Difficult to pick more than one theme this weekend – pretty much everything felt comforting. So I’m just going to run through the recipes, paper by paper.
Wowsers. Rather a lot of food in Saturday’s paper. The big news was the introduction of Ella Woodward as their new food columnist. Which, through Ella’s prompting on Instagram, should expose a whole new generation to the concept of actually paying for lifestyle content. A message of support to the kids: don’t worry, The Torygraph is exactly like the Daily Mail’s sidebar of shame, just with more pictures of the Royals.
You might be surprised to hear that I’ve actually got quite a lot of time for Ella – I’ve direct experience of her condition (POTS), and it’s a totally shit thing to have. That’s not to say I think everyone has to restrict themselves to a ‘wellness’ diet, but if it’s helped her then great.
How were her recipes this week? A chocolate and beetroot cake with coconut frosting stood out; and whilst her butternut squash ‘risotto’ wouldn’t go down well in Italy (plain brown rice, simmered not stirred, paprika, cumin, tahini), it should taste decent enough.
It’s not clear whether Ella is in addition to The Telegraph’s other food writers or if she’ll replace someone. But, for this week at least, Stevie Parle still got airtime – with some mighty tempting chicken dishes (I liked the rosemary and anchovy roasted, and in sherry and masses of garlic). It’s also worth mentioning that Bee Wilson on cookbooks and their demands is a good read.
In Sunday’s ‘Stella’ magazine, Diana Henry countered grey skies (and general winter moaning), with a set of dishes unified by their vivid crimson colour: red cabbage with blackberries and star anise; beetroot and carrot soup with smoked sausage and caraway; and a radicchio salad. The cabbage, in particular, left me yearning for a bit of game to go with …
The Guardian and Observer
… Which leads me nicely to Nigel Slater’s brace of recipes in the Observer. Both involved sloe gin, but it was a pheasant with roast pear (and sloe gin gravy) idea that was most tempting.
The day before, Yotam provided us with three really excellent pilafs. You know just by reading the recipe that the beef, apricot and almond pilaf will be a good’n. But his extraordinary looking aubergine pilaf cake was particularly striking. A recipe for show-offs; which is very welcome, as far as I’m concerned.
But I think my favourite bit of that supplement was Meerah Sodha’s Ugandan Indian meal of spiced bream, corn roti and mango relish. One of the most memorable Indian meals I’ve eaten was whilst in Uganda, so it was really interesting to read about her Gujarati family’s experience there.
The Financial Times
Rowley provided a recipe for apple galette. But I didn’t read it because I’ve exceeded my monthly FT limit.
What was that I wrote earlier about having to pay for content? It’s a bloody outrage.
Column of the week, in my book, came via Mark Hix. And not just because there’s no restriction on Indy clicking.
He focused on the humble cauliflower and gave us four really excellent ways of cooking it: cheesy cauliflower fritters; roast cauli with duck livers and raisins; a potato, coconut and cauliflower curry; and finally, cauliflower masquerading as toast (pictured and below).
Bill Granger’s Indy on Sunday recipes were fairly Aussie-Japan-easy: crumbed pork chops with a soy, mirin and ginger dressed salad; fried chicken with mustard ponzu; and salmon teriyaki with noodles. Nothing new here, but nice enough to pick at whilst sitting on your sun drenched ocean-side terrace with its view of Sydney Harbour, and your perfect blond toddlers make pasta, pavlova and virgin mojitos in the kitchen.
The Times and The Sunday Times
On Saturday, we got one flatbread recipe replicated four times using different spices (whoop) and then some easy French food by the Galvin brothers. Tbf, Baked Mont d’or, endive salad, daube of venison with quince and chestnuts, and poached pears would make a pretty good meal.
The Sunday Times magazine had quite a bit of food in. I enjoyed reading Ollie Thring’s piece on José Pizarro and saffron picking. But can’t endorse the recipes as I think saffron tastes like toilet cleaner. Florence Knight’s hare pappardelle, on the other hand, will be delicious.
And Jamie Oliver’s pork stroganoff should taste pretty good too. But I’m not sure about his method for pulling pork shoulder. The recipe suggests putting the meat in for 3 hours at 180C. It’s not a whole shoulder – just 1.5kg. But lower and for longer would yield a much, much better, and more forkable result.
This pomelo piece on Food52 was decent. Very tempted to pick up a few and marmalade them.
I went for Mark Hix’s fried egg topped wedge of blanched and roasted cauliflower. Lovely stuff – though I couldn’t resist adding a squeeze of lemon to the brown butter and capers.
Technically, it’ll work as a brunch option if you’ve got gluten dodgers coming over. Just don’t mention the butter. And the fact you coated the cauli with flour before browning it.
Weekend Menu, 24 and 25 January 2015
Baked Vacherin Mont d’Or and endive salad
Chris and Jeff Galvin, The Times (Saturday)
Pheasant with sloe gin and pears
Nigel Slater, The Observer
Red cabbage with star anise and blackberries
Diana Henry, The Sunday Telegraph ‘Stella’ magazine
Pomelo. Some slices.
Mother Nature, Earth
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