Just 11 days in, and it seems we’ve all dropped our resolutions: there was barely a hint of detox in the recipes this weekend; and I’ve resorted to the abridged note form of this digest, because – time.
Still, some really nice, cosy, food this week. Not least from the Guardian and Observer crew (I picture the writers all sat together on a squadgy sofa in front of a fire, baggy jumpers on, massive vats of comfort food and multiple cake stands … and not a spin class among them):
- In the Guardian’s main magazine: Yotam suggested readers get stuck into a delectable beef stew with pale ale, juniper and prunes; lemon and juniper marmalade; and an intriguing rhubarb, gin and juniper cake; Whilst Thomasina provided a chorizo and radicchio barley risotto – fiery, salty, bitter, punchy ingredients, which mellow as they cook and mingle with the grain.
- The ‘Cook’ supplement provided the ultimate in food cuddles: chicken stock (and four things to use it in – meatball goulash for me, please). If that doesn’t banish the blues, then Claire Ptak’s roasted squash cobbler might well help. Or, f@*& it, how about drowning all post festive period lows with four puddings: STP; apple, date and orange crumble and custard; and boiled clementine cakes from the Dimbleby-Baxter duo; or a preserved quince tart Tatin with whipped orange mascarpone from Kylee Newton’s final Residency column. Love the addition of acid to one of my favourite puds.
- On Sunday, Sir Slater kept the theme going in the Observer with a couple of oxtail recipes: sherry braised oxtail with butter beans; and oxtail and onion soup. He describes them as calming. I’d go further, Nige, and say they cosset.
- Over at the FT, Honey & Co kept it Middle Eastern and delicious, with Israeli couscous in tomato and feta.
- Diana Henry told Telegraph readers how to cook the perfect stir fry – I have a feeling the greens with yellow beans and chilli are bang on; and I’m a huge fan of wok fried minced meat (in this case, beef), so was glad to see that in one of her recipes.
- Mark Hix feels we don’t value celery enough. I reckon the white fish with celery sauce could convert many naysayers.
- Independent on Sunday guest chef Ben Tish’s winter BBQ recipes looked really strong, not least the vegetables: Fennel with chilli and parmesan; winter squash with walnut, pomegrante and marjoram gremolata. Both were to go with a slow-ish cooked lamb shoulder. I pondered whether anyone would actually take up the idea of lighting up the grill in January … and ten minutes later ran past a neighbour doing exactly that.
- Jamie Oliver’s Sunday Times recipe is one of my favourite things: a turbot, baked whole – in this case over a bed of leeks, which sounds super. I’m not totally convinced that you’ll want to leave a 2kg fish in the oven for the 60 minutes that are prescribed, though. Seems lengthy, even at 150C.
- There were a bunch of J Sheekey recipes in Saturday’s Times: scallops, fish pie, baked vacherin, fishcakes and whole roast sea bass (haven’t we seen these before?). Also, four fruit turnovers (something I’ve a soft spot for): pear and Nutella; blueberry and custard; rhubarb and ginger; apple and cinnamon.
Weekend Menu, 9 and 10 January 2016
Oxtail and onion soup
Nigel Slater, The Observer
Whole baked turbot with leeks and cider
Jamie Oliver, The Sunday Times
Rhubarb, gin and juniper cake
Yotam Ottolenghi, The Guardian
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