patatas

Borja, Spain
Borja is still using the recipe handed down to him by his grandmother to make this tasty tortilla de patatas. Olé!

Ingredients:
3 large potatoes
6 eggs
Olive oil
Salt
1 small onion
1 garlic clove

Method:
1. Peel the potatoes, then cut them into slices about 2cm wide.

2. Fill the frying pan with olive oil, then when the oil is hot (test a potato to see if it sizzles), add the garlic and potatoes to the frying pan.

3. Cut the onion into small pieces, and add it to the pan.

4. When the potatoes have turned a golden brown colour, remove them from the heat. Use a colander to drain the oil, and make sure you remove the garlic.

5. In a large mixing bowl, whisk six eggs and add the fried potatoes. Slightly mash the potatoes with a fork and add a pinch of salt to the mix.

6. Using the same pan as before (but this time without any oil), pour the whole mixture of eggs and potatoes so that it fills the pan.

7. Fry until the tortilla is golden on both sides. Note: The tricky part of making a tortilla de patatas is flipping it to cook the other side. If you’re not an expert, hold a plate on top of the frying pan, and quickly but carefully turn the pan upside down so the tortilla is now on the plate. Slide the tortilla off the plate and back into the frying pan to cook the other side before serving.

8. Enjoy it hot or cold!

Student.com (International Food Day) (2 of 3)

Green vegetable bake

Diyan, Bulgaria
Get your vitamin fix with Diyan’s incredibly green, homemade recipe.

Ingredients:
2 courgettes
200g kale
200g spinach
100g nettle (optional)
250g feta cheese
4 eggs
200g Greek yoghurt
50ml olive oil
70g flour
Salt & pepper

Method:
1. Preheat the oven to 170C.

2. Grate the courgettes, and strain any excess water before you add them into a big bowl. Then, chop the kale, spinach and nettle and mix with the grated courgettes.

3. Add half of the flour and the olive oil.

4. In a separate bowl, add three of the eggs, and the egg white of the final egg – leaving one of the yolks aside.

5. Crush the feta cheese into small pieces and add it to the eggs. Then, stir the egg and cheese mix into the kale, spinach and nettle. Season with salt and pepper.

6. Pour everything into a roasting tin. Bake for 20-25 minutes at 170C.

7. Meanwhile, mix the remaining egg yolk with the yoghurt and add the rest of the flour. Season with salt and pepper.

8. Add the mix to the roasting tin and continue baking for another 5-10 minutes or until it’s golden brown.

9. Leave the bake to rest. Then, cut it into squares and serve with a dollop of Greek yoghurt.

Tarte aux poireaux

Anaïs, France
Ana adds a secret twist to her take on the classic French leek tart.

Ingredients:
Ready rolled puff pastry
20g salty butter
3 leeks
100g bacon lardons
20g parmesan cheese
200ml crème fraîche
3 eggs
100g grated cheddar cheese
Salt & pepper

Method:
1. Preheat the oven to 180C.

2. Chop the leeks and place them in a saucepan with 20g of salted butter. Leave to cook on a low heat until the leeks have softened.

3. Add the grated parmesan cheese and the crème fraîche, then remove from the heat.

4. In another pan, fry the bacon lardons until they are crispy and add them to the mix.

5. In a bowl, whisk the eggs and add the grated cheese and salt and pepper.

6. Grease a tart dish with some butter, then roll out the pastry and place into the dish.

7. Bake the pastry for around five minutes, keeping an eye on it. When the pastry starts to inflate, take it out of the oven.

8. Prick the pastry all over with a fork, then add the leek mixture. Pour the eggs over the top, then put the tart in the oven for 20 minutes or until it turns golden brown.

9. For an even crunchier finish, put the tart under the grill for the final two minutes.

Student.com (International Food Day) (1 of 3)

Focaccia

Nicola, Italy
Nicola is famous in the office for his cooking, and when you’ve tried his recipe for focaccia you’ll know why!

Ingredients:
250g plain flour + 250g of brown flour or bread flour
7g dried yeast
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp sugar
300ml warm water
100ml olive oil
8 cherry tomatoes
Pinch of oregano

Method:
1. Activate the yeast by mixing it with the sugar and 100ml of the warm water in a bowl (it usually takes up to 10-15 minutes; read the instructions of the yeast you are using).

2. Dissolve the salt in the remainder of the warm water.

3. In a bowl, sift the flour and add the activated yeast, before kneading everything using a fork. Meanwhile, slowly add the rest of the warm water. Then, knead the dough with your hands, working the mixture well for 10 or 15 minutes until it has a sticky consistency.

4. Cover the mixture with a towel and leave in a warm place to rise for an hour to an hour and a half – the colder the temperature of the room, the longer it will take to rise.

5. Meanwhile, cut the cherry tomatoes into quarters, and preheat the oven to 200C.

6. Rub some oil into a baking tray (which should be roughly 30 cm in diameter), then put the risen dough in the tray, spreading it to cover the tray’s surface. Then, garnish it with the cut cherry tomatoes.

7. Sprinkle the oregano, a little bit of salt and the remaining oil on top of the dough.

8. Put it in the preheated oven for around 20 minutes. Keep an eye on it.

9. To make sure the focaccia is baked evenly, you can turn the tray after around 10 minutes. When it becomes slightly golden brown, take it out of the oven and let it cool down.

10. Slice it into lots of pieces to share with friends!

Extra tips: The topping/garnish can be anything you want. Here are some other ideas: olives, onions, rosemary and salt, mozzarella and tomato sauce.

And to make a great Italian sandwich…
1. Cut the focaccia into 4 or 6 big rectangular pieces
2. Slice through the middle to form the layers for your sandwich (if the focaccia has risen properly, you should have some thick layers)
3. Fill with slices of Parma ham and some mozzarella!

Student.com (International Food Day) (1 of 1)

Timpana

Ed, Malta
If you can’t decide between pasta or pie, Ed’s ultimate timpana recipe will satisfy your craving!

Ingredients:
Ready rolled shortcrust pastry x 2
500g dried macaroni or penne
750g beef mince
1 large onion, finely diced
4 cloves garlic, crushed
150g parmesan cheese, grated
150g cheese, grated
3 eggs, beaten
3 eggs, hard boiled
200g tomato paste
200g tomato purée
150g butter
Salt and pepper
Pinch of oregano, basil

For glaze:
1 extra egg, beaten

Method:
1. Preheat the oven to 200C.

2. In a frying pan, fry the onions and garlic with a bit of olive oil until golden. Add the mince and season with salt, pepper and herbs. When the mince is cooked through, add the tomato paste and purée, then lower the heat.

3. In the meantime, boil water in a large saucepan. When the water is bubbling, add the pasta, a generous pinch of salt and cook to taste.

4. In a smaller saucepan, boil three eggs for 8-10 minutes until hard. When the eggs are done, run them under cold water, then peel the shell from the eggs and slice into chunks.

5. Mix together the tomato and meat sauce, the cooked pasta and the grated cheese.

6. Roll out one sheet of pastry into a 2cm thick baking tray, and pour the pasta mix in. Add the sliced hard boiled eggs.

7. Cover with the other sheet of shortcrust pastry, prick with a fork all over, and baste with the beaten egg.

8. Bake for 40-60 minutes, or until the pastry is golden brown all over. Cut into slices and serve!

Gazpacho

Myriam, Spain
This chilled Spanish soup is perfect for warmer weather – not that Myriam has much of that in London!

Ingredients:
3 tomatoes
1/4 red bell pepper
1 piece of cucumber (the size of one of the tomatoes)
1/2 slice of white bread (crust removed)
1 garlic clove
1/2 cup of water (or more to taste)
Dash of olive oil (1 tbsp)
Salt to taste

Method:
1. Peel the tomatoes, cucumber, pepper and garlic and roughly chop. Put the ingredients into a blender, tear the bread into pieces and add to the mix with some olive oil and salt.

2. Once everything has been blended, add a dash of water (not all of it) and blend again.

3. Then, keep adding water until you get a dense soup-like texture.

4. Serve cold! You can top up with some croutons before serving for a crunchy finishing touch.

Tip: For a gluten-free option, skip the bread and don’t add as much water. Serve with some small pieces of hard-boiled egg on top.

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Gumbo

Mike, United States
Some people say they won’t eat a stranger’s gumbo because there’s no telling what they’ve put in it… You won’t have to worry because we’ve lifted the lid on Mike’s dish!

Ingredients:
2lb fresh shrimp (shells on)
2 small blue crabs
1lb andouille sausage, sliced into 1/2 inch pieces
3 quarts water
2/3 cup + 2 tablespoons cooking oil/fat (e.g. vegetable oil, olive oil or bacon drippings)
1 quart okra (lady fingers), cut into 1/2 inch pieces
2/3 cup flour
2 cups chopped onions
1 cup chopped bell pepper
1/2 cup chopped celery
1 tablespoon minced garlic
16oz can chopped tomatoes
2 bay leaves
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon white pepper
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Method:
1. Make the stock. Peel and devein shrimp, putting the meat aside in the fridge. Place the shells and heads in 2 quarts of water, and bring it to the boil before simmering for 30-45 minutes. Once the shrimp stock is done, strain it and keep the stock. Rinse the crabs, put in 1 quart of water, bring it to boil and simmer for 20-30 minutes. Once the crab stock is done, take out the crab, put it in the fridge and keep the stock. If you don’t have shrimp or crab, you can use any other kind of stock.

2. Chop up all the ingredients. Put the okra in a pan with 2 tablespoons of the oil/fat and sauté until soft and slightly caramelised. In the dish you plan to cook the gumbo in (preferably a large casserole dish), sauté the sausage, letting it caramelise to the bottom of the pan. Scoop the sausage out of the pot and set aside. If you don’t have sausage, or another meat that would do, you can skip this step.

3. Create the roux. Add the oil/fat to the casserole dish. Add 2/3 cup flour, cook on a medium high heat and stir. Once the colour starts to turn and the flour starts to cook, don’t stop stirring until the roux looks like a quality dark roux. Alternatively, put the casserole dish in the oven at 350 F for 30-45 minutes.

4. Once the roux is ready, add the bell peppers, onions, celery and garlic into the pan. Sauté until soft, but feel free to let them stick to the bottom of the pan and scrape them up. Once the vegetables are soft, add the can of tomatoes, bay leaves, salt and pepper. Cook for about 10 minutes, letting it stick to the bottom of the pan and scraping it up.

5. Add the okra and sausage (if you have it) to the casserole dish and continue to cook for another 10 minutes, still letting things stick and scraping up. This is where the flavour is made. Add in all the stock, bring it to the boil, and cover the dish with a lid and turn the heat down to a simmer for about an hour.

6. Shell the crab and add it and the shrimp to the stew. Cook until the crab is hot and the shrimp is pink (approximately five minutes).

7. Serve over rice, with cornbread or a good, crusty baguette. Best served with a hot sauce and some sliced green onions on top.

Ron’s 5-a-day wonder

Ronié, England
For Ronié, there’s nothing better than tucking into a hearty meal packed full of vitamin-rich vegetables.

Ingredients:
1 butternut squash (peeled, seeds removed, diced into 4cm chunks)
2 courgettes (cut into 2cm thick slices)
Cherry tomatoes (about 20, or more if you’re cooking for more people)
2 cloves of garlic (crushed with your palm)
4 sprigs of thyme (leaves removed)
1 glass of white wine
1 tablespoon of olive oil
3 rashers of smoked bacon
Crème fraîche
1 chicken breast per person
Chilli flakes
Salt and pepper

Method:
1. Preheat the oven to about 200C.

2. In an oven-proof dish or roasting tin, mix the butternut squash, bacon, garlic and half of the thyme. Add the olive oil, a generous amount of salt and pepper and mix well.

3. Place in the oven for 15-20 minutes, or until the squash starts to soften.

4. Add the courgettes and tomatoes, then place the chicken breasts on top of the vegetables and sprinkle with the remaining thyme. Pour the wine over the chicken and vegetables. The chicken breasts will need about 20-25 minutes to cook in the oven.

5. Halfway through, bring them out to baste and give the contents a good mix.

6. Once the chicken breasts are cooked, add the crème fraîche and a sprinkling of chilli flakes to the bottom of the tray (where the wine and all the vegetables will be), and stir well to make your sauce.

7. Serve a chicken breast with the vegetables and a side of fresh rocket.

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