There has been a lot of simple without-a-recipe cooking this week, coinciding with a more concerted attempt to make proper meals for the little madam, as opposed to just assembling random bits on the fly. A roast chicken at the start of the week provided leftovers for two more meals, and the bones went into the freezer to make stock another day. It’s looking like it will be cold here this weekend, so I’m glad I’ve got some thick slices of beef shin in the fridge to braise slowly and shred into unctuous ragu.
Without a recipe:
- Slow-roast chicken, roast potatoes in the same pan, broccoli and cauliflower cheese
- Pasta with tomato sauce and chicken
- Fried rice with chicken and vegetables
- Sausages, potatoes and sweet potato, red onions roasted together
- Fish parcels with sea bream, leeks and potatoes
Reading this week:
- The Economist publishes an annual guide to the relative value of currencies, based on the price of a Big Mac around the world. They have coined the term ‘burgernomics’ for this exercise, and they’ve really gone to town with the food-based adjectives and puns in this year’s article.
- Food52 acknowledges something that should be more common – the ‘perfect’ version of a given dish is very subjective. So they give you a guide to creating your favourite brownie, whether your idea of perfect is fudgey, cakey or chewy.
- The Serious Eats Food Lab comes up regularly in these links, for their forensic approach to getting a dish right, and their interest in the nuts-and-bolts of food science. This article on recreating the perfect McDonald’s-style fries is a great example.
- It’s a common observation (and one that Eddie Izzard has views on) that pears are ripe for a frustratingly short window. When they’re good, they’re excellent – when bad, they can be tasteless, gritty, floury. The Awl takes apart the pear and how to make the best of it. It’s based on US varieties – I’ve never seen a Seckel pear here – but there is some overlap.
- How-to videos are one of the great assets of the internet, and great for teaching cooking techniques. Here is a simple video on the best way to de-seed and chop a pepper. For more on these sort of simple techniques, the NY Times has a series on basic techniques, and Poires au Chocolat has a good set on baking foundations.
- And some baking inspiration for the weekend (in addition to the marmalade cake above):