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This week's seasonal recommendation

 

What to cook this week?

Sat, 29 August, 2020

Where has everybody gone? My street seems deserted and even the mighty noisy tractor driven by a cute three-year-old round and round the green patch has gone quiet. I hope they had not gone to Spain or Switzerland and are now quarantining behind closed shutters.

I’m envious – of course I am, it’s been so long I’m more and more impatient with all the precautions and being stuck at home but I guess there are much more people needing and deserving a break than me so I stay put. No kids, no family to travel to visit, a house and a bit outside to be stuck in – I’ll shut up then already.

Hopefully, the weather looks a bit better this week so I’ll be able to resume my day outings, the best part of which is the picnic of course! I’m going to bake a batch of traditional German pretzels because they are not only good with a stein of beer. I might also bake some bagels because the dough and the technique is not dissimilar, to be filled with beet cured salmon and cream cheese, wrapped tightly and relished at the top of Chiltern Hills. With a ginger snap cookie or two to follow.

For the weeknights at home, may I suggest bacon and cream pasta which is NOT carbonara but as nice and easy. You could try the Parmesan fish balls another night, and maybe do the crispy tomato rice to go with them. Or treat your lot to chicken Milanese with oven fries (so you fry the chicken, not the fries).

Maybe you’ll be lucky enough to get hold of fresh chanterelles and sauté them for the best lunch on earth? Or use them in the mushroom risotto, and don’t fail to make enough for arancini the next day.

I am going to test bake Dorie Greenspan’s Roman breakfast cake this week and will report in a new post soon – unless it turns out to be a fail. And you might want to make lemon and pistachio bars instead of a cake, or some sponge fingers to dip in blueberry-rippled cream cheese. That’s my tip for an outstanding dessert by the way: just fold and lightly squash fresh berries into a bowl of cream cheese; add some icing sugar – or not; crumble over some biscuits and you’re in heaven. Without the biscuits by the way it may double up as breakfast. Either way, have a happy and tasty week!

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