Let’s front load this
To be blunt, this weekend’s offering felt lacklustre. So I’ll try to tempt you in by laying down a couple of highlights at the very top of this piece.
The most original, witty, but also interesting and intriguing recipe comes by way of t’internet. Helen Graves’ Food Stories has been my favourite British food blog for, like, ever. She’s been a bit quiet of late, but her post and recipe on Friday for a horse meat crispy pancake (in the style of Findus) was vintage Gravy.
The Times on Saturday effectively fills its Eat! offering with cookbook advertorials. As a general rule, they’re a waste of paper. But this week, Ben Tish from the Salt Yard Group provided some good pork ideas. For example, though the norm for pork shoulder at the moment is to pull it, to see one cooked in milk with lemon and bay leaves was interesting. Pork ribs with quince glaze and sage is a keeper too.
Diana Henry was temporalily displaced from her Sunday Telegraph Stella perch by an excerpt from a Soho House cookbook. Obviously, I’d love free membership. So, I’d like to state on record that everything looks incredible. This is definitely the cook book of the year. So many things to learn. So beautifully expressed.
Off the record, I’m most interested in their espresso martini recipe.
Wot, no sugar?
There was diddly squat on the dessert front this weekend. If only the OFM‘s comfort food pudding special had been published 7 days later, I’d be telling you to try the Ethicurean’s milk stout and chocolate steamed pudding.
Ben Tish (again) had a rosemary brownie recipe in the Guardian’s Cook supplement, which could be worth a crack. Not much sweet stuff stands out beyond that … though the Independent led Sunday with an article about a natural calorie free sugar alternative stevia. It’s the future. Apparently.
On that note
I very nearly didn’t get to Mark Hix’s recipes in Saturday’s Independent because their website was headed by (yet another) extremely important story: “Python eats croc: when two (or more) species go to war – the 12 most amazing animal battles ever recorded.” Seismic stuff. My favourite is walrus vs polar bear.
When I managed to draw myself away from the animal battles, I decided Hixy’s Mexican themed column was probably the most complete set of recipes this weekend. Check it out if you fancy something a little more adventurous than minced beef and refried beans with your tortillas.
Granger jumped on the kimchi / Korea bandwagon, Parle pushed grains, Ottolenghi was all about pot barley, Rowley Leigh dipped raw veg into molten butter, and both Nigel Slater and Gizzi Erskine banged on about cheap cuts.
Slater’s pig cheeks in apple and cider felt a bit incongruous in the Sunday sun, particularly alongside celeriac and kale mash. His Asian style ox cheek in sake with prunes and anise, eaten with Chinese greens was more like it.
I thought Gizzi was waltzing down a too trodden path when she started with onglet and chips. Basic but tasty looking lamb scrag end curry and a pork knuckle roast turned things round.
Only a couple of recipes took my fancy for immediate cooking, with the winning option being an easy Mark Hix assembly: some quality chorizo crumbled into a pan and fried; ripe avocado mashed with loads of lime juice and seasoned a bit with chilli, salt and pepper; a few coriander leaves; … and PORK SCRATCHINGS.
If there was anyone eating a better taco in London at 2:37pm on Saturday, I would like to know about it.
Weekend Menu, 8 & 9 March 2014
(the anti feign deigning issue)
Horse meat crispy pancake
Ox liver tortilla, tomatillo and guava salsa
Rosemary and chocolate brownie, marscapone cheese
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