Supplemental #57

Was it me, or were the papers a bit light on recipe content this week? Maybe it was simply a rare weekend when we were spared additional/special/monthly/seasonal supplements. Or, perhaps, the fact the recipes generally had a light Spring vibe left things feeling trim.

Brunch me up

Mark Hix’s Independent column was on a ‘lazy weekend breakfast’ theme. Recipes involved making a potato rosti to top with salmon, pureeing white sprouting broccoli to act as a bed for a perfectly poached egg, and cooking up a chicken liver and wild garlic omelette. I don’t know about you, but my idea of a lazy weekend breakfast is a bowl of cereal, a slosh of milk, and taking control of the remote until I can find Taylor Swift on one of the music channels. To be fair, Hix’s recipes will all be tasty. And if you’ve got the energy to forage for wild garlic or the electric blender before hearing Shake it Off, then all credit to to you.

You could, I suppose, make a savoury tart the night before and have that cold (or warmed up) the next morning. Hix’s Indy stablemate Bill Granger’s recipes would suit that approach. A hot smoked salmon and watercress tart will be fresh and light. I also really liked the idea of an asparagus and new potato puff pastry tart, which is finished with a few baked eggs dotted around at the last stage of the cooking.

Yotam Ottolenghi’s asparagus, mushroom and egg recipe would suit breakfast and brunchers too. He pretty much refused to write an intro for his Guardian column this week, preferring to let his (asparagus) recipes do the talking. In addition to the mushroom and egg number, there was a slightly more taxing soufflé, an exotic salad, which added beef, quails’ eggs and black garlic to the ‘gras, and the dish I’d plump for: griddled asparagus with aubergine mayonnaise.

#Easy #Healthy #Hashtag

‘Easy’, ‘Healthy’ and ‘Quick’ are the most common buzzwords I read when doing this weekly round-up. Often the recipes under those headings are uninspiring. But there are some decent ones among them. Wouldn’t it be great, though, if they were simply indexed as ‘Super Tasty’, and didn’t need to fight for attention in any way beyond that?

There was an extract from a book by Irish blogger What Katie Ate in Saturday’s Times Magazine. They were under the ‘Easy’ header. I thought chicken crusted with quinoa with a sweet dipping sauce looked pretty interesting. Puffed quinoa, rolled quinoa and sesame seeds make the crust. Mirin and soy dip (don’t use the agave nectar suggested – that’s basically high fructose devil spawn).

Somewhere else in Saturday’s Times was a set of Spring salads from an LA style café called Maple & Fitz (so ‘Healthy’). Think barley, tahini, miso, kale and so on. Perfectly fine.

The main column in the Sunday Times Magazine was occupied by another blogger, Sarah Britten. She does the ‘Healthy’ thing too (a Canadian holistic nutritionist … clearly I chose the wrong path). Blueberry cardamom chia pudding could be OK. Also in there, a clafoutis and a butternut squash, halloumi and kale thang.

True temptation

Elsewhere, there were terrible things like carbohydrates and butter and stuff.

Diana Henry put forward a set of pasta dishes. All influenced by places beyond The Boot. A Turkish inspired tagliatelle with sweet onions in a butternut and yogurt sauce was particularly intriguing.

Nigel Slater was missing from the Observer for the second Sunday in a row (perhaps that’s why things felt light?). José Pizarro deputized again, and did a fine job. Whole baked turbot with onions, capers and lemon is, for me, the perfect Sunday roast. I’d be very happy if that was preceded by his broad bean, jamon, mint and baby artichoke warm salad. And near delirious were that followed by an almond and pear desert served with Pedro Ximinez ice cream.

My pal Uyen Luu featured in Saturday’s Telegraph. Her Vietnamese food is always super, but both the pork belly, pomelo and pomegranate salad, and a ginger and coconut chicken stew stood out.

Rowley Leigh suggested his FT Weekend readers cook up some finger licking, sticky lamb ribs (cooked in chilli, spring onion, shrimp paste, palm sugar, sherry, ginger and co). I’m interested in the fact he blasts the ribs hard for quite a while before gradually turning the heat down. I tend to braise till soft then raise the temperature at the end / when needed. More importantly, who knew that a piece of ginger root was called a rhizome?!

Thomasina Miers’ Guardian column included a shiitake, tofu and sherry noodle stir fry.

Jamie Oliver suggested Sunday Times readers schnitzel with spaghetti and a fresh tomato sauce.

To finish, the Guardian’s Cook supplement provided ten was to prepare new potatoes. Crushed, baked, braised, hashed, dipped, souped, fondant(ed) … you get the idea.

On the internet

There were a number of recipes from Lizzie Mabbott’s new book Chinatown Kitchen on the Grauniad site last week. I particularly liked the look of salted egg butter prawns. Have a squiz. Then buy the book.

Also: are the insides of your Le Creuset pans grubby? This cleaning method may not be new, but it is helpful.

#Supplemental cooking

Fresh pappardelle from the wonderful Burro e Salvia provided the perfect base for Diana Henry’s delicious combo of chilli, garlic, orange zest, hazelnut and cavolo nero. Easy, quick and healthy food … and no need for any of those prefixes.

 Weekend Menu, 11 and 12 April 2015

Quinoa crusted chicken and sweet-salty dipping sauce (honey instead of agave)

Katie Quinn Davies, the Times

Roast turbot, onions, lemon and caper salsa

José Pizarro, the Observer

Almond and pear cake, roast rhubarb, PX ice cream

José Pizarro, the Observer

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