It’s not a competition. Well, OK it is … and this weekend, the tree huggers at Guardian Towers pretty much scythed the opposition into pieces, then hammered them into the ground. So we’ll divide this weekend’s food pages into the left versus the rest.
It was the Saturday assault, really, that won the war.
Head boy, Yotam Ottolenghi, led the charge with a self deprecatory ‘less is more’ column. Classic rope-a-dope – show your weak spot then land a heavy right hook. Recipes for fetteh (non puréed hummus) and beef shin and beans looked particularly strong.
Karam Sethi of Gymkhana fame has hold of the HFW (RIP) column for the next few weeks. Three great ‘curry’ recipes. But the one that stands out is the goat keema. I love this dish at the restaurant and will definitely be cooking it soon.
I could have sworn they said that Tom Kerridge launched his monthly column last week. But here he was again, launching a, er, monthly column. Confused.com. Regardless, two recipes in particular stood out as being well lush: red mullet soup (a “British bouillabaisse“) and dried apple drop scones with apple cider scones. Proper job.
Hands up who doesn’t need some new dip ideas for your dinner parties? No one? Thought so. Cook gave us ten. Nam prik ong; caramel figs with orange and honey marscepone; and red baba ganoush are now in my memory bank.
I don’t mention Ruby Tandoh and her Cook baking column much on these pages. No reason for that. This week her Boston Cream eclairs and Loukoumades were drool inducing.
On Sunday, Nigel finished things off nicely. Some lovely ideas for new spuds: rabbit, potatoes, sherry vinegar and cucumber sounded fresh; and a corking salad I’ve made three times already. Check The Guardian website on Tuesday or Wednesday for his mid week green chicken minestrone.
Best of the rest
I liked the look of some of Stevie Parle’s leek ideas in The Telegraph. Particularly the classic poached leeks with sauce gribiche, and char siu pork shoulder with glazed leeks. In the latter, the leeks are blanched, then marinated in sugar, sherry vinegar and crushed garlic an sesame oil, then left overnight before being griddled. Nice.
Ones to watch elsewhere include a gorgeous crab salad with nam jim (green chilli, garlic, coriander, palm sugar, fish sauce, lime juice) by Skye Gyngell in The Sunday Times. It’s not clear how many people this is for. But does involve 500g of picked white crab meat (around £15) and very little else. So it’s probably a special treat thing (or maybe split the mix between many as a canapé – on a prawn cracker, perhaps?).
Look out, also, for a load of seafood BBQ ideas from Nathan Outlaw, which made Saturday’s Times unusually tasty. Chilli squid with aubergine dip (more dips!); John Dory, green sauce and chicory; scallop with red onion skewers and sweetcorn chutney. These are strong but doable ideas for the summer. So here comes four months of spoiler rain …
As so often is the case, Rowley Leigh’s piece in the FT Weekend was notable for comments in the preamble as much as it was the recipe. He cooked a wild garlic tortilla. But the key bit of advice was that wild garlic benefits from the application of a little gentle heat. Tis true tis much nicer that way.
And the rest
Lots of puff pastry tarts from Mark Hix. Granger offered a bouillabaisse of sorts. Gizzi put forward beef tartare and macaroni cheese for lunch (other dishes from schleb chefs too, but no need to track them down).
Seems someone who makes hand cream had usurped Diana Henry in The Sunday Telegraph’s Stella magazine. Vegetable focused recipes from The River Café, Bocca di Lupo and Brasserie Lipp followed. Next week, recipes from Victoria Beckham’s favourite overpriced sushi restaurants. Maybe.
Of the many things that caught my eye in the Grauniad, Nigel Slater’s new potato salad with a honey, mustard, mayo dressing was the one that matched my timetable and fridge best. Turns out it’s lovely and I’ll be adding honey to my potato salad dressings forever more. Capers, radicchio and watercress all added masses too. A top salad on its own, but also with roast pork later in the evening.
Weekend Menu, 3 & 4 May 2014
Crab salad with nan jim
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