Crikey, y’all, Halloween really seemed to be a ‘thing’ this year. Now what are you going to do with all that left over pumpkin, hmmm? (Because you didn’t just spoon it out and chuck in the bin, right?)
Trick or pumpkin?
You would think, from its picture and title and recipes, that Yotam Ottolenghi’s Guardian column this week was all pumpkins and general All Hallows banter. In fact, his prose was on the more sobering topic of the plight of the Syrian people. Worth a read.
Once you’ve done that, you won’t really go wrong if you continue on to his recipes: spiced pumpkin soup and crisp chickpeas; squash, lentils and dolcelatte; or indeed the spiced lamb stuffed spaghetti squash.
For dessert, how about Thomasina Miers’ baked pumpkin cheesecake? She went full Day of the Dead theme (US fusion style) with that pud, plus Korean pork belly tacos.
The Honey & Co duo provided FT readers with a Roast spiced pumpkin and pickled apple salad.
And Joseph Trivelli’s second ‘Nigel is away’ column for the Observer magazine was as good as his first, in part thanks to his pumpkin al scapece recipe (fried pumpkin, drizzled with vinegar and chilli and stuff, then left to mingle for a bit). On a different not, corrrr, check out the recipe for red mullet cooked with porcini. And pear ice cream.
Florence Knight’s recipes in The Sunday Times’ ‘The Dish’ supplement included a pumpkin soup. But I was more drawn to a pretty divine looking dish of braised guinea fowl and mascarpone laced polenta. Also the brown sugar custard tart. Woof.
Stephen Harris’ recipe for Telegraph readers was on a similar theme: partridge with a celeriac ‘risotto’, which I’m pretty sure would go down very well indeed.
And Mark Hix’s recipes in The Independent were all about feathered game: pheasant Holstein; game sausage roll; and pheasant ragu with gnocchi and blanched nettles.
Best go pick up some birds, eh?
Other autumnal treats
I really enjoyed Diana Henry’s words (in The Sunday Telegraph’s ‘Stella’ mag) on how food writing should advocate real, achievable lifestyles. I also really liked her Bonfire Night ideas: white bean soup, spinach and paprika oil; spiced chicken rolls, gochujang mayo and sweet-sour cucumber; and stuffed baked apples, with marmalade and southern comfort cream. There’s spiced cider recipe for good measure too. Super stuff.
Laura Santini‘s ‘umami’ ideas (hidden somewhere in The Telegraph’s weekend pages) were good too. Nothing crazy, rather a set of recipes I could see people tearing out and trying for themselves: whether a super savoury chicken and polenta number; aubergine, ricotta, prosciutto and molasses; fondant hasselback potatoes (very nice); or a miso and sweet potato cheesecake.
Great autumnal things come from a big vat of caramelised onions – as Sophie Missing and Caroline Craig made clear in the Guardian ‘Cook’. I’d say I’m not sure which I’d go for first out of their four ideas, what with an onion and bacon tart; onion soup; and a bulgar wheat pilaff in the mix. But I’d be lying. Because caramelised onions and sardines in spaghetti is, like, dream Sunday night supper.
Speaking of ‘Cook‘ and dreamy, it was cool to see that Rachel Roddy is now a permanent columnist for that supplement. I love Rachel’s writing and I love her sink. So it’s great that she gets some space for her ‘kitchen sink tales’. Side note: I didn’t see the paper version, though. Is that in place of Ruby and her baking?
Finally, on a vaguely autumnal theme, Donna Hay’s Saturday Times recipes this week were all about cauliflower (in that it’s autumn now and I’ve lots of that vegetable in my near future). Everyone else went large on this theme about six months ago, but I’m still very much all for it. And nothing wrong with cauliflower mac n cheese; whole spice roasted cauliflower; or cauli on flat bread; and with spaghetti.
A touch of spice to finish
Neil Rankin’s fourth cookery column for The Independent on Sunday was a really strong one. Four Thai-ish recipes include Andy Oliver’s (of Som-Saa) som tam (green papaya salad), which is so, so, so damn good. But I’d also like to have a nosh of a lamb belly larb burrito, and the crunchy veg salad dressed with warm Thai dressing.
It’s only been open three days, but you should have already heard great things about the Sethi’s latest venture, Hoppers, in Soho. If you don’t fancy queueing, how about making your own version of their Sri-Lankan style scran?(!). Recipes for crab omelette, kale stirfry and Sri Lankan chicken curry in ‘The Dish’ all look very good.
If you’re a Times subscriber, have a squiz at Jamie O’s chickpea curry.
And rounding things off nicely, Anna Jones’ midweek meal for Sunday Times readers involved chickpea pancakes stuffed with paneer, mustard seeds and, of course, some autumnal squash.
Stir fried cucumber? Lizzie says it’s great and I’m almost tempted to try it.
I sliced up some of those squash above and followed Joseph Trivelli’s vinegar and chilli approach. As I write, I’m still waiting for the flavours to mingle. But I know it’s gonna be a good one.
Weekend Menu, 31 October and 1 November 2015
Game sausage roll
Mark Hix, The Independent
Braised guinea fowl and polenta
Florence Knight, The Sunday Times
Baked stuffed apples, marmalade and Southern Comfort cream
Diana Henry, The Sunday Telegraph, ‘Stella’
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