Let Them Eat Cake! The editors shouted from their massive desks within their imposing oak panelled offices. And the beleaguered, penniless writers responded.
There was a baking special in The Sunday Times’ The Dish, with some excellent ideas: Nigella Lawson’s cardamom and marmalade Victoria sponge; Florence Knight’s excellent blood orange, grenadine and rhubarb millefuille, orange ricotta cake, pistachio and chocolate fondant, and blood orange tart (I think Florence’s desserts and sweet things the most tempting of her recipes – so this was a good week).
The Honey & Co duo presented a couple of baking ideas to FT Weekend readers. I liked the look of the pistachio and cranberry cake, and the dried fruit and spice cake reminded me of one I’ve made previously – which was awesome.
Deborah Robertson’s column in the Independent on Sunday was on the theme of bundt cakes. Three lovely recipes, but, by ‘eck, the gingerbread chocolate bundt with a rum glaze stands out.
And there was another cake in Claire Ptak’s Guardian Cook column – the wholemeal apple cake is very Violet bakery (a good thing).
Other sweet things
Nigel Slater’s Valentine’s themed recipes were sweet ones. Roast pineapple with passionfruit frozen yoghurt would be a decent dessert next Sunday, lads – minimal effort, loads of flavour, not too bloaty. Also, pineapple is good for internal bruising. So if she breaks your heart, you’ll be OK.
There were loads of pancake ideas in The Times Weekend section. That’s for tomorrow, if you hadn’t already clocked the date. I’m still fairly sure there’s only one topping (sugar and lemon). But wouldn’t turn down the apple crumble in a crepe idea. Also see another set of recipes in The Telegraph. And if you’re coeliac, consider this lot too (but if not, don’t).
That said, sod pancake day, it’s Bramley apple week!
You knew, right? Well, Mark Hix promoted it in Saturday’s Independent and I’d happily mark the occasion with a meal of roast bramley apple and bacon chop followed by an unusual sounding apple and farmhouse cheddar cake.
If you’ve not got a sweet tooth
Not so sweet, but still tempting were Anna Jones’ Asian inspired vegetarian recipes in The Dish. I nicked her version of Koya’s walnut miso paste for my Sunday lunch. Dumplings looked good too.
There were four clever ideas for cooked polenta in Cook via The Kitchen Cooperative – I bet the polenta lasagne in particular will be a cuddle of a dinner.
I was a big fan of Thomasina Miers’ recipes in the Guardian’s magazine: black pudding ragu with parmesan polenta; and a humdinger of a braised pork shoulder.
Ditto Diana Henry’s piece on celeriac for the Sunday Telegraph’s ‘Stella’ magazine. I need no prompt to cook with celeriac – it’s one of my favourite things. But her words on the ugliest duckling of the root veg are persuasive. And, £*@& me, the celeriac and smoked haddock gratin looks lush.
On the subject of words, read Rachel Roddy on spag bol. How do you take yours? With chicken livers and milk sounds ace.
Nick Balfe’s final residency piece in Cook included a recipe for mackerel soused in ginger (beer and rhubarb). Love that idea.
After helping with the jar of tahini in your fridge last week, this Saturday Ottolenghi turned his attention to the pot of Za’atar in your spice rack. Check out the amaranth stuffed mushrooms with za’atar and pine nuts.
There were various Donna Hay meatball recipes in Saturday’s Times mag. Baked lamb and oregano number caught my eye.
And various recipes in The Telegraph from Brit chef in New York, April Bloomfield. Serve the fennel, blood orange and bottarga salad alongside a balsamic glazed roast duck, and you’d have a few happy diners.
Finally, I was intrigued by a Malaysian beef in turmeric and coconut milk in The Sunday Times magazine – tamarind paste, lemongrass, kafir lime leaves, plenty of birdseye chillies and various spices.
On the internet
An interesting Caribbean pumpkin slaw on Munchies. Saffron, sherry vinegar, confit garlic, roast peppers, Scotch bonnet purée, parmesan and cured ham – there’s loads going on.
Also, Shu Han’s tossed salmon salad with a plum sauce looks like a fresh start to the year of the monkey.
As mentioned above, I half-inched Anna Jones’ walnut miso for a soba noodle (not udon) lunch. Perked it up no end. She used brown genmai miso paste, I went half genmai, half red akamiso; which made for a sweet but still robust paste. Will do again.
Weekend Menu, 6 and 7 February 2016
Ginger and rhubarb soused and flamed mackerel
Nicholas Balfe, The Guardian ‘Cook’
Black pudding ragu and parmesan polenta
Thomasina Miers, The Guardian
Blood orange tart
Florence Knight, The Sunday Times ‘The Dish’
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