This feels like the week for a banana bake. Why? The days are starting to pull out, almost indiscernibly so far, but it makes us feel like something made with fresh fruit instead of all those raisins and cranberries, wonderful as they are. Sadly, fresh berries are still a long way off and although you can use frozen ones to make, say, this lovely mascarpone cake, the best we can get in terms of fresh fruit will be bananas. And why not? Banana cake is a classic, and a doddle, and everyone has their own, the one and only best and perfect loaf. Mine is of course the one and only too, and so easy to make it's silly.
Make a loaf, or make muffins if you prefer - Candice in the Sunday Times today suggests the same thing and I'm not afraid to present my recipe alongside hers (go and buy the paper to compare, whadidyathink?). Muffins, or even cupcakes if you fancy properly 'cakeyfying' the banana mix with frosting. And for those dead set on healthy stuff (and who still eat breakfast) - banana bran muffins, and delightful they are too.
Baking done, what to cook now this week? Apparently we don't eat enough fish which results in near-pandemic mental health deterioration. Fish it is then - and what's nicer than a fish pie, giving the warming comfort at the same time as providing those omega-3 fatty acids. Mine has sliced potatoes on top instead of mash, which means you can sprinkle cheese on top with impunity - it somehow goes better with sliced spuds.
And here's a novel way of cooking fish if you're bored with grilling fillets - poaching in butter or olive oil, and no, it doesn't make you feel like having eaten out a butter dish, I promise. And you can re-use the butter, maybe just not in a cake.
Red cabbage goes exceedingly well with fish and in my recipe it takes about 5 minutes to prepare - even less if you buy it ready-shreddy. Never have myself, but you can buy all sorts these days. And another wintry-but-healthy root vegetable salad to go with fish - remoulade, unfairly forgotten amidst all the spiralisation. I used to think it was a sauce, silly me, but it's basically shredded celeriac, apple, carrots, maybe even parsnips if you like - and my version has hardly any mayo in the dressing. Happy shredding!