Trick or Treat? I’ll take a treat, thanks. Obviously. Stupid question.
There were a number of Halloween themed columns this weekend.
In Saturday’s ‘Cook’ we saw ten pumpkin recipes. Pumpkin and almond waffles, Mauritian pumpkin curry and a pumpkin and pecan pie were, I think, the most tempting. None of those three ideas featured in the Times’ pumpkin based ‘Only Four Recipes you’ll EVER need’. Spooky.
Thomasina’s column was Halloween, Mexicanish style. It’s when she writes about this cuisine that her recipes are strongest and most interesting – though that’s unsurprising given the Wahaca connection. Her idea of a ‘Mexican’ rice pudding with orange and tequila caramel is both a fun and most likely tasty one.
But I’m afraid that piece was no match for the FT’s Day of the Dead number, which featured a Mexican chef called Margarita Carrillo Arronte and hitherto unknown (to me) recipes such as venison dzik, duck in red pumpkin seed sauce, cumin spiced lamb and pineapple tacos and more. Definitely worth a click.
Rose Prince baked a topical spiced pumpkin and raw sugar cake over at Telegraph towers.
Many of the other cooks pursued a comfort theme.
I felt Nigel Slater’s quirky pies in the Observer were perhaps a little twee. Whilst I kind of get the point of celeriac string topped gammon and parsley sauce pie, ‘tangled’ pastry topped peri peri pie was a jump too far from a classic pie for my taste. Chicken and tarragon, steak and kidney – them’s proper.
Rowley Leigh mustered up a fish pie. It was a pretty standard (and therefore good) pie, save he, like his Mum, includes tomatoes in the filling. I’m gonna take a rain check, sleep on that bombshell and let you know tomorrow if the approach is OK.
Mark Hix’s comforting column in Saturday’s Independent was centred around swedes and turnips. Haggis and sweed croquettes, mutton, swede and turnip broth, wild duck turnip cake and black beans. All should be delicious.
In Saturday’s Telegraph, Stevie Parle said cooking and eating hearty pasta bakes will get us through the longer nights. Veal cannelloni with a quick white wine sauce and baked rigatoni with spinach, porcini and ricotta caught my eye. Then, in Sunday’s paper, all three of Diana Henry’s spatchcock roast chicken recipes appealed: yoghurt marinated; chilli and crunchy bread; with maple syrup and figs. Nice.
Ottolenghi did various things with cabbages in The Guardian. Cabbage and barley soup with whipped feta stood out. His Asian slaw with pickled ginger too. The ingredients for the latter recipe include rice wine vinegar, palm sugar, sesame oil, mirin, Brussels sprouts, mangetout, chillies, Thai basil, tarragon, sesame seeds. And, of course, shredded cabbage and ginger. Tasty shiz.
Back in Cook, we saw the first of three weeks of writing from new name Rachel Roddy. This week: Roman lentils cooked once, but served two ways. And Ruby Tandoh baked with syrup. One portion of golden syrup cake with extra syrup (warm) and ice cream please.
There was a little nudge in the Telegraph for Penguin’s cook book cover postcard collection. I can confirm these are a good buy –in their own way, rather comforting to flick through.
Gizzi and Bill are away
As per last week, I couldn’t find any new Bill Granger recipes on the Independent’s website. But there were five desserts on a Diwali theme by Anjum Anand. Ginger chai tiramisu is a lovely idea.
Bill did, however, appear in Saturday’s Times magazine – with a few recipes promoting his ‘Healthy fusion food’ book. Nothing that made me think I must start fusing things healthily, though.
Gizzi Erskine was excused from Sunday Times duty, with her normal space filled by modern Lebanese food courtesy of Greg Malouf (who popped up briefly at Petersham Nurseries a year or so ago). Spiced chickpeas and aubergine with lashings of yoghurt and a winter tabbouleh appealed. I note there’s a Sunday Times food special next week.
T’interweb and abroad
Lizzie Hollow Legs’s turbo charged smacked cucumber recipe is a winner.
This time next week I’ll be in Chengdu. I warmed up by Googling English language newspapers in that City, and found Chengdu Magazine, whose food section included a recipe for sauerkraut – which, ironically, I overdosed on last weekend over in Nuremburg. Page 10 if you’re interested.
I contemplated cooking a number of this weekend’s recipes, not least Uyen Luu’s sea bass with kale congee, which appeared in a cheeky little ’30 minute meals’ OFM recipe supplement.
But after flicking through Dan Doherty’s new Duck and Waffle book I had a roast cauliflower, pickled walnut and bagna cauda number etched on my mind and couldn’t shake it – roast cauli, pickled walnuts and anchovies being three of my favourite things.
I would (and did) cook the cauliflower for longer and at a higher heat than the 160C for 25 minutes suggested. But it’s a cracking flavour combo nonetheless (it was good simply watercress salad, but would be great alongside roast beef or a steak). The bagna cauda part is awesome. Next, I’m going to try the spiced pig’s ears, roast octopus with chorizo and capers, and braised pork belly with vignole.
Weekend Menu, 25 and 26 October 2014
Seabass congee with kale, ginger and dill
Uyen Luu, Observer Food Monthly 30 Minute Meal supplement
Roast yoghurt marinated chicken with coriander and pomegranate salad
Asian cabbage slaw with two hour pickled ginger
Sticky caramelised star anise pineapple on crispy pancakes
Anjum Anand, The Independent
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