I had a peek at the below the line comments on a few of this weekend’s recipe columns. Unsurprisingly, there was a mix of anodyne flattery, righteous cynicism and plain old village idiot abuse. Much like #Supplemental
One set of comments under Ruby Tandoh’s ‘Cook’ baking column caught my eye. “These are just classic recipes with a fancy twist”, they jeered. On the one hand, the naysayers had a point: caraway carrot cake with poppy seed icing; star anise in a tea loaf. On the other, err, isn’t that the case with every recipe in every column every week? How many modern recipes really are the result of original thought? Very few to almost none, I’d say. In any event, that caraway cake looks good. Ditto raspberry and marscapone vatrushka.
Let’s take a look at some of the more established writers’ contributions this week.
Rowley Leigh’s FT column was very openly a take on a Michel Roux Jr soufflé Suissesse recipe. Which in itself was tweaked from an early Gavroche number. Leigh’s twist was to serve the soufflé in a tomato and anchovy, rather than cheese sauce. Old School Rowley at his best, imo.
Stevie Parle was cooking tarts, and noted that one of the recipes was inspired by a Tamasin Day Lewis number. Which basically means it’s more or less the same dish. I liked the sound of the courgette and Caerphilly tart, and also the advice to keep things simple.
Mark Hix declared that late season strawberries are still in play – he’s right that the last of the berries (black, red or blue) are tasting amazing at the moment. Difficult to resist Jersey cream rice pudding or even a classic Knickerbocker glory. Neither of those are groundbreaking, but I don’t suspect Mr Hix atttracted the kind of vitriol directed at Tandoh.
Eat your greens
Very few meat heavy recipes this week. Which was refreshing.
It was The Times’ turn this week to serialise recipes from Ottolenghi’s newest (veggie centric) book. I rather liked the look of a membrillo and stilton quiche, and roast peppers stuffed with swede and goats’ cheese. And, for once, I appreciated their ‘Only Four Recipes You’ll Ever Need’ … because it bigged up the humble Savoy cabbage. Which is one the most underrated vegetables around.
No Diana Henry in The Sunday Telegraph’s ‘Stella’ magazine. Instead, recipes from Mark Diacono’s bucolic Otter Farm and also something called The Green Kitchen – big fan of their polenta coated aubergine wedges with a honey and lime dip.
Back in ‘Cook‘, the ten best recipes were sweet potato centric. Coconut and chilli gratin is always a winner. Jury’s out on sweet potato and apple doughnuts.
In Saturday’s Guardian, Yotam put forward three chicken recipes. Roast thighs with plums, prunes and potatoes looks to be a classic Ottolenghi one tray dish. Thomasina Miers responded to Yotam’s territory marking last week with her own sweetcorn and black bean recipe (“leave the Mexican stuff to me, pal“. And a blackberry cake.
Rose Prince made biscotti.
Gizzi Erskine suggested some student friendly recipes (is it that time of year again? A depressingly quick turnaround).
And Bill Granger gave us three healthy curries in The Independent on Sunday. Soy milk Thai Green curry sounds interesting in a “or you could just have a delicious coconut milk version and go for a run instead” kinda way.
Abroad and on the blogs
Check out this New York Times recipe for Cuban-esque picadillo – minced beef and tomato stew, with chorizo, raisins and olives. Intriguing.
Helen Graves’ write-up of a Chinese steamed bun class (complete with recipes) is worth a look.
I wasn’t at home this weekend. If I had been capable of more than post beach wedding scrambled eggs, I’d have taken on Rowley’s soufflés in tomato and anchovy sauce.
Weekend Menu, 20 and 21 September 2014
Crispy aubergine bites with honey and lime dip
The Green Kitchen, The Sunday Telegraph ‘Stella’ Magazine
Mark Hix, The Independent (Saturday)
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