Here’s what went down in the weekend’s food sections.
The Glorious Twelfth tomorrow, innit. I’m sure there’ll be lots on the game theme in weeks to come, but The Times and Sunday Times got in there early: with Tom PB’s classic grouse and bread sauce method in the latter, and a series of game dishes in the former, care of Phil Vickery a butcher called Simon Boddy. There was no wheel reinvention, but the recipes certainly make game look very approachable. Think fairly standard ideas (venison ragu, grilled quail with parsnip crisps) sprinkled with the occasional ‘exotic’ serving suggestion (spiced pheasant with a mango and mint relish).
Hold on, hold on. It is still summer, right?
Don’t worry, there’s clearly still time for yet more BBQ, picnic and ‘summer’ themed columns.
The BBQ baton passed to The Independent‘s Mark Hix. He laid on a couple of classics: spatchcock poussin and a herby leg of lamb. But also a couple of more unusual BBQ ideas: squid and aubergine with miso, and sweet potato flatbreads.
We learnt that Mary-Ellen McTague wants Scotch eggs, pork pies, and fruit water in her fantasy picnic basket. Fair do’s.
Rowley Leigh’s FT recipe was at least sparked by holidays in Italy (but more directly inspired by Italian cooks in London). He wrote a little about a particular pasta called cavatelli and proposed a recipe which mixed said shape with potato, beans and pesto. I particularly liked the way he phrased his pasta shaping method “simply cut it into little logs and then shape each one between the two bifurcated forefingers to produce little torpedoes”. Lovely.
A few interesting ice lolly flavour combinations meant that I was unusually interested in The Times’s ‘only four recipes you’ll ever need’. Raspberry and lime, ruby grapefruit and Campari and blueberry and yoghurt sound pretty good, right? Though I would swap my gooseberry and Greek yoghurt lolly for their orange and lemon option …
Cornish summer holiday seafood from Gizzi in The Sunday Times. Nothing particularly out there, this week: crab on toast; mackerel with green tomato salsa verde; scallops with herby butter.
Game and summer dispensed with, the majority of this weekend’s recipes weren’t focused on the season or an event at all. Which was rather refreshing.
Nigel Slater’s pork ribs in a sticky tomato chutney recipe looked pretty good. It’s unclear to me, though, how a follow-on wrap recipe could ever be made – what are these ‘leftover’ ribs he speaks of?
Column of the week goes to Yotam Ottolenghi’s work in Saturday’s Guardian. Ye Gods, all of his salty sweet recipes were mouthwatering: creamed sweetcorn with chorizo and poached egg on toast; orange and honey braised carrots and artichokes with dill; and cauliflower florets with dates and capers.
The ‘10 best sesame recipes’ column in ‘Cook’ stood out, too. This might’ve been because of the striking black sesame macarons image accompanying it. But various other sweet and savoury, Asian and Middle Eastern themed ideas tempted. Maria Elia’s soft tahini centred chocolate puddings are dessert of the week. Elsewhere in that supplement, I liked the look of Jane Baxter’s red Camargue rice salad (with apricots, bacon, pistachio and broad beans).
Diana Henry’s Sunday column was about cooking family meals to suit the fussiest children. I’m convinced no child of mine will ever pick at their food … but I guess everyone thinks that in the days before it becomes clear that adults really don’t rule the roost. Marmalade glazed chicken drumsticks looks to be a winner.
Have I cooked anything by Bill Granger before? I’m not sure I have. But I like the Independent on Sunday for its lack of clutter and general superfluous bumpf, so resolved to buy and cook from that this weekend regardless of what B-Giddy had to say for himself.
This week, his recipes were on a ‘non-traditional Sunday roast’ theme. Now I’m a paid up member of the Sundays don’t need roast potatoes club, so it was fairly easy to get along with his menu. Even so, I was surprised by how much I enjoyed his ‘rosemary chicken under a brick’. The cooking method resulted in beautifully crisp and golden skin, tender and juicy flesh. A grilled fennel, pea, lemon, mint and mozzarella salad was excellent too. But the roast pepper and almond relish on the side had too much garlic and needed a touch of acidity. Still, overall, pretty dang tasty scran.
Weekend Menu, 9 and 10 August 2014
BBQ squid and aubergine with miso
Mark Hix, The Independent (Saturday)
Roast grouse, bread sauce
Tom Parker Bowles, The Sunday Times
Tahini chocolate puddings
Maria Elia, The Guardian ‘Cook’
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