I don’t want to say it was all about me this weekend, but …
It’s SQUASH season, people
Mark Hix always tells us when to eat things. This week he provided a set of tempting gourd and squash recipes so, clearly, now is the time marrow curry, squash tart, and gratin of squash. Can’t help but think of this McSweeny’s decourative gourd piece (warning: language).
Tommi Miers was hooked on the that theme in the Grauniad mag too. I particularly liked the squash, freekeh and tahini salad; but the baked rigatoni, squash, and kale thing would be a good midweek number too.
Yotam’s recipes in the same supplement included a roast butternut squash with sweetcorn, feta and pumpkin seed salsa. Technically the focus of the column was sweetcorn (he asked one of his crew to count the kernals on a corn cob: 800) and though it pains me to say it, the most tempting recipe was a red rice salad with avocado and grilled corn. But still, squash!
I enjoyed reading about Sally Clarke in The Telegraph. Eye-catching recipes from her new book included sweetcorn and polenta pudding with ricotta; and a veal, shallots, green olives, gremolata dish. But it was also good to see that her 30 favourite seasonal ingredients chime with my own, not least: asparagus, fig, cep, asparagus, apricot, chicory, quince … rocket and squash. (The big flirt.)
No pumpkins in Diana Henry’s Sunday Telegraph ‘Stella’ magazine column. But she did go all autumnal on us, as she suggested a host of rather lovely recipes using seasonal fruits. What’s not to like about a fig, plum and orange compote with muscavado cream on the side? Not to mention an almond, marzipan plum cake. It’s possible, though, that I liked a savoury idea the most: blackberry, apple and caraway slaw to go with honey and mustard baked sausages.
The crew behind the bucolic Fern Verrow farm in Herefordshire suggested to Guardian ‘Cook’ readers that autumn is still a time for growing salad. Their celery, pear and crème fraiche number is a good one.
Stephen Harris also linked his Telegraph recipes to the season, telling everyone to look out at the moment for sweet, white, French onions. I suspect his onion tart is a bit special… should you find the right alliums.
Check out Nigel Slater’s autumnal recipes in the Observer, which are half inched from his new book. If you make it past the grilled mussels with thyme and parmesan, and smoked mackerel celeriac remoulade, and maple and hazelnut biscuits, you’ll reach a gorgeous pigeon, parsnip and porcini pie. Wear a bib to avoid flooding your keyboard.
What else to report?
Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall, once a regular mention on these pages, is back. His new book is on the matter of using up leftovers and The Times featured an extended interview alongside number of his recipe suggestions.
The truth is, making use of leftovers requires a little bit of intuition, a bit of experience, and a lot of being bothered. Are those people that are actually bothered in need of tips? Or, more to the point, are those people who aren’t bothered really looking for advice? It’s a tricky subject to write about, but on the evidence of the recipes this weekend, HFW’s made a sterling effort: covering both the basic (vegetable curries and stir fries) and the less obvious (potato peel soup, vegetable peel crisps, crispy fish skeletons, roast carrot pate). Also, there’s a spag bol omelette in there, which is a hangover cure I could really lend my support to.
The Sunday Times provided a few recipes from the Italian cooking book The Silver Spoon. Most noteworthy, I reckon, was a tuna, almond, pine nut and olive main. Jamie O was also in Italo-mood, putting forward a sausage and slow cooked tomato pasta recipe. Basic but very tasty, I’d wager.
We haven’t seen Rowley Leigh in The FT for a while. I enjoyed the fact his return was old school: Dover sole, with a brown shrimp, tomato, silken cream and butter sauce.
Good line from Ruby Tandoh in Cook: “I’ve never had a single soup or stew that wasn’t 10 times better for being served with bread”. I’m very keen on her pretzel roll idea.
Which reminds me that the best piece of new cookbook promotion appeared at the back of the Guardian’s ‘Family’ section. “My wife Beth’s first words to me were “Will you give me £3 for the stripper?””
Tom Kerridge there. Tom’s Table: My Favourite Everyday Recipes is out this autumn…
I haven’t yet found Bill Granger on the Indy’s revamped website. Maybe it’ll be up during the course of Monday.
Four things to do with yoghurt via Claire Thomson and Cook: ice it; cake it; cheese it; and soup it. Good stuff.
Finally, keep your eyes peeled this week as the Observer releases its 20 best breakfast recipes online. In the mix is sage advice from Fergus Henderson re kippers: “they are the perfect sustenance if you are going out dancing – but be warned, there is always the risk of kipper burps, so be careful as you perform your quarter turn”.
From the internet
Tahini, ginger, soy, sriracha noodles. Midweek eating via Food52.
A weekend full of recipe testing meant not mushroom for trialling something from the paper. Had I done so, I think I’d have had a crack at that Ottolenghi red rice dish. HFW’s potato peel soup is intriguing too.
Weekend Menu, 26 and 27 September 2015
French onion tart
Stephen Harris, The Telegraph
Pigeon, parsnip and porcini pie
Nigel Slater, the Observer
Fig, plum, orange compote, muscavado cream
Diana Henry, The Sunday Telegraph, ‘Stella’
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