I Googled “are there any traditional foods eaten on May Day”. The answer was no. Not even “drizzly, wet BBQ sausages” or “hangover bacon”.
No surprise, then, that there weren’t any particularly strong themes this weekend. So we’re going with a paper by paper rundown.
The Guardian and Observer
Actually, I tell a lie. Much of the Grauniad’s food was seasonally focused.
- Anna Jones took the asparagus baton from last week’s columnists, offering a take on a green panzanella and also a kind of asparagus mimosa salad – mustard vinaigrette, shredded hard boiled eggs, purple sprouting and asparagus, avocado and rye bread to mop it up.
- Nigel Slater thinks now is the time for South-East Asian inspired soups. Light and fragrant, but still sustaining. He suggested Observer Magazine readers try a white miso soup with sugar snap peas, enoki mushrooms and Thai basil. Alternatively an aubergine, coriander, coconut and chicken noodle number.
- I’m a ‘uge fan of the Violet bakery quiche, so it was great to see three variations on that theme from Claire Ptak: smoky chorizo; spinach, ricotta and lemon; and herb and pancetta with a puff pastry edge. Appropriate through spring and into summer, I reckon.
- Jeremy Lee isn’t ready to give up chilly nights and warmed steamed suet puds just yet. His steamed ginger and marmalade pudding with custard in Cook will cheer many post-bank holiday minds.
- I like the idea of leek, crab and Jersey Royal hash — found within Tommi Miers’ latest Guardian Weekend Magazine column.
- Yotam Ottolenghi returned from a trip to New Orleans enthused by the cuisine. I expected jambalaya or gumbo, so was pleased to see that, instead, his recipes (on the same glossy pages as Tommi’s) were for a simple and sweet brown sugar prawn stew, to go with his deeply savoury take on dirty rice (NB pork mince and chicken livers).
- And I’m bigly keen on Sue Quinn’s battered potato scallops with chicken stock powder salt in Cook — for which she wrote an endearing intro. For similar reasons (i.e. beguiling, personal prose, cracking recipe), do turn to Rachel Roddy’s latest: Roman pasta e piselli (pea broth and pasta).
The FT Weekend Magazine
Oh. It was spring over at the FT too.
- According to Honey & Co’s Itamar Srulovich and Sarit Packer, seasonal optimism at this time of year needs to be tempered with a dash of realism. So their latest recipe sees summery things like fresh peas and prawns brought into line with showers and grey skies, via a tagine base of potato, saffron, and turmeric.
The Telegraph and Sunday Telegraph
I think we’re waiting for most of The Telegraph’s weekend recipe content to come online. Lots of bank holiday eating guides, but only a couple of recipes. For the moment:
- Check out the super looking recipe from Stephen Harris: roast pork neck fillet* with a pea purée and tartare sauce. He makes good points, too, about finding pork from well bred and fed pigs if you want your meal to taste as good as his (*though would some butchers call the particular muscle he references the collar?).
- And Flora Shedden provided a basic white sourdough recipe (hmm, you might want to bolster your understanding with Tartine Bread), and an interesting sounding turmeric, cumin and mixed seed bread (fast action yeast, rather than starter for this one).
I’ll add more if they appear. Particularly if they’re, you know: spring themed.
Ah ha, I knew there was a random and eclectic mix of recipes somethere. Thanks News UK.
- Saturday’s Times Weekend housed various Indian influenced recipes from Anjum Anand, tweaked for cooking on the BBQ. Spiced sweetcorn, whole bream slathered in a Keralan paste and wrapped in foil (or that banana leaf you have lying around), and a herby paneer parcel stood out.
- Diet book author Mimi Spencer cares so little about middle age, that she wrote a few thousand words on it for The Times Magazine, to accompany “health boosting for mid-life and beyond” recipes extracted from her book. TBF the six selected dishes looked pretty tasty: crispy trout with a herby fish sauce salsa; pork chops marinated in something called uchucuta; a crunchy, fresh salad with a tahini, peanut, maple, sesame, coconut cream etc dressing (if only there was a better title than ‘raw pad Thai’.
- Those readers dazed by Ed Balls’ restaurant review in The Sunday Times Magazine (we miss you, Adrian), turned the page to see Candice Brown’s caramel and chocolate eclairs (not sure mint leaves will really add a great deal).
- And there were a clutch of recipes in this month’s The Dish supplement. Leftover rocket gnudi is a good idea to have on hand (courtesy of Victoria Glass), and I suspect Georgina Hayden’s prawn curry is a tasty one. Candice had another recipe in this mag too — blueberry and custard mini tarts.
- Also among The Dish recipes, I was drawn to Red Rooster chef Marcus Samuelsson’s buttermilk and coconut milk marinade for his fried chicken. Partly due to that marinade, but also the heavily spiced seasoning to go on it once battered and fried. He had a good looking recipe for “Obama’s short ribs” too, even though it feels a touch opportunistic to appropriate the FPOTUS’s name because he was once fed it. And I liked his two side dishes — garlic and honey roasted sweet potatoes, and mac and spring greens. We need more sides in the papers…
- … and on a not so subtly related note, you should have a go at my M&S advertorial recipes in the same magazine: sesame and flax crusted chick with spinach and tahini stuffing (with dill and broad bean couscous); and tuna with Sicilian-style pistachio, mint and basil pesto (with a herb and lentil salad), should they pop up on your Times browser.
From the internet
Last week was Chinese Food Week on Munchies. Lots of tempting recipes to click through.
All three of these salads from the final month of Lucky Peach: labneh stuffed avocado with a nutty dressing; green mango salad; and Alice Water’s leftover salad breakfast taco. Well, the last one really would appeal, but I’m not sure the method matches the description.
I had a crack at Marcus Samuelsson’s sweet potatoes to fit with my May Day hangover brunch. Loved the sprinkle of cumin, and also the addition of honey and butter half way through the cooking (not explained, but probably because they’d burn if on for the whole process). But your “sweets” will be soggy, not sticky and crisp-edged, if you cook at 180C fan all the way through. Turn up to 210C fan for the last 20 minutes.
Weekend Menu, 29 and 30 April 2017
Asparagus and purple sprouting mimosa salad
Anna Jones, The Guardian ‘Cook’
Roast pork neck fillet with a pea purée and tartare sauce
Stephen Harris, The Telegraph
Steamed ginger suet pudding and custard
Jeremy Lee, The Guardian ‘Cook’
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