This weekend was a bumper one and most of it was good. But I have to admit that at one point on Sunday I wished I was simply an Independent reader and saw only their streamlined content. Thus leaving more time for sun burn.
This round-up, then, in ascending order of output.
More recipes than usual, actually, as instead of Rowley Leigh’s solo dish, we got a trio from Barrafina head chef Nieves Barragan.
Like the restaurants (there are three now), her recipes are ace. I loved the idea of cubed rabbit which is browned for barely 5 minutes and then drowned in white wine for just a few minutes more before it’s deemed ready. Love too for gazpacho and sardines on toast. And love three for the fact she shared the secret to Barrafina Adelaide St’s Iberian ribs (mostly the meat, but also some of the braising flavours).
On Saturday Mark Hix suggested a set of ‘Asian inspired’ breakfasts. I thought this was a really good theme and a decent set of recipes too: crisp goose egg with black beans; a broth; and noodles with pork mince.
In Sunday’s Indy magazine, Bill Granger suggested we expand our pasta repertoire beyond spag bol. Fair cop. Spaghetti with black garlic and chilli pangrettata was top. Though I wouldn’t complain if tonight I was handed a bowl of rigatoni with cold broad beans, peas and ricotta; nor orecchiette with roasted pepper-and-walnut pesto neither.
Not sure whether it’s these chaps or the Murdoch crew in this slot – there’s so much recipe content on The Telegraph website these days that it’s a little tricky to know what was printed when (if at all). Highlights from the last few online postings include:
Stephen Harris’s oyster recipes. Tempura oysters with mayo, poached oysters with beurre blanc, pickled cucumbers and caviar, and plain old oysters with cooked chorizo are all great combinations.
Diana Henry provided a useful rundown of the many chilli sauces that are now available (do you know your harissa from your encona and Sriracha?). That was followed with a number of recipes, including harissa roast lamb shoulder with tahini and parsley sauce, piri piri chicken and a ‘hotslaw’ with Tabasco (wait for it, wait for it … ahhhh, of course, hot as in a chilli hot coleslaw.)
Somewhere in between there was a potted history of ‘thentic ‘merican ‘cue. Nothing particularly new on the recipe front: baby back ribs, corn in their husks, a basic dry rub for pulled pork. And it’s surely time for a new opening line for pieces on a BBQ theme, as this one’s been well and truly run into the ground: “Barbecue to most Brits means cremating sausages and burgers directly over hot coals, usually under an umbrella.” Yawn.
Huzzah. Gizzi Erskine was back in The Sunday Times magazine and she wroteth much truth about eating healthily. Which, in short, is: eat things primarily because they taste great and sometimes those things will also happen to be healthy … or at least not terrible for you. From her new book Gizzi’s Healthy Appetite we saw: harissa prawns and cauli couscous; roast duck with Thai dressing and watermelon salad; halloumi and tasty toms.
Anna Jones’s vegetarian recipes might well be healthy, but they also always tempt too. Her ST idea this weekend was a buckwheat and spelt pancake with goat curd, cherries, tarragon and peppery leaves.
The guardian and Observer
And then came the Graun. It’d be too much if it wasn’t so good (plus I assume the paper is recycled??).
In Saturday’s magazine Thomasina Miers presented roast aubergines stuffed with Sichuan fragrant pork, whilst Yotam Ottolenghi proposed four different things to do with cucumbers (pipe down at the back). The seared tuna with a cooling and crunchy cucumber and avo salsa looked cracking. Ditto a raita bulked with cherry tomatoes and a green chilli and preserved lemon paste.
Recipe of the week, quite possibly, came from Ruby Tandoh in the Cook supplement. Had I not spent the weekend cooking about a million other things, I would definitely have had a go at her spiced almond lamb flatbread, a sort of turkish hybrid of a keemah AND peshwari naan. Could there be anything better?
Sunday was an Observer Food Monthly day. The best bits of that included Anna Jones (again) with 8 recipes from her new book A Modern Way to Cook. Basically more on the same theme of vegetarian yet ace – you’d rarely miss the meat. Black eyed beans with chard and green herb smash; quick pickled roasted roots, polenta and carrot tops; carrot and chickpea pancake with lemon spiked dressing topped my wish list.
Nigel Slater gave us five excellent summer fruit puddings (the gooseberry and cassis trifle or poached apricots and cold rice pudding were my winners), and Jacob Kenedy’s ‘favourite Italian recipes’ included some gems (the pickled sardines and the lasagnancini).
Finally, over in the Observer‘s normal glossy magazine, Nigel Slater’s was marinating and grilling meat and vegetables. I thought the Portobello mushroom sounded great though his midweek bacon and sweetcorn fritter tempted most.
On the Internet
As inferred above, I was mega busy cooking stuff. So I didn’t get round to trialling a weekend recipe. But I did enjoy reading the OFM whilst snacking on poached apricots, red currants and vanilla’d mascarpone.
Weekend Menu, 18 and 19 July 2015
Spiced almond lamb flatbread
Ruby Tandoh, the guardian, Cook
Nieves Baragan, FT Weekend Magazine
Quick pickled roasted roots, polenta and carrot tops
Anna Jones, Observer Food Monthly
Gooseberry cassis trifle
Nigel Slater, Observer Food Monthly
If I get my act together, tomorrow will be a subscriber newsletter day. Maybe Wednesday. Emails are (more often than not) fortnightly, and they bring together the latest posts on this blog, plus a few other things from elsewhere that you might find interesting. Sign up using the envelope button at the base of the site.