Cooking is like love. It should be entered into with abandon or not at all.

This famous quote is from writer Harriet Van Horne and it began her article Not for Jiffy Cooks in Vogue magazine in 1956. In the article Van Horne spoke of the beauty of quality ingredients and taking time to cook rather than using “premixed, prewhipped, pre-stewed foods that crowd the grocer’s shelf,” as she put it.

This …

Recipe: Karen Martini’s Paella with Chicken, Chorizo and Calamari

This recipe has been created exclusively for The Essential Ingredient by Karen Martini.

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Don’t forget to try Karen’s Amaranth and Tomato Salad recipe and her Twice-cooked Duck with Verjuice-baked Chestnuts on Farro.


“This delicious full-flavoured paella uses classic Spanish ingredients …

Pordamsa fine porcelain tableware

The stunning Pordamsa porcelain range is now available in Australia, exclusively from The Essential Ingredient.

When it comes to tableware, sometimes it’s love at first sight.

Pordamsa porcelain makes an instant impression. Based in Spain, with over 35 years experience, Pordamsa creates pieces that are as unique and memorable as they are functional.

Though many of the designs are …

La Dalia Pimentón de la Vera: The authentic Spanish paprika

If meat is the body of your dish, then spices are the personality. Some give sweetness, a few are sour and others give your dish attitude. Paprika, the popular Spanish and Eastern European spice, brings mystery, warmth and that rich, unmistakable colour.

Pimentón, or paprika, was first produced in Spain where dried peppers were ground down, the differing combinations of fruit …

Squid ink

For lovers of seafood, squid ink is a magical ingredient.

Its flavour is reminiscent of the sea, though not overly ‘fishy’, so it accentuates the taste of your chosen seafood without overpowering it.

Clams, mussels, firm fish, octopus, crab and, of course, squid are all wonderful partners with squid ink, particularly in rice or pasta-based dishes.

While many prize the flavour, squid ink’s most …

Molí de Rafelet hand-milled Bomba Rice

Easy to prepare, attractive to serve and a pleasure to eat, rice appears as hors d’œuvre, side dishes, main courses, desserts and snacks; its simplicity as an ingredient matched only by its versatility.

Because of the many ways in which rice can be prepared, it’s important to choose the right rice for your dish. The properties of the grains- from their …

Recipe: Roasted Leg of Lamb with La Dalia Paprika

The La Dalia Paprika from La Vera range epitomises the flavours and traditions of the Spanish cuisine. Whether hot or sweet, this paprika is just as rich in flavour as it is in colour, adding a smoky vibrancy to eggs, rice, roast meats, potatoes braises and more.

This recipe, perfect for entertaining, uses the La Dalia sweet paprika to …