Bringing up the 150 with an efficiently clipped single to mid-wicket.
(Translation: in between flights, so here is a selection of the weekend’s recipes in bullet form.)
The usual suspects
- A very tempting artichoke gratin from Rowley Leigh in the Financial Times Weekend Magazine. Requires a little effort to prep the artichokes, but I have a feeling it’ll be worth it.
- Also in the FT Magazine (a food focused edition), an interview of Jonathan Meades by Jonathan Meades on culinary copying is a typically droll read. Includes a recipe for cassoulet from his forthcoming “anti-cookbook” The Plagiarist in the Kitchen.
- Sunday Times readers were treated to chocolate bits and bobs by Florence Knight: cookies; chewy choc and hazelnut caramels; and most interestingly a muscovado loaf cake topped with chocolate icing.
- Sticking with baking and chocolate theme, Claire Ptak was back in the Guardian’s Cook supplement with some superb looking cakes and cookies. Chocolate and pistachio ‘simnel’ cake is an Easter showstopper*. Malty chocolate cookies look incredible. Ditto chocolate coconut macaroons and tiramisu cupcakes. Column of the week, I reckon. (*Though Mum has written to note that without marzipan and with 13, rather than 11, balls on the photo, this is really just an Easter chocolate cake … and she’s probably right.)
- Rustic Italian recipes by Francesco Mazzei in Saturday’s Times Magazine — to promote a new Islington restaurant. Photos weren’t flattering, but I suspect a marsala tiramisu, stuffed conchiglioni, chicken calabresi &etc all decent and easy to do at home.
- There were some tantalising combinations in Joe Trivelli’s Observer magazine recipes (Nigel was away). Asparagus and purple sprouting with a porcini, anchovy and pine nut umami bomb of a sauce caught the eye. As did an assembly of artichokes, cooked lettuce and bread crumbs.
- Yotam went with pineapple as a theme for Saturday’s Guardian Weekend recipes. Lip-smackingly inventive as always: things like oven-dried pineapple and bitter leaf salad, and BBQ lamb tacos with pineapple pickle and chutney.
- In the same magazine, Thomasina Miers suggested next weekend should involve a spring cassoulet-ish type thing using lamb neck, borlotti beans, radishes and a watercress salsa verde. Sounds rather good.
- Rachel Roddy’s Easter effort was a magnificent Ligurian spinach, ricotta and egg pie.
- And from the magnificent to the majestic, if you’ve ever had one of Jeremy Lee’s meringue based puddings at Quo Vadis, you’ll know his almond and rhubarb meringue pud in Cook is worth cutting out and keeping. Things I noted: 9 egg yolks plus cornflour and flour ensure the custard is thick and gutsy; and that there’s a fair heap of chopped almonds in the meringue itself (“a nutty meringue is something of a must for me“, writes Jezza).
- I loved the sound of Anna Jones’ ‘sunny egg muffins’, also in Cook. These cheesy spelt and polenta treats hide a runny yolked egg. Provided you get your timings right and you’re gentle (peeling 4 minute eggs — tricky).
- Diana Henry gave The Sunday Telegraph’s ‘Stella’ reader three ways to pimp their legs of lamb next Sunday (spiced, stuffed and embellished), and all of them appeal. From garlic and cider lamb with mint pickled apples on the side, to a carvery boned leg stuffed with goat’s cheese, and then an Indian spiced leg with apricot and ginger chutney — which will you go for?
- Also from The Telegraph’s food sections, Stephen Harris who pushed a pretty papillote of white fish, mussels, samphire and blood orange. Will be worth a punt.
- Also, within a piece about chillies, there’s an intriguing warm mango curry by Anjula Devi. Not much explanation, but despite the fruit taking centre stage, it seems to be intended as a fully savoury dish given the coconut oil, chilli flakes, cumin, coriander, asafoetida, garlic, ginger, turmeric and more.
- And Flora Shedden suggested a couple of impressive-looking DIY Easter eggs.
From the internet
Hands down the most interesting recipe of the weekend came via a picture I saw on Instagram, which led me to Cliodhna Prendergast’s Irish Sunday Times recipe column. Apparently medieval types used to clamp eggs with butter to ensure they survived the 40 days of Lent. Cliodhna suggests that such treatment also happens to lend a buttery flavour to them, which is retained when boiled and used for dipping, and suggests serving them with freshly picked and then blanched nettles. No idea if the butter trick is worth it, but may be worth a try?
Finally, a belated shout out for Felicity Cloake’s Perfect soy-miso ramen column from about 10 days ago. Hell of an effort.
Nada — I was in Jerez drinking sherry. Though, as the photo at the top suggests, I did find time to walk round their impressive fish market, which puts our reliance on lice-riddled salmon to shame.
Weekend Menu, 8 and 9 April 2017
Asparagus and purple sprouting with porcini, anchovy and pine nut sauce
Joe Trivelli, The Observer Magazine
White fish, mussel and blood orange papillote
Stephen Harris, The Telegraph
Chocolate and pistachio simnel cake (and a double espresso)
Claire Ptak, The Guardian ‘Cook’
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