Dahling, daaahling, this weekend’s recipes were all about London Fashion Week. Even if they didn’t know it. Mwah.
Strike a pose
The Times Magazine was explicitly fashion focused. It housed: a set of juicing instructions; an interview with the Hemsley sisters plus a ragu and courgetti recipe; and an extract from ‘Grains as Mains’ or, apparently, ‘what fashionistas eat’. I freely admit ‘Wellness Food’ is so far off my straße that we’re in different time zones. But still, whilst I liked the idea of sweet spiced freekeh with figs, you should read on for the real appetite whetters and saters.
Cauliflower is clearly en vogue. Not only did Ottolenghi write about that vegetable, he even declared cauliflower so fashionable now that his work with it is done (swede next, apparently). Don’t you move on just yet, though: all three of his recipes tempted (a cheesy number, a whole roast hobby, and the roast and grated salad in the picture above).
Toasties are fairly of the moment. Cook’s reader recipe swap collated some good ideas, including a sort of pav bhaji, and a ‘Korean’ egg one (which surely needed a chilli sauce). In the same supplement, Eco chef Thom Hunt played with a popular theme when he provided some helpful words of encouragement and advice on the art of fermentation. So. Right. Now.
Never in fashion, never out of fashion
Chicken is ubiquitous – it’ll never be a fad ingredient. Yet it was certainly the meat of the moment on Sunday.
Diana Henry provided four properly lovely recipes in The Sunday Telegraph Stella magazine: Chicken thigh rye schnitzel, roast chicken with dill and leeks (gorgeous), a pot roast barley number, and a stonking suggestion for Turkish spiced thighs with coriander relish. All from her forthcoming chicken themed book.
On the same day, The Observer published a cheeky OFM recipe special with twenty more chook based ideas. They gradually release these online. The first set of recipes include lovely Honey & Co gnudi and Simon Hopkinson’s classic roast chicken (but no other stories). More to follow.
If celery gets a cauliflower or #kale style moment in the limelight then I’ll eat a black bean brownie. That said, Mark Hix had a go with his latest column for The Independent. His two most interesting celery recipes were for Hunanese style spiced pork broth – where the clarification veg and egg whites crust (or ‘raft’) remain part of the dish – and lamb’s tongue with celery hearts.
On which note, Cook’s Ten Best feature was offal based and, to my mind, an absolute corker. It started with relatively accessible ox cheek pie and ended with oxtail and tamarind soup. In between we got a gaggle of tongue recipes and a number of ideas for things to do with hearts, kidneys and tripe. Though chefs are putting offal on the menu more often now than, say, five years ago, and plenty of food writers are fans, I think the fifth quarter will forever remain pretty niche among home cooks. I wonder how many will give these recipes a go?
I smiled when reading Rowley Leigh’s contribution for the FT: can’t imagine there’ll ever be a time when the words ‘boiled beef with carrots’ and ‘on trend’ will be uttered in the same sentence.
But I’ll leave the last words in this section to Nigel Slater, who provided a couple of fun steamed pudding ideas (chocolate and banana and a sausage suet pud): “The only reason not to get one on right now is if we let fashion, that shallow, pointless killer of good eating, tell us not to.”
The remaining recipes were aimed at providing easy answers to dinner conundrums.
Bill Granger provided the savoury parts of Moroccan themed dinner party in the Indy on Sunday. Start with spiced nuts (didn’t he do that last week?), then have a light chicken and courgette ‘tagine’, with a self serve and mix ‘salad platter’ on the side. That platter is a riff on serving herbs and other natural condiments with a bowl of Vietnamese Pho. Not sure I buy it in this context.
Gizzi suggested a set of quick meals in The Sunday Times. I liked the sound of ‘nduja, tomato and cream pasta, though the best of her recipes, I think, was yet another chicken recipe: this time served with a veg, dried fruit and herb studded freekeh and a side of tsatsiki. Lots of flavours going on here, but they should all come together nicely. The styling and photography didn’t do the recipes justice.
Thomasina Miers also aimed to spice up mid-week mealtimes. Thai fragrant pork patties look good. Doubt there’d be many complaints about being served flash fried skirt steak with chimichurri and roast spuds.
Former Bake Off winner John Whaite appeared to be formally announced as Stevie Parle’s successor in the Saturday Telegraph. His first weekend column was styled as Sunday lunch menu that wouldn’t break the bank, and featured ‘Anglo-Vietnamese’ pulled, spiced beef brisket and a clementine and thyme cake. He also suggested we use up beef leftovers in bánh mì style baguettes.
Last but not least, the Guardian’s own Bake Off alumna, Ruby Tandoh, proposed two baked custard recipes. Banana crème brûlée would go down very nicely right now, thanks.
On the Internet
I definitely saw a recipe from a non-British website that I meant to pimp this week. But now can’t remember what it was. Instead, have a read of Joanna Blythman’s article on the matter of (or problem with) food labelling.
Oh, hang tight. Helen Graves has just posted this ‘Peckham style’ braised short rib and dumplings recipe on her Food Stories blog. PHWOAR.
Yotam Ottolenghi’s cauliflower salad recipe stood out when I was scanning the papers on Saturday. So I went for that.
It basically involved roasting (and cooling) the florets from two thirds of a cauli, then grating the remainder, before mixing it all with browned onions, tarragon, mint, parsley, cumin, lemon, pomegranate and pistachios. Definitely a winning dish that I’ll make again. Though I’m fairly certain the prescribed roasting time should be 30-40 minutes, not twenty.
Weekend Menu, 21 and 22 February 2015
Spiced pork and celery broth
Turkish spiced chicken thighs with coriander relish
Diana Henry, The Sunday Telegraph ‘Stella’
Banana crème brûlée
Ruby Tandoh, The Guardian ‘Cook’
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