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This week's seasonal recommendation

 

What to cook this week?

Sun, 22 October, 2017

Is it just me or is it every day you check the news something horrible has happened somewhere? If it's not a terrorist atrocity, it’s a madman with a gun; if not a hurricane, it’s floods; Catalonia and Brexit; Kim Jong-un playing with the nuke button and Donald Trump’s gutter-presidency; Isis and Putin – and now Grape, the Japanese celebrity penguin has died.

No wonder we shut down the browser and shuffle to the kitchen – or out of the office to the café down the block – in search of a reassuring biscuit. Comfort food is going to be big this season, I predict. It’s not lack of self-discipline when pounds pile on – it’s the depressing world news and Storm Brian.

What biscuit should we reach for this week? Let’s make a batch of crunchy biscuits to dunk in tea (do I dunk in coffee if I don’t drink tea? I’m a stranger to dunking – and tea) or more refined, a little more time-consuming but rewarding madeleines.

You could also bake the old fashioned apple cake one night – it’s possible to bake on a weeknight because it's what I call a bucket cake; throw everything in a bowl and mix a bit. And it’s got the best toffee flavoured frosting.

What about dinners this week? You could get hold of some venison haunch and cook steaks with red wine sauce; make sure not to overcook them: venison gets tough when not medium-rare. Or roast a load of beetroot with herbs and serve with a jacket potato – meatless and very autumnal. You can also cook a really large pot of French onion soup and serve bowls with cheesy toast floating on top – I can hardly imagine a better comfort dish.

Fish one night this week can be (always underappreciated) mackerel stuffed with samphire, also known as sea beans. And for dessert, or lunch, brunch, supper, side, just-because-you-fancy bake some pears with blue cheese – and keep warm until the storm has passed.

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