We begin this week’s offering with multiple sugar highs …
… but keep reading for tempting takes on slower burning humble dishes, like omelettes, soups, soufflés, potatoes and dal.
I really liked these lines in Diana Henry’s Sunday Telegraph ‘Stella’ mag column: “What all bakers love is that baking is unnecessary. You don’t have to eat fairy cakes and lemon meringue pies to survive. Baking produces dishes that are purely for pleasure and they’re often beautiful too.” And that they were followed with recipes for pecan and bourbon shortbread, lime squares (shortbread topped with citrus and sugar powered egg mix), plus a chocolate recipe from Helen Goh (she of Ottolenghi Sweet fame).
A day earlier, Flora Shedden had suggested a few sweet things of her own, involving persimmons and pears: a cute ‘hidden’ pear, sticky ginger and date loaf; roast persimmons served next to panna cotta, and a second loaf cake using the leftover roast persimmons.
In The Sunday Times Magazine, Candice Brown wrote “Bakewell tart is the ultimate retro dessert, and this is my little twist“, and then promptly gave a recipe for a fundamentally different bake — a blueberry roulade (albeit with a hint of almond). Another ‘twist’ on a classic was baked rice pudding using coconut milk, saffron and more blueberries. Q nice.
If you’re a fan of iced biscuits — as gifts to others or to eat on your own while ploughing through a box set — there’s an extensive guide on The Telegraph’s web pages.
Nigel Slater’s recipes for the regular Observer Magazine (as oppose the Observer Food Monthly) were in praise of citrus zest. Head there for little meringues drizzled with chocolate and dusted with a sugar and zest mix; plus passion fruit and lemon mousse.
The OFM was mostly highlighting fifty things they’re fans of this year. But there were a few recipes too, including a handful extracted from Elizabeth David’s classic selection of articles An Omelette and a Glass of Wine (which is very much worth a read). Also dishes from Nigel Slater that are deliberately neither sides nor centrepieces — so complete on their own, or as part of a mezze. I liked the suggestion that you can simply grill aubergine, and later soak it in good olive oil in his aubergine, feta and yoghurt dish, and feel sure that the sweet potato loaf with curry leaf and mustard cream — I kind of gratin — will be a winner.
There were a clutch of tempting ideas in The Times’ Weekend supplement slot, thanks to recipes extracted from Anne Shooter’s new book Cherish. The book’s about cooking for the family, I think, and the theme of the recipes here were things that get cooked in the oven (so, theoretically hands-free), including aubergines baked with pear and pine nuts, artichokes stuffed with minced lamb and braised in passata, chicken thighs and pomegranate molasses on a mix of bulgar wheat, walnuts. I wasn’t convinced, mind, by fresh tagliatelle, blanched, tossed in the juices of a roast chicken that you happen to have nearby, mixed with sausage meat you’ve made into meatballs and chicken scraps, then stuck in a Le Creuset and baked in the oven until the top is crisp.
The Times’ Saturday magazine had a bunch of one pan meals which are so “easy-peasy”, there’s “no washing up”. Presumably for people who’re happy to use frying and sauté pans just once before chucking them. Shakshuka, mac n cheese, squash curry, yada yada yada.
FT Weekend readers found a fragrant steamed snapper from Rowley Leigh, alongside a salad of fennel, orange and olives. Ultimately, another light touch recipe column from Leigh, though nice enough. The fish gets rubbed with a paste of garlic, chilli, marjoram and parsley, and if you can’t get hold of snapper, “the recipe is good for most fish, especially bass and bream“.
As a nod to the Holi festival, Xanthe Clay documented Romi Gill’s components for a thali — tarka dal, spiced okra, aloo tikki chaat and the drink thandai.
Also on The Telegraph’s website are a few good soup ideas from Rose Prince, all proposed as mid-week dinners (timely warmers, given this week’s forecast). Not sure which paper they sat in, but good stuff. They include Lancashire cheese and cauliflower soup with black pudding crumble, and a coconut, prawn and noodle broth.
I loved and will try Yotam Ottolenghi’s spud recipes in the Guardian ‘Feast’ supplement. Not least his mashed potato side dish — enriched with plenty of extra virgin olive oil, plus crushed garlic and fresh thyme and mint. Jerusalem artichoke, potato and shiitake gratin also worth a go.
In the same supplement there’s a great call by Tommi Miers for us to get cooking smoked haddock soufflé to share.
Anna Jones offered two good uses for paprika – in Romesco sauce (which basically goes with everything), and as part of a ‘devilled’ butter slathered over turnips, potatoes and garlic, which are roasted, and then get more of the butter.
Also in Feast, Meera Sodha’s kitchari (spiced lentils, mung dal and wild rice) topped with yoghurt and baked intrigues. Meera suggests almond or coconut yoghurt to fit with the vegan theme of her column; I’ve a suspicion full dairy might be the way to go just this once. I shall add the other Feast ideas when they’re published (shock — didn’t get that paper again this weekend.)
On the internet
Yasmin Khan has an appealing new regular column on Food52. Every two weeks she mixes a touch of travel writing with cookbooks that evokes the place she’s focusing on. First up, Indonesia, and The Rice Book by Sri Owen.
I’m minded to give this green tomato and jalapeño jam recipe a go (though, quite randomly, I do have a dozen green tomatoes killing time in my fridge).
And the New York Times‘ “what to cook this week” email just arrived in my inbox. There’s lots in there that appeals, none more so than another Meera Sodha recipe, this time for Sri Lankan dal with coconut and lime kale.
Weekend Menu, 24 and 25 February 2018
Lancashire cheese and cauliflower soup, black pudding crumble
Rose Prince, The Telegraph
Artichokes stuffed with minced lamb
Anne Shooter, The Times Weekend
Yoghurt panna cotta with roast persimmon
Flora Shedden, The Telegraph
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