It’s quite long this week. Buckle up.
Many words on and many recipes from Raymond Blanc in The Telegraph, marking the release of his hefty Le Manoir aux Quat’ Saisons cookbook. Dishes of note, I thought, included a chocolate crémeux (like a torte tart) with lime butterscotch and hazelnut ice cream; peaches roast with lavender; and chicken liver terrine with spiced cherries.
In an amusing juxtaposition, Stephen Harris’s Telegraph column was about how he can’t be arsed with fancy French sauces, and finished with a hake, wilted lettuce, tapenade and quick tomato sauce recipe.
I took a fancy to a basil meringue with passion fruit recipe in the midst of an article about a supper club in a showroom.
An excellent, food packed FT Weekend magazine saw more recipes than usual.
Exciting times for Sarit Packer and Itamar Srulovich, who are opening a second restaurant, in which they dropp the “Co.” for “Smoke” (but keep the “Honey &”). I like the sound of a humble, canteen style set up – plastic chairs, neon lights – and that the food looks to be non-pretentious, just spiced and chargrilled fodder (though I suspect they’re being modest in their description). Related recipes in the FT Weekend included lamb kofte; chicken in yoghurt and saffron; prawns in honey with a hint of cardamom. Tasty stuff. Now where did I put my mangal grill and can anyone come round to fix my extractor?
For spice of a different kind, consider Fuchsia Dunlop’s punchy Sichuanese recipes: cold chicken with a Sichuan pepper and spring onion salsa (jiao ma ji pian); and a spicy aubergine salad (liana bang qie zi). Both of these are in her superb book Land of Fish and Rice – if you’ve any interest in this style of food, it’s a must buy.
The Times and Sunday Times
Sunday saw the last of four weeks of recipes linking Florence Knight, The Sunday Times and organic recipe box provider Abel and Cole. These autumnal ideas seemed the least inspiring of the set, though I wouldn’t say no to pork meatballs and a caponata of sorts served with pasta. And, tbf, Lamb steaks with braised fennel and beans is a decent combo.
Saturday’s Times Weekend pullout had a handful of chicken recipes by cooks Sophie Gilliatt and Katherine Westwood. Empanadas; Thai marinated, spatchcock roast chicken (nice idea and flavours, though I think their cooking times are too long); and Syrian chicken stew with ginger and lemon (honey, currents, saffron, turmeric, various other spices) might well prompt a few meals.
Nadiya Hussain’s Saturday Magazine entry was a vaguely Bakewell related sponge cake, with a measure of almonds and some Mr Kipling themed glacé cherries. I would have to try this to see whether it stands up to a proper Bakewell, almond cake, financiers or, indeed, an icing topped Kipling tart (so if anyone gives it a go, send me a piece). What odds, incidentally, on this baker heading to Channel 4 to cover the Mary Berry role?
There were also a load of Donna Hay ‘pizza’ ideas in The Magazine. Most of them looked either wholly unappetising (quinoa or courgette and spelt base?), or impractical (broccoli florets and other bits and bobs on a dry wholemeal base – nothing to lubricate or bind the topping to the base). Also, how do we feel about yoghurt being spread over a pitta bread and then baked for 10 minutes? That ‘pizza’ is served with artichoke hearts, peas and mint. All good flavours, but personally I’d rather just use warm pitta to scoop up the same (cold) things.
The Guardian and Observer
There was so much content from Grauniad Towers this weekend, it’s difficult to know where to start. I suppose chronologically is as good a way as any.
In Saturday’s shiny magazine, Yotam suggested we get going with grapes. Burrata with chargrilled grapes and basil intrigued; a chicken salad with grapes, fennel and tarragon will be a really beautiful, light, zippy evening meal; and for more on a grape, mint and vodka granita, read to the bottom of this post.
Tommi pushed rabbit, chestnut and mushroom pappardelle and lovely looking blackberry soufflés. She’s right, the latter are not tricky. But I suspect you might want to allow for more than 30 minutes of simmering before you’ll be able to start pulling the bunny. Certainly if it’s a wild one.
There was also a separate pullout set of Ottolenghi autumnal recipes. Which undersells it somewhat. This was 28 pages of gorgeous things. I started listing the dishes, but essentially I want to cook everything, and think you might to. So just click into it (nb online it starts with sides and salads, but keep going as mains and desserts linked at the base).
And then there was the Cook supplement.
Like Yotam, Claire Ptak urged us to cook with grapes. Specifically, to seek out the likes of concord, isabella and muscat, then turn them into a ‘grape slab pie’ (that’s a rectangular pie to you and me), or jelly.
Anna Jones set out a flexible template for traybakes, as well as recipes for a courgette, tomato and chickpea number, as well as an interesting ricotta, radicchio, butterbean, fig and multiple herb idea.
New Resident cook is Zuza Zak. Her Polish poppy seed filled buns and plum and vanilla meringue cakes look lovely. I look forward to more recipes from this region, though I have a feeling the next few weeks might make me wonder why my wife, who is also of Polish descent, has this year only cooked me burnt sweet potato and ready made pasta. (Don’t worry, I’m pretty sure she doesn’t read this).
Rachel Roddy’s recipe was a slow and steady mix of courgettes, tomatoes, potatoes and oregano. The secret is in the olive oil (lots of it), long bake (90 minutes), and patient wait for it to get to room temperature.
And finally, finally we get to the Observer. Nigel glazed a ham with mustard, maple, apricot preserve and a little ground chilli. He also made the most of things that are around at the moment, by throwing them into a salad (figs, cobnuts, blue cheese).
There was an OFM Autumnal pullout too. They’re drip-feeding the supplement online through the week. Part 1 is now up, and immediately Anna Del Conte’s trofie with walnut sauce, Hoppy’s cep tarts, and Jane Scotter’s baked squash with celery and herb cream jump out. Looks to be a set of comforting classics.
Classic chef’s recipe on Munchies. It’s just a roast pork sandwich. But there are instructions for every element (from bun through crackling and pickles). Allow 48 hours…
Or how about curried eggs, curry leaf dukkah and kimchi on a bagel for breakfast? Plus salt and vinegar crisps. Marginally quicker to prepare.
I had a crack at Ottolenghi’s grape, pomegranate and mint granita. Lovely. Though possibly drop the sugar syrup to 70g sugar, 70g water (or maybe my grapes were particularly sweet).
Weekend Menu, 24 and 25 September 2016
Burnt courgette with anchovies and pine nuts
Yotam Ottolenghi, The Guardian (special autumnal Ottolenghi pull-out)
Hake, wilted lettuce, tapenade and tomato sauce
Stephen Harris, The Telegraph
Grape slab pie
Claire Ptak, The Guardian ‘Cook’
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