Have I ever pointed out the fact that sweet themed recipe columns are like London buses? Well excuse me if I’m repeating myself, but this weekend was one of those times when the buses were so plentiful, that everyone got to sit in the front seats on the top deck.
Desserts and baking
Leading the way, at least chronologically and possibly by other measures too, was a set of recipes in Saturday’s Times from Kate Doran’s new book ‘Homemade Memories’. Pear and pecan treacle tart, pistachio and lime loaf with honey drizzle, and blackberry and hazelnut meringue sandwiches stood out in a strong selection of sweet treats. As with the extracts from Rosie Birkett’s book a few weeks ago, it’s worth mentioning that Helen Cathcart’s photography was pretty enticing.
In the same paper, Donna Hay provided a pretty full set of recipes based around yoghurt. Sorbets and pies looked good, but I really liked the idea of a tart shell filled with a yoghurt panna cotta.
Florence Knight’s column in The Sunday Times was mostly about Spring vegetables (radishes with nettle butter and salt is a cool idea), but the best bit of it was the inclusion of her wobbly milk pudding – which is essentially a panna cotta made with milk, rather than cream. I know from experience that it’s a pretty dang good end to a meal.
Clearly Mr Murdoch had a sweet tooth to sate, because even Jamie Oliver’s Sunday Times recipe was stacked with sugar this week. In his case, it was a decadent lemon curd layered sponge cake.
Elsewhere, Rosie Reynolds’ baking recipes in the Guardian’s ‘Cook’ supplement were on a childhood theme – her readers can now make their own Jammie Dodgers and chocolate bourbon biscuits.
Diana Henry took one for the team and researched the best ways to make (and eat) scones. She left us with three options: scones laced with hazelnut; scones with a buttermilk tang; or double cream enriched scones. I suppose we all ought to try one of each just so we can come to our own conclusions.
Bill Granger’s Indy on Sunday column was a good one. The Australian chef ‘paid homage to South East Asia’s palate refreshing deserts’, with recipes for a clementine, lychee and jasmine jelly, mango, kaffir lime and passion fruit salad, and sticky black rice with coconut and papaya. Nice.
Even The FT’s Rowley Leigh got in on the act, with a recipe for a rosé and strawberry jelly.
And the savoury stuff
There were other bits and bobs too, and many of those things were very tempting indeed.
Nigel Slater’s summer meat salads in the Observer magazine looked pretty ace. I’d happily have a crack at the chicken, rhubarb and cucumber salad as a mid week evening meal (bulked up with a little watercress and dressed with cider vinegar. Ditto the pork belly cubes served with watermelon, fish sauce, lime and (more) watercress) number.
Thomasina Miers’ coconut and curry leaf relish baked sea trout seems pretty special.
And I really like this week’s easy but impressive feasting menu put together by Henry Dimbleby and Jane Baxter for Cook: shoulder of lamb braised in milk, served with fennel baked in a bag, and simple new potatoes.
Yotam Ottolenghi’s Guardian recipes this week were from the Middle East. Raqaq u addas – lentils, broken pasta and sumaq – really intrigues.
There were a couple of decent recipes from Ella Woodward in Saturday’s Telegraph. Nothing groundbreaking but also nothing wrong with a quinoa, pomegranate and chickpea; nor asparagus topped with a tahini dressing.
Finally, Mark Hix’s recipes in Saturday’s Independent are not to be cooked and eaten before a night out, as they all feature heavy doses of garlic. Garlic shoot soup with snails is pretty niche. Crispy fried squid with garlic, curry leaves and almonds sounds lush.
On the Internet
I quite liked these three quick pickle ideas on Serious Eats: tarragon with asparagus and shallots; rhubarb with lemon grass and ginger; and sugar snap peas with mint. Haven’t tried any of them yet – let me know if you do.
I’ve been burning the candle at all ends recently, and indulging a little too heavily as part of that. The phrase ‘stick a fork in me, I’m cooked’ has never felt so apt.
So an enlivening roast broccoli salad, with loads of herbs, sesame seeds, almonds, peas, pea sprouts, and a mustard-lemon dressing, made me feel a little better … before heading out to another party, much booze, many cakes, and (quite unexpectedly) half a roast duck.
The recipe for the broccoli salad came via ‘Cook’ supplement.
Weekend Menu, 30 and 31 May 2015
Spiced pork and watermelon
Nigel Slater, the Observer
Sea trout with fresh coconut and curry leaf relish
Thomasina Miers, the Guardian
Clementine, lychee and jasmine jelly
Bill Granger, The Independent on Sunday
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