I found it hard to pay attention to the recipe pages over the last couple of days, what with trying to concoct missing plane conspiracy theories and also making the most of blue skies. But fear not – a bottle of chardonnay after Sunday sundown has helped me to focus on the weekend’s offering. I think. So here goes.
South East Asia
The move towards warmer days appears to have provoked a host of Asian dishes (and at the same time, happily, The Guardian’s wine writer Fiona Beckett suggested a few white wines to partner that region’s cuisine).
Yotam Ottolenghi’s Thai and Malay dishes immediately propelled him to top step of the ‘columnist of the week’ podium. He was not displaced. Thai fried chicken with coconut sambal requires a bit of prep work. But as with so many of Ottolonghi’s dishes, it also looks as though it’s the kind of thing you could easily cook to feed and wow a crowd. Tau fu fa and oyster omelette reminded me of the best parts of a Singaporean hawker market. Good luck getting pandan leaves for the Tau fu fa, though.
Mark Hix was all beans and lentils in Saturday’s Independent. For me, his most tempting proposition was a Hunan themed minced pork, bamboo shoot and black bean broth.
There was lots of good stuff in the Observer Food Monthly. I was happy to see that Uyen Luu’s Vietnamese recipes easily stood up to Nigel and Nigella’s columns. I’ve bookmarked caramalised sardines in coconut water and the chicken salad.
Xin Jiang Big Plate Chicken by Peranakan ‘Feast to the World’ blogger Jason was one of my favourite online recipes this week.
Bill Granger gave us four American Diner Classics in Sunday’s Independent. I didn’t think any particularly clever, interesting or inspiring, I’m afraid.
I thought Gizzi Erskine had gone the same way in the Sunday Times. But actually, her ‘reinvented’ modern classics are definitely worth a look. The prawn cocktail, for example, uses oil infused with roasted prawn shells for the mayonnaise … and that mayo turns into a marie rose not merely through the addition of brandy and tommy k, but also sriracha and Tabasco. Her lasagne rocks chicken livers, lardons, pork and beef mince. Boom.
At first glance, I thought the turn of the season had caused the FT’s Rowley Leigh to stop his trips down memory lane (also known as Rowley’s ‘70s classics). But his Goan monkfish and prawn curry was actually prompted by rosy recollections of hippy trips to India. Recipe looks good though.
Diana Henry was back in the Sunday Telegraph ‘Stella’ mag after a week off. The column was on an egg theme. I rather fancy the egg topped sweet potato mash with lardons and parsley and walnut pesto right now.
There were barely any sweet things last week. Seven days later, we’ve a glut.
Angela Hartnett signed off her Guardian stint with some easy puddings – lemon ricotta tart, panna cotta, steamed ginger pudding. I wonder who’s next to step into the HFW slot?
The Guardian’s ‘Cook’ supplement included 10 best rhubarb dishes. Forced rhubarb and blood orange have been prominent on menus and in recipe columns over the last five weeks or so. Expect wild garlic and asparagus to muscle their way in from next Saturday. Also in ‘Cook’, Ruby Tandoh’s honey chocolate palmiers were tempting.
I’m afraid I can’t pass unbiased judgment on Nigel Slater’s white chocolate recipes in The Observer magazine – it’s a Room 101 ingredient as far as I’m concerned. Nigel does have a stonking beard at the moment, though. So I forgive him. I kinda liked his OFM walnut and maple buns too.
I personally found an OFM piece about one family’s attempt to cut sugar from their diet for 30 days interesting. My girlfriend recently had to do the same for 9 months. Seriously difficult.
Had the blog been posted earlier in the weekend, I would have been tempted to have a go at Chloe from Faerietale Foodie’s Brunch Buns – which are packed with n’duja and cheese and ready to be smothered with hot kimchi sauce.
Instead, Uyen Luu’s Vietnamese summer rolls provided perfect picnic fodder. They were very satisfying to make (and eat).
Weekend Menu, 15 & 16 March 2014
Avocado prawns with roasted prawn oil marie rose
Thai fried chicken with coconut sambal
Fried sweet ricotta ravioli with honey
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