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In some parts of the world, rice is almost a religion, says Rachel Allen, who offers tasty ways to treat the humble grain.
 
The importance of rice to some cultures is almost impossible to overstate. More than one country holds rice as an essential part of their creation myth, fundamental to their very existence - which makes it considerably more exotic than something to boil quickly and eat with a curry!
 
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A freezer is perhaps the most time-saving tool in a cook's armoury. Here's a few tips how you can get the best out of yours.
 
We all have those days when we seem to be racing around the place with not much time to cook, yet we still want a delicious, comforting meal.
 
That's why my freezer is my friend. It's packed with what are, essentially, home-cooked ready-meals, ready to defrost and reheat in just a few minutes. Good organisation saves not just time but your health (and sometimes sanity!) too.
 
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Mustard isn't merely a condiment, Rachel Allen says, as she shows ways to use the hot stuff, be it Dijon, English or the whole seeds.
 
The heat and intensity of good mustard is not to be sniffed at. It rivals even wasabi for nostril-searing power. For those who like to be loudly awoken by their food, that means huge dollops on sausages and sandwiches. Those who want only a little intensity from their dinner can still enjoy a little mustard stirred into cauliflower cheese or gravy.
 
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There's a simple, yet luxurious pleasure to a creamy panna cotta. 
 
Desserts don't need to be elaborate. It's true that every so often a colossal creation can end a meal in style. Looking up at a croquembouche, with its cascading tower of profiteroles and caramel, is an impressive finale to a feast. Yet, most of the time, that isn't what I want after a big dinner. I still want something sweet and rich, but just a little taste of it. Few desserts are more perfect than a silky panna cotta.
 
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Fancy making ice cream, but you haven't got a machine? Here is how to make an assortment of tasty frozen treats without one.

An ice cream machine is a great bit of kit. Yet, even if they're affordable, it means another appliance to fit into your kitchen - the last place you want clutter. Thankfully, there is an easy way to make ice cream without a machine, ice cream that is perfectly smooth and soft - you just have to know a few tricks!

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The peppery green leaves aren't only for salad, as Rachel makes pesto, bruschetta and even beef carpaccio.

 
I first learned to cook in the early 90s. I remember the excitement at the influx of new ingredients that we view as commonplace today. Flat-leaf parsley, sun-dried tomatoes and especially olive oil, added extra dimensions to our cooking. We fell in love with the bold, rustic flavours of the Mediterranean. So, too, began the stratospheric rise in popularity of the leafy green known as rocket.
 
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Bestselling author and Irish TV chef Rachel Allen is back with a deliciously tempting collection of treats!

We all need to treat ourselves from time to time. Whether it’s a show-stopping dessert to impress friends, a simple pick-me-up after a long day or a surprisingly healthy snack that the whole family can enjoy, Rachel’s All Things Sweet will satisfy even the sweetest sweet tooth.

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Taking a break from wholesome, nutritious food, indulge in the sublime pleasure of 
churros and doughnuts.

Doughnuts are pure, unadulterated pleasure. Deep fried and covered in sugar, this is not a diet, fat-free option. Yet, just every so often, there is nothing as good as the sweetly crisp crunch and warmly yielding centre of a fresh, home-made doughnut.

The first time I had churros con chocolate was in Barcelona as a 16-year-old exchange student. I remember one night we were allowed to go in to town to the disco - quite a thrilling moment 
for me back then!

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Anchovies enhance 
and improve the flavour of 
so many popular recipes.
 
I'm really partial to an anchovy. Not just one or two, mind you. When I open a jar I find it hard to resist eating the whole lot. The little oily fishes are so aggressively salty and full of flavour that eating them straight from the tin might not be for everyone, but I just can't resist!
 
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Puts the summer's long mornings 
and the abundance of fresh produce to good use with 
an array of brunch recipes. 
 
To me, summer is the best time for brunch. Howling wind and lashing rain don't always put me in the mood for a luxurious morning meal. It's not quite the same to have friends over and share a warming bowl of porridge. But, in the summer sun, I love to while away the 
late morning, sharing convivial food while sipping something fruity and fizzy.
 
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