We’re really getting into proper weather now, aren’t we? You know, the kind that prompts cooking sessions to fuel long weekend lunches with friends, with leftovers to accompany a box set later on.
As always, there were loads of recipes in the weekend papers to inspire. In no particular order:
- Useless stat of the weekend came via Yotam Ottolenghi in the Graun, who noted that walnuts “are the second most popular nut in the world“. His recipe suggestions, though, were ace: mushroom and walnut galette; salsify and roast cauliflower with lemon and walnut aioli; saffron and ginger pears with choocloate sauce and walnut brittle.
- As if proof were needed about their popularity, over in the Cook supplement Claire Ptak baked coffee, walnut and brown butter financiers, and provided a rather good looking recipe for nostalgic walnut whips too.
- Fancy spicing up your brunch? London restaurant Gunpowder were on hand in Saturday’s Times Weekend, promoting chickpea pancakes, paneer parcels, spiced scrambled eggs, among other things.
- Also from that world, The Times Magazine featured recipes from a restaurant voted the best in the country at seafood – the Jetty in Dorset. Chunky mixed fish stew, hake wrapped in ham, served with a cockle, pea and gem lettuce sauce looked good. Plus scallops, waffles and bacon jam(!).
- Nadiya’s recipe in the same magazine was for a plum and almond cobbler.
- But back to the restaurants — I was really pleased to see Ben Chapman take the Cook Resident baton. He runs two of my my favourite places to eat in London (Smoking Goat and Kiln) and his tales of travelling and eating Thailand look set to be a must read over the next four weeks. Clams with green nam jim. Sweet.
- Competing with Ben for the trophy for ‘best bivalve mollusc recipe’ … ladies and gentlemen, have a read of Rachel Roddy’s recipe for pasta with potatoes and mussels.
- And whilst we’re on that sort of thing, the prize for the best chickpea recipe AND the prize for the recipe title ‘most likely to have been checked five times’ goes to Itamar Srulovich and Sarit Packer’s M’sabaha in the FT Weekend Magazine.
- I thought they’d gone too early last week … but it turns out The Telegraph have plenty more Christmas recipes in the sack. This weekend their festive special included, among other things: Bruno Loubet showing readers what to do with a goose (stuff with duck liver, apples, gingerbread biscuits, quinoa, goji berries, cep powder, herbs…); Harriet Eastwood making partridge gingersnap biscuits for a poached pear tree (no birds harmed); Rose Prince’s rich Chrismas pudding, which include spelt flour, pumpkin, medal dates and dark chocolate; and Signe Johansen’s, Jeremy Lee inspired, chocolate, almond and marzipan prunes.
- Nigel Slater’s five recipes for the latest OFM focused on the build up to Christmas, rather than the 25th — “Christmas is not one, but many meals. What is more, it seems to start earlier every year.” He suggested potato and feta pancakes next to a pork and partridge pie. I also really like the idea of butternut and Brussels baked custards.
- Forget Christmas, though. It’s peak Nigel season right now and, unsurprisingly, his recipes in the normal Observer magazine both hit the spot. Spiced aubergine with chickpeas and pumpkin, tomatoes and yoghurt will deliver all you need for a mid-week autumn turning to winter meal.
- Still seeking comfort? Look at Diana Henry’s apple themed baking recipes in The Sunday Telegraph ‘Stella’ mag. I’m hankering after the wonderfully named, superb looking Swabian apfelkuchen — almonds, boozy raisins and apples in the base of a tart, wobbling custard on top. See also the bite-sized stollen.
- Florence Knight promoted grains in her Sunday Times column. We got honey roast carrots (“it’s best to buy young, leafy ones”), goat cheese and buckwheat; pearl barley risotto packed with dried porcini, Parmesan and chestnut mushrooms; and a chocolate, rye and raisin cake.
- Back in the Guardian Weekend magazine, Thomasina Miers proposed we cook a gorgeous looking lemon and sumac spiked mushroom pilaf, and pomegranate granita with salted sesame snaps. Both recipes were inspired by the very worthwhile #CookforSyria campaign. Buy the book — it’s being shipped from 1 December, though I’ve seen a pdf proof and it’s full of a huge number recipes donated by a bunch of superstars. And me. All profits go to UNICEF’s Children of Syria fund.
- Stephen Harris hankered after the ‘70s, suggesting steak with mushroom and brandy sauce, and apple and Calvados flambéed pancakes.
- Dominique Ansel provided a load of sweet things for the OFM. I could care less about his cronuts, tbh. But felt the gingerbread alfajores with dulce de leche and champagne morning rolls were treats of note.
- Finally, Anna Jones’ Cook recipes, went up this morning. I wish they’d gone up earlier, as when I peeled back the curtains today, I could have done with a bowl of chocolate rye porridge with pears, or baked apple porridge with maple butter …
On the internet
Gizzi Erskine’s salted maple pumpkin pie recipe on The Pool looks bloody great. I love that it’s not over-simplified — layers and layers of considered spicing and moreish flavours.
Also, I had to double-check Google Maps to see whether Spain had combusted at the mention of (him again) Dominique Ansel’s banoffee ‘paella’ over on Munchies. Still seems to be there, but we should probably keep this one quiet.
I’d had a heavy week of cooking, so tried to avoid any more this weekend. So merely slowly, but happily, plodded through a box of winter squash.
Weekend Menu, 19 and 20 November 2016
Clams with green nam jim
Ben Chapman, The Guardian, ‘Cook’
Salsify and roast cauliflower with lemon and walnut aioli
Yotam Ottolenghi, The Guardian
Thomasina Miers, The Guardian
Chocolate, almond and marzipan prunes
Signe Johansen, The Telegraph
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