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This week's seasonal recommendation

 

What to cook this week?

Sun, 22 April, 2018

Touch-free packaged chicken is being introduced by leading British supermarkets in order to assuage some customers’ omokotopoulophobia.

Don’t Google the interesting sounding disorder – I’ve made it up just now. Fear of raw chicken, sounding – naturally – scientific in my ad hoc Greek translation. What is it about? Apparently millennials are worried about handling raw chicken so Sainsbury's are devising ‘dump-and-go’ packaging: from bag to pan.

The news took my breath away and I’m still quite gasping so will enlarge on the subject (sure I will) on another occasion, because everything about it is so badly wrong I don’t know where to start. Extra packaging when others are banning cotton buds, being so removed from your food and its sources explains how kids believe cheese is a plant; and – finally – there are GLOVES if you have chicken anxiety issues. Really – let’s cook chicken this week and make sure we handle it properly when raw, to avoid dribbling over ready to eat foods, but HANDS ON!

Whole roast chicken is most people’s favourite and this is a rotisserie style suggestion, with potatoes roasting in chicken fat underneath. If you don’t fancy a whole roast but crispy skin sounds mucho appealing, chicken thighs under a skillet could be an option. Have them with sautéed new potatoes and you’ll get close to the rotisserie experience but with less hassle (though more washing up I must warn).

For a no-meat option, here’s mac leek n cheese. Or you could make my warm salad of goth potatoes with courgette. Purple Majesty variety is not a must, by all means any waxy potatoes can be used, just won’t look as striking.

I’m still waiting for my first taste of asparagus but if you’re already into the green shoots, here’s spicy stir-fried asparagus, refreshingly different; if I may call chilies ‘refreshing’. Or the indulgent, time-consuming but marvelous asparagus risotto with Parmesan crisps.

Monkfish with chorizo and mushrooms is a surprisingly good dish prepared surprisingly quickly. One-pan wonder bar a side green salad. The flavour matching there is pretty epic, and it’s worth trying even if you are not so hot about monkfish.

Are you having cake this week? You see I’m not as I’m on a calorie-counting adjustment programme (makes it easier if you call it anything but a diet) for a couple of weeks. If not for that, I might bake the cherry and marzipan cake. It’s got dried and glace cherries in it in anticipation of fresh seasonal fruit. Or a tarta de Santiago which is one of the authentic no-pain, huge-gain desserts. Although it shouldn’t be painless, as it’s the traditional treat that awaits the pilgrims to Santiago de Compostela who’d embarked on a 500 mile walk.The season of Camino de Santiago starts in May. Any takers?

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