I thought for some time about splitting this weekend’s recipes along a few ingenious themes. In the end I just plumped for ‘The Guardian’ and ‘The Rest’.
New faces at Grauniad Towers
It was an Observer Food Monthly weekend. I find the magazine (physical copy) goes nicely with toasted sourdough, Burford Browns, aeropress coffee … and any other foodie clichés I’ve got in stock on a Sunday morning.
Budget conscious cook Jack Monroe was the cover star for this edition. She is a fresh voice in food writing and an extract from her forthcoming book suggested Jack has decent recipe ideas too – scampi herring roes was the standout dish. Elsewhere, it was interesting to see that Ottolenghi thought Morrisons make the best supermarket hummus. Waitrose’s efforts were slated.
The Saturday Guardian‘s own supplement, ‘Cook’, has added value to weekend reading. Not every recipe or feature is noteworthy, but they’ve produced / collated a heck of a lot of material over the last year and there are always a few gems in there. Some of this Saturday’s “10 best” peanut recipes are great; there’ll be roasted broccoli with satay sauce in my house this week.
Simon Rogan provided cheffy midweek recipes in the Saturday magazine. On the one hand, I think these overestimate the average home cook’s capacity and / or desire to shop for 8 mussels and 12 baby spinach leaves as part of a three course midweek supper. On the other, I’m glad The Guardian isn’t just catering for the average home cook.
Incidentally, it looks as though Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall has been quietly dropped as a Grauniad columnist: it’s the second Saturday running that Rogan’s replaced him; there’s no ‘Hugh is on hols’ postscript; he’s no longer pictured as a columnist on the website; and I believe there are a bunch of other writers coming up over the next few weeks.
I may be wrong and have perhaps started a terrible rumour. If so, that was fun. If not, you can call me Columbo.
(If HFW has, indeed, been pushed, a big hand clap for his contribution over the years).
Whilst Bill Granger cooked with parsley, his Indy stablemate, Mark Hix, was knocking out proper comfort food. All of the recipes look worth a slow cook – pork osso bucco, a kind of North African themed rolled lamb breast with chickpeas, and a hearty lump of spiced brisket (smoking optional).
Stevie Parle’s mussel recipes in Saturday’s Telegraph were good. Mussel, radicchio and pearl barley salad looked inventive; and you know you could relax very easily into a bowl of mussel, fennel and tomato spaghetti with pangrattato (that’s shell fish spag bol with garlicky bread crumbs, kids).
On Sunday, Diana Henry’s column doubled as preview of her new book. Had I been in for a roast, Georgian chicken with walnut sauce and hot grated beetroot could well have featured. I liked the idea of a greek yoghurt and apricot ice cream too – a subtle, non-sugar overload dessert option.
Gizzi Erskine’s retro puds in The Sunday Times were less subtle. I make no complaint about that. The cherry pie would be a crowd pleaser. But I particularly liked the idea of a Black forest baked Alaska. Chocolate sponge, black cherry jam, kirsch, and chocolate ice cream. Strong.
The less said about The Saturday Times’s efforts (again) the better.
Oh, just one more thing.
No blogosphere recipe really jumped out at me this week. So here’s a plug for my friend Helen Graves of the ace Food Stories site, and her new book Cook Your Date Into Bed. No idea what it’s about, but you should buy it.
I made Simon Rogan’s mussels, monkfish and romesco. Well, I omitted mussels, but this was still a lovely dish. It was sort of interesting that the peppers weren’t roasted; I think this made for a pleasingly light sauce. Garlic quantities were punchy.
Weekend Menu, 15 & 16 February 2014
Mussel, monkfish and romesco
Ham, pea and mint casserole
Black forest baked Alaska
… No, really, just one more thing: I inexplicably forgot to mention Rowley Leigh’s reincarnation of Elizabeth David’s La sauce au vin Médoc. Gloriously gout inducing.
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