Our 10 most popular recipes of December 2021 featured lots of new recipes including my Japanese potato salad and Terence’s Spanish potato omelette; one of the most popular recipes of 2021, my authentic Russian beef Stroganoff recipe; and a recipe from 2010, Terence’s côte de bœuf recipe which came courtesy of superstar French chef Pierre Gagnaire.
It’s that time of the month – the first day of a new month – when we review our stats from the previous month to see what you searched for, read and, we assume, cooked, or at least bookmarked to cook, and compile them into this list of our 10 most popular recipes of December 2021, which has turned out to be one of our most popular new series of 2021.
It’s also the first day of a new year, when we also review the year that’s just ended, and look at how you spent your time on Grantourismo. But it’s also a special day as it’s the 12th birthday of Grantourismo. We launched the site on New Year’s Day in 2010, but more on that in another post.
When we first started this monthly series earlier of our 10 most popular recipes earlier this year, I said we’d exclude the old recipes that kept landing on the list – many over a decade-old – such as our tomato bredie recipe for the classic Cape Town stew and our rabo de toro oxtail stew from Jerez.
Those recipes were created for our series called The Dish, in which we shared recipes for the quintessential dishes of each of the places we settled into for two weeks at a time on the 2010 yearlong global grand tour that launched Grantourismo. They’ve topped our best recipe lists year after year.
I also said I’d exclude newer recipes of recent years if they kept landing on the list over and over again as I thought it would be boring for you to see them topping this series month after month. So this month I’m excluding my Russian beef Stroganoff recipe, which was the most popular recipe in December 2021, and Terence’s côte de bœuf recipe given to us in Paris by chef Pierre Gagnaire, which landed in fifth place.
Now before I share our 10 most popular recipes of December 2021, the recipes our readers searched for and spent most of their time in December, the recipes that we hope you cooked last month, we have a favour to ask.
Grantourismo is reader-supported. If you’ve enjoyed our recipes, please consider supporting Grantourismo by using our links to book accommodation, rent a car or campervan or motorhome, buy travel insurance, or book a tour on Klook or Get Your Guide. You can also shop our Grantourismo store for gifts for foodies, including fun reusable cloth face masks designed with Terence’s photography. You could also buy us a coffee, although we won’t buy coffee, we’ll put that donation toward cooking ingredients for recipe testing.
Another option is to contribute to our epic Cambodian cuisine history and cookbook on Patreon or purchase something on Amazon, such as these James Beard award-winning cookbooks, cookbooks by Australian chefs, classic cookbooks for serious cooks, cookbooks for culinary travellers, travel books to inspire wanderlust, gifts for Asian food lovers, picnic lovers and travellers who love photography. We might earn a small commission from your purchases but you won’t pay any extra. Now let me share our 10 most popular recipes of December 2021.
Most Popular Recipes of December 2021 – Here’s What Our Readers Have Been Cooking
Here are the 10 most popular recipes of December 2021 on Grantourismo – the recipes our readers searched for, spent time on, and cooked this month.
Japanese Potato Salad Recipe
This Japanese potato salad recipe topped the list of our 10 most popular recipes of December 2021 and is one of the most versatile potato salad recipes you will make.
On the menu at izakayas, in bento boxes, and served with dishes such as tonkatsu in Japan, a typical Japanese potato salad comprises partly-mashed diced potatoes, finely sliced cucumbers and carrots, corn kernels, boiled eggs, ham, and Japanese mayonnaise.
Our Japanese potato salad recipe makes a quintessential Japanese potato salad, which, if you’ve travelled in Japan you may have come across on the menus at Japanese izakayas (drinking taverns), discovered in that bento box you bought on the bullet train, or enjoyed as a side served with tonkatsu.
If you love potato salads and you have made our potato salad recipes before, from our decadent salmon potato salad to our traditional Russian potato salad for an Olivier salad, then you’re going to love this Japanese potato salad.
Russian Chicken Noodle Soup Recipe with Chicken Meatballs
This Russian chicken noodle soup recipe with chicken meatballs is my take on a comforting soup that is perfect on chilly winter days and cold nights. Super easy to make, it comes together quickly, and is ideal for easy weeknight meals or weekend lunches.
It’s another one of my Russian family recipes, my Russian grandmother’s chicken noodle soup – with a few tweaks – and it was another of our 10 most popular recipes of December 2021. It’s an old-fashioned chicken noodle soup – let’s call it a retro soup – but it’s also a nourishing soup as only chicken soups made from scratch can be.
This Russian chicken noodle soup is also a cinch to make, and will be ready to slurp in just 30 minutes or so. The juicy chicken meatballs cook in the soup and there’s no stock to make, the flavour coming from the meatballs and subtle use of spice.
It’s also a fantastic soup for leftovers, refrigerating well, and tasting even better the next day.
Easy Cheese Straws Recipe
Our easy cheese straws recipe makes grissini style cheese sticks that are perfect for your charcuterie boards and cheese plates, and it’s another of our 10 most popular recipes of December 2021.
This cheese straws recipe makes a fantastic addition to your charcuterie plate or cheese board, although these cheesy snacks are also terrific for dipping into a homemade olive tapenade or creamy hummus.
Our recipe makes a spicier version of the classic cheese straws recipe that originated in England, arrived in Australia in the 1800s, appeared on menus in the early 1900s as ‘parmesan cheese straws’, and became hugely popular in the 1970s when I first began baking cheese straws.
Spanish Potato Omelette Recipe with Chorizo
Our Spanish omelette recipe with chorizo makes Spain’s traditional potato omelette known as tortilla española or tortilla de patatas, only with a little spicy Spanish chorizo added to the classic Spanish potato omelette recipe of eggs, potatoes and onions, so it’s a tortilla de patatas con chorizo.
It’s so delicious and so perfect for holiday entertaining. Our Spanish omelette recipe with chorizo will make you a traditional Spanish omelette that is so quintessentially Spanish it’s called tortilla española or Spanish potato omelette.
Because in Spain, a tortilla is a potato omelette, unlike Mexico where a tortilla is a thin unleavened flatbread made from corn or wheat flour. An egg omelette without potato in Spain is tortilla francesa or French omelette.
Terence has added spicy chorizo sausage to this classic Spanish omelette recipe so what you have is a tortilla española con chorizo or tortilla de patatas con chorizo, or you could simply call it a chorizo tortilla.
Whatever you want to call it, it’s absolutely delicious and it’s another of our 10 most popular recipes of December 2021.
Chickpea Curry Recipe for Punjabi Chole
This chickpea curry recipe makes a comforting Punjabi chole from the new cookbook Indian Cooking Class by Australian chef Christine Manfield, whose love of spice, Indian food and India began soon after she started cooking.
Chole is ‘chickpeas’ and this richly spiced chickpea stew is a beloved dish of Punjabi cuisine of Punjab, a region straddling Northern India and Pakistan.
“Chole bhatura is a Punjabi staple that makes use of humble pantry ingredients. Chole is a chickpea curry served with puffed bhatura bread, a dish that has been widely embraced in other regions of India,” Christine Manfield says in the introduction to her chole recipe in her new cookbook Indian Cooking Class.
“The dal preparation can vary across districts, depending on its blend of spices. And this version was my favourite breakfast during my travels through Sikkim, staying in village houses.”
Christine’s recipe was another of our 10 most popular recipes of December 2021 and with good reason.
Easy Olive Tapenade Recipe
This easy olive tapenade recipe is based on the traditional French tapenade recipe from Provence in southern France that’s made with only four ingredients, and it was another of our 10 most popular recipes of December 2021.
You could add garlic, herbs and spices, but this Mediterranean olive dip is absolutely delicious in its original form, eaten on fresh or toasted baguette slices, pinchos or crostini.
Buy some jars of black olives, briny capers, and anchovies, and a bottle of extra virgin olive oil and keep this black olive tapenade recipe handy if you’ve got loved-ones dropping in over the holidays.
It will make you an incredibly delicious dip that you can serve with homemade crackers, cheese straws or fresh or toasted baguette slices, and it can be made in a matter minutes.
Creamy Smoked Salmon Dip Recipe
This smoked salmon dip recipe is made with salty capers, dill pickles, purple shallots, a pinch of paprika, and plenty of fresh perfumed dill and it beats a store-bought dip any day.
While it might cost you a bit more to make, nothing tops homemade and you’ll taste the difference in the fresh herbs and proper salmon.
My smoked salmon dip recipe makes an utterly addictive dip – I cannot stop eating it! – which is why it was another of our 10 most popular recipes of December 2021.
By the way, I also add white pepper, garlic powder and sea salt, all of which you can adjust to your taste.
This dip is next in what appears to be a serendipitous and somewhat nostalgic cooking project where I’ve found myself recreating favourite snacks, homemade and store-bought, from the 1970s through 1990s.
Tamarind Eggplant Recipe from Rajasthan
Like the chickpea curry recipe above, this tamarind eggplant recipe from Rajasthan is from the new cookbook Indian Cooking Class by Australian chef Christine Manfield, who has a deep love of India, Indian cuisines and spices, having travelled to India 40 times and published four books on Indian food.
This tamarind eggplant dish is sweet and sour, savoury and saucy, and it comes together quickly. If you loved Christine Manfield’s chole bhatura recipe for a Punjabi chole or chickpea curry, then you’re also going to love this tamarind eggplant recipe from neighbouring region of Rajasthan.
“I collected this recipe years ago in Rajasthan,” says Christine Manfield in her new cookbook Indian Cooking Class. “It’s one of my all-time favourite eggplant dishes. I use it at any opportunity. I love its deeply satisfying sweet and sour notes.”
We adore Christine and this recipe and her spice-infused Asian-Australian cuisine so we’re so pleased this recipe was another of our 10 most popular recipes of December 2021.
Classic Prawn Cocktail Recipe
This classic prawn cocktail recipe makes my take on the retro appetiser popularised in the 1970s that will never go out of style.
Tiger prawns boiled quickly in their shells so they’re just done are peeled, tossed in a creamy tangy ‘seafood sauce’, and served on a bed of lettuce salad, dressed with the same sauce.
While so many fashionable dishes from the 1970s have made a comeback – devilled eggs, beef Stroganoff and chicken Kiev to name a few (oddly enough, all Russian dishes, and I’ve no idea what that’s about) – along with the prawn cocktail, they’ve never gone out of style for me.
They’re part of my culinary heritage, embedded with countless memories, so I’m really pleased this was another of our 10 most popular recipes of December 2021.
French Onion Soup Recipe
This fragrant French onion soup recipe makes a classic French onion soup with a subtle Southeast Asian twist that is inspired by French chef Raymond Blanc’s vegetarian French onion soup recipe.
It uses toasted flour to add a nuttiness to the broth, but I’ve added a little fish sauce for umami and star anise for aroma and flavour to create a deeply-flavoured onion soup. Oui. Je suis désolé. I’m sorry, I can’t help myself.
Firstly, I’m Australian, which means that I’m born with a natural tendency to reach for anything in the pantry to adjust a recipe or dish to my taste. It’s in my genes. The Australian taste knows no bounds. If you’re Australian or you’ve eaten in Australia, you’ll understand.
Secondly, I’m an Aussie based in Southeast Asia for almost a dozen years, which means that almost everything I cook is imbued with Southeast Asian spices, herbs and ingredients. I even add a little fish sauce to my traditional Russian family recipes. Trust me, it works!
Please do let us know in the comments below if you’ve cooked any of the recipes in our 10 most popular recipes of December 2021 as we’d love to get your feedback.