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France and late summer and early autumn recipes
18 September 2023
Welcome to new readers. Old subscribers might have noticed that I’ve changed the order around to put recipes and books at the top and restaurants and travel further down. This is due to extensive market research; known as asking a few friends which bits they like best. And there’s going to be less travel going forward, because of time constraints, thinking about sustainability and if you wanted to walk in the Elbe Sandstone mountains, then maybe you would look at a walking holidays website. And I’m not going to cycle through Sweden either Ireland either; my limits being the flat route from Wadebridge to Padstow with the thought of a Cornish pasty before going back.
I want to keep this real so I don’t fiddle around or take a long time doing the photos. I use my phone and not my camera. I serve up the food, put it on the kitchen table or on the table in the garden and take a few snaps. And then we eat it straightaway.
I made the coppa, fig and gorgonzola tart from Nigel Slater’s column in the Observer last week with some frisée leaves on the side all on one sheet of bought butter puff pastry and I didn’t need double the filling as he suggests. Two balls of mozzarella, 200g of dolcelatte and some crème fraîche sufficed.
Is it late summer or early autumn? I am currently on a train to a writing retreat and I didn’t know what to pack. I always hold out that summer finishes at the end of September when we weren’t allowed to wear our candy striped dresses to school any more. It seems that the recipe writers can’t decide either.
Citrus chicken with sumac, onion, basil and grapefruit salad by Eleanor Steafel in the Telegraph, a chicken traybake which she served with couscous and a bowl of seasoned yoghurt with more sumac stirred through it and a dab of harissa each, but says it would also be lovely with some sort of potato or some flatbreads.
In the latest of the Guardian special issues on the cuisine of different countries, this week, we are in Spain. So many recipes from which to create a Spanish meal including Ottolenghi with Patatas bravas with grated tomato and cumin, prawn tortillitas with dipping vinegar and chorizo, cider and chickpea stew with ajillo,
José Pizarro’s late summer feast with artichoke rice, spiced spatchcocked chicken with courgettes and roast figs with rosemary, PX and no-churn ice-cream
Nieves Barragan with her lamb skewers, mushroom tortillas and a Spanish veg stew, pisto with sultanas, pine nuts and fried eggs topped with a crisp fried eggs and Quique Dacosta’s recipe for chicken paella
Three desserts using stone fruit by Diana Henry in the Telegraph made with the last of the summer’s fruits, peaches, plums and nectarines. They are late-summer pudding with damson gin made with plums, blackberries and raspberries, a one bowl peach and olive cake which is gluten free, and nectarine and elderflower ice cream which doesn’t need an ice cream maker. Clodagh McKenna’s late summer recipes in the Sunday Times for roasted tomato, white bean and prawn stew; corn chowder with smoked haddock and crispy bacon; and roast butternut squash, blue cheese and saffron pappardelle.
Nigel Slater’s autumn inspired recipes with tahini cream cheese slices and roasted figs, roast tomato and chilli sauce with thick noodles, baked mushrooms and a crème caramel with raspberry sauce in Observer Food Monthly and in his normal place with braised aubergines and courgettes with preserved lemon and basil, (pictured above and deep-fried mushrooms with sesame sauce. The aubergines and courgettes are good at room temperature too, he says and I concur as I’m just abouit to eat some for my lunch on the this train.
Georgina Hayden’s autumn recipes also in Observer Food Monthly ‘welcoming the inevitable change in rhythm and energy that September brings.’ are also in with leek and kimchi soup with blue cheese croutons, chicken legs, plums and marsala, runner beans, preserved lemon and feta, roasted squash with tahini and chilli crisp and almond and blackberry tosca cake
A Honey & Co challah special in the FT with a recipe for the basic challah dough, and then three variations of bread, a classic tear-and-share loaf with spicy tomato matbucha bread fig and marzipan buns and a pistachio pesto and pecorino savoury babka.
I made the classic tear-and-share loaf with a space for dipping sauce and served it with Honey and Co muhamra, and olives, hummus, labneh with chives and olives. It’s a bit dark on the top as I realised I had the grill on instead of the oven for the first ten minutes but this newsletter is nothing if not real.
River Cottage Great Roasts by Gelf Anderson
in the Telegraph with recipes for pot-roast brisket with beer, orange and star anise recipe, roast beetroot with blackcurrants, feta and chilli, roast blackberry compote with sunflower seed cream and spicy roast squash, onions and butter beans.\ I am the one person in the UK who doesn’t like a traditional Sunday roast dinner, the big pieces of beef, the Yorkshire pudding and all the brassicas that go with. So I didn’t think I would like the sound of this book. But the philosophy of putting a meal in the oven (or even maybe an air fryer) sounds good.
Madhur Jaffrey’s Indian cooking by Madhur Jaffrey
the fortieth anniversary edition of the book, with an interview here and and recipes for with serving suggestions of how to put the dishes together with other ones from the book, baigan borani, (aubergine slices in two sauces, a tomato sauce and a seasoned yoghurt sauce,) bhuni gobi, browned, spiced cauliflower and tomato rice
Mob 6- tasty 6 ingredient meals by Mob Kitchen
with recipes in the Times from their team of cooks including chicken, ’nduja and sourdough, and plum and almond cake.
In the FT, Tim Hayward visited Merkato in London N1, an Ethiopian restaurant near Kings Cross station with a chef friend and said, ‘The best ones know much more fascinating places, where nobody knows or cares who the hell you are and the food doesn’t necessarily come on curated china.’
In the Guardian, Grace Dent was in Edinburgh at Cadiz and said ‘the dining room is elegant and there are a few successes on the menu, but in aiming to serve Scottish seafood in a Spanish way, Cadiz somehow seems to have lost sight of Spain’ but thought its sister restaurant, ‘cheap and cheerful Cafe Andaluz’ would have been much better
In the Observer, Jay Rayner went to Manchester to the Edinburgh Castle and pronounced it had ‘solid and sustaining food.’
In the Standard, Jimi Famurewa was in Fazenda, a steak house in Bishopsgate, London EC2, a chain which he says is a cross ‘ between a Harvester and a branch of Gaucho. ‘For better or worse, that pretty accurately describes the charms and challenges of eating here.’
In the Telegraph, William Sitwell reviews Story Cellar, London in London WC2 the third restaurant by chef Tom Sellers. He says ‘it’s cosy upmarket dining, … a lunch of great confidence, served with grace and courtesy.’
In the Times, Giles Coren was at the Portrait Restaurant on top of the National Portrait Gallery in London and said ‘Wow’ at the view and ‘its just so great.’
Walking the west Cornwall coast from St Ives to the Badger pub in the footsteps of Virginia Woolf in the Guardian.
My perfect weekend in Paris in the FT by the Le Collectionist’s Max Aniort, a city guide to Bordeaux in the Times and best chateaux in the Loire and Menton on the Côte d’Azur in the Independent for its rugby, its restaurants and its lemons.
The Guardian recommend La Ciotat near Marseille a less frenetic than neighbouring Marseille, this beautiful coastal resort quietly celebrates its pioneering heritage in shipbuilding, cinematography and … pétanque