I was away for much of the weekend, so I’m very grateful that the Instagram phenomenon that is @Clerkenwell_Boy stepped up and tested a few of the weekend’s recipes on my – and your – behalf. Check out his thoughts in the #Supplemental Cooking section below (he was far more thorough than I usually am). The cooking and images are his. Top man.
Lots of the recipes majored on herbs this weekend. Enlivening stuff.
In the Observer Food Monthly, Nigel Slater profiled the bucolic Fern Verrow farm and their new cookbook, and picked out a selection of his favourite spring time recipes. Chive, sorrel and wild garlic frittata, (herb) fritters with wild garlic mayonnaise (like tempura herbs but with a thicker batter), and an elderflower cake stood out.
He also had a couple of homemade pasta recipes in the main Observer magazine. It’s unusual to match coriander with pasta, but ravioli of crab and parmesan made using a coriander laced pasta does seem interesting.
Diana Henry’s column in The Sunday Telegraph’s Stella magazine majored on dill. Lovers of this Marmite herb (like me) will enjoy recipes for harissa roasted carrots, white bean and dill puree, and a Persian rice with dill and broad beans. Haters gonna hate.
A childhood spent eating dill swamped Polish food means my girlfriend is one of those haters. Yet I suspect she’ll like much of what Olia Hercules’ food – we’ll probably see a lot more of this Eastern European themed cook over the next few weeks as her rather excellent looking new book does the rounds. I loved recipes in the OFM for stuffed cabbage leaves, Ukranian borscht (which is far more than the beetroot soup it’s often reduced to), Soviet goose noodles and Armenian pickles.
Whilst technically yoghurt inspired, Mark Hix’s column in The Independent featured a number of herb heavy ideas, including crisp lamb with mint and coriander salad and labneh. My lasting memory of the piece, though, was how he claimed, by some distance, first prize in the Rhyming Recipe of the Week competition, with his ‘tandoori John Dory’. Well played, Sir.
She sells sea shells
There was a decent haul of shellfish and seafood ideas across both days.
Thomasina Miers’ clams and white beans with summer garlic and vermouth in the Guardian caught my eye early on (as did her chocolate, cinnamon and rye cake).
Rowley Leigh doesn’t like a traditional Marie Rose sauce, but thinks his FT readers would find prawns served with a fish sauce, lime, lemon, tomato and burnt red pepper salsa to be a more than acceptable cocktail of ingredients.
Shivi Ramoutar bases her cooking on her Caribbean heritage. She’s another new author with a book out soon (or out now?) and had a few recipes from that in Saturday’s Times. Some zesty flavours going on. For example, scallops, black pudding and bacon might seem awfully British … but then inject with spice and sweetness in the form of Scotch bonnets and mango. Boom. More on her ‘Paradise Prawns’ below.
I often find it tricky to pin down a theme or geographic reference for Donna Hay’s recipes for The Times. Perhaps that doesn’t matter. This Saturday, I enjoyed the idea of crab and mangetout steamed rice noodles, and the ricotta fritters with pea and mint dip.
In his second Guardian Cook column, Jackson Boxer’s focused on seafood. Monkfish with chard and an oyster emulsion is right up my street. Squid and cucumber would make for a lovely light, seasonal starter. Worth a read and probably a cook too.
This weekend’s miscellany
What else? Well, those with a sweet tooth might want to turn to Ruby Tandoh’s baking column. Head straight to the black treacle cocoa brownies.
Or perhaps bake yourself an early birthday cake via John Waite’s recipes in The Telegraph. I’d like the extremely decadent looking chocolate and peanut butter one thank you please.
On a more virtuous note, Cook featured various ways with peas – spiced pea and gram flour pancakes my favourite – and Yotam’s column in the Guardian was all about okra. Use the little green fingers as a key component of gumbo, near raw but with a sweet and sour sauce, or as part of a coconut salad.
Florence Knight’s first column for The Sunday Times led a food heavy magazine. It’s hard to fault her Sunday lunch menu of asparagus, pea shoot and brown shrimp salad, followed by roast pork loin with Jersey royal and a watercress aioli, to be washed down with a rhubarb and rose cordial. Though I’ll be impressed if she forever sticks by the mantra that she won’t “look further afield than Europe for ingredients”.
That said, I suppose Skye Gyngell cooks from the same book. Following her appearance in last weekend’s FT, this week, recipes from ‘Spring’ appeared in The Telegraph’s pages. Langos with seaweed butter, new potato with lovage, and veal chop with courgette shoestring fries and aioli all looked good
There were many more recipes elsewhere, but to round things up, I note Bill Granger’s sandwich ideas in The Independent on Sunday, which included a pork belly bun with kimchi slaw; and a smoked mackerel sanger, topped with sticky lemon, tahini yoghurt and pickled onions and radish – shades of a Quo Vadis eel number there.
So @Clerkenwell_Boy tried out Shivi’s ‘Paradise Prawns’ (in The Times) & Rachel Khoo’s ‘Sticky Chicken’ (The Telegraph serialised a load of her recipes; but they’re not online). He had this to say:
“Both super easy and incredibly aromatic.
I couldn’t get any prawns still with the heads attached at my local Waitrose so opted for Madagascan prawns with shells & tails still intact. I don’t have a griddle so used a super hot wok which worked well too. The lime and spices worked really well together. A simple and easy – yet super tasty dish which transported me back to the Caribbean!”
I loved this fuss free recipe and the glossy, sticky glaze. After the instructed cooking time, I finished the chicken off under the grill to get the skin a bit drier and crisp, plus added an extra splash of fish sauce at the end to offset the sweetness of the honey. I also opted to use chicken wings instead of drumsticks, but was glad for the inspiration. Finger licking good!!”
Weekend Menu, 16 and 17 May 2015
Clams and white beans with summer garlic and vermouth
Thomasina Miers, The Guardian
Tandoori John Dory
Mark Hix, The Independent
Olia Hercules, Observer Food Monthly
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