Supplemental #58

Just to mix (or order?) things up a bit, we’ll run through this weekend’s recipes by newspaper group, rather than theme.*

The Independent

On Saturday, Mark Hix wrote about fast food. Not burgers. But good things, like scrambled eggs on toast with asparagus, and frito misto with wild garlic mayonnaise.

Bill Granger’s Sunday column provided ideas for three different types of fresh cheese. Each recipe was tempting: labneh with broad beans and burnt aubergine; ricotta gnudi; and asparagas with whipped feta and yoghurt and a sprinkle of dukkah (cumin, coriander, almond, sesame, salt).

The Times / Sunday Times

It was great to see Rosie Birkett in The Sunday Times with four recipes from her forthcoming book A Lot On Her Plate. A broad bean and bacon risotto, that has a parsley and spinach puree run through it at the last minute, grabbed my attention (as did beautiful photography from Helen Cathcart, who to my mind is one of the best in the business atm).

Jamie Oliver’s dab (like a sole) asparagus and prawn bake in the same paper is worth checking out too.

A day earlier, Times subscribers got a set of basic tomato recipes from Jenny Linford (a puff pastry tart spread with olive tapenade the best of them). Also, some noodle recipes courtesy of Donna Hay. Having read through the ingredients and method, I strongly suspect pork and crab larb will be corking. But as always seems to be the case, I’m not drawn-in as I am by columnists at other papers.

I suspect regular readers have noted I’m often a little down on the Saturday Times’ food pages. In part it’s because they usually just feel like an advertorial for a book I’m unlikely to buy. But it’s mostly because these recipes just appear with little or no introduction. No evocative background story. No crafty trick or seasonal reason. Think about that in the context of this lovely article on, which is in praise of British food writers precisely because of their prose. So, Murdoch’s crew, how about upping the word count? Drop the stock photos if necessary; a waffle at the top is vital.

The Financial Times

Just a casual lobster green curry from Rowley. That’s Monday night sorted.

The Telegraph / The Sunday Telegraph

Diana Henry was on breakfast duty in Sunday’s Stella Magazine. All recipes look very achievable, even with bleary eyes. I particularly like breakfast greens with feta, chilli and egg, though suspect spiced roast tomatoes with herb labneh is the best of the lot.

On Saturday John Whaite presented a nice set of dumpling recipes. Beef momos with a spicy tomato chutney look great. Scallop and mango summer rolls with a spiced peanut dip are guaranteed crowd pleasers – both taste and looks wise. Fit.

I also saw a set of garlic recipes appear on Sunday. They look to be a web round-up of previous content and not set for print. But I thought it worth mentioning the Persian yoghurt soup, and goat’s cheese on toast served with a whole bulb of roast garlic. Now there’s a side salad I could really get behind.

the Guardian / the Observer

Which leaves us with the Graun crew, who must’ve found themselves with a paper surplus. Because this weekend we got three separate food supplements in addition to the glossy lifestyle magazines.

Let’s start with the content of those regular shiny ones.

Through his harissa recipe and harissa related recipes, Yotam Ottolenghi produced the column of the week. Tunisian filo parcels look ace.

A page or so later, Thomasina Miers joined Diana Henry’s early morning breakfast rota, adding coconut muesli and a sweet potato fritter (topped with avo and egg) to the mix.

On Sunday, Nigel Slater’s Observer magazine piece set a roast pork belly and apple vibe. I’m intrigued by apple batter pudding, which is cooked in the fat of the roast, basically as a fruity toad in the hole.

The Cook supplement announced that the ‘Ten Best’ series had run its course. As well as putting out a killer set of lamb recipes, to mark the occasion they printed a kind of ‘best of best of’, organizing a host of old recipes by season. I have to say I think this feature has been an excellent one and they’re ending it whilst it’s still peaking. If that makes it akin to Fawlty Towers, then the The Times’ ‘Only Four’ section looks increasingly like a re-re-re-repeat of Top Gear on Dave (this week, btw, four uninspiring potato salads. Cheers).

And so we finish with the Observer Food Monthly. Cooking highlights in this edition include Slater’s pestle and mortar pummeled recipes (I’ve bookmarked clams with picada, and Javanese cucumber salad); Len Deighton’s illustrated ‘Cook Strip’; and probably best of all, an article (with excellent recipes) on the 40th anniversary of the founding of PadStein. Cue an exasperated “I mean, why can’t every week be like this? We produce all this great content and then send it off for free via the internet to Australia. It’s madness I tell you. Come on Chalky”. Or something like that.

Oh, one more thing: the 2015 OFM awards were launched yesterday. Did I tell you about the time a friend completed the voting process at my prompting, and subsequently won a holiday to the Caribbean? True story. You know what to do

* For future reference, this format = heavy Saturday night, so functioning on limited brain capacity. 

#Supplemental Cooking

Xanthe Clay wrote an article for Saturday’s Telegraph on the difficulty of knowing which fish to buy whilst maintaining a clean conscience. I suppose my key takeaway from that was it takes huge numbers of whitebait, sprats, herring, anchovies, sardines to produce a lesser weight of farmed salmon etc. So we should eat more of the little fellas.

She followed the piece with a set of sardine recipes. These inspired me to head down to my local fishmonger, grab a handful of silver things, then souse a load of fillets to top my toast.

 Weekend Menu, 18 and 19 April 2015

Asparagus, whipped feta and dukkah

Bill Granger, The Independent on Sunday

Moroccan cassoulet

Georgia Levy and Ben Benson, the Guardian, ‘Cook’

with homemade harissa

Yotam Ottolenghi, the Guardian

Orange and passion fruit ricotta cheesecake

Ruby Tandoh, the Guardian ‘Cook’

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