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This week's seasonal recommendation

 

What to cook this week?

Sun, 9 December, 2018

I wonder how many people obsess about food as much as I do. Almost as if I had an eating disorder – which I don’t; eating and thinking about eating when not eating is Perfectly Healthy. I think.

I sometimes realise that all my waking life revolves about food; and it does also feature occasionally in my dreams. Planning food, researching, testing and cooking; eating is kind of incidental. Still, it’s a miracle I don’t weigh 20 stone.

Panettone is my most recent obsession – and it’s a serious one as baking proper, traditional panettone is a huge project; see for yourself. I have recently had a massive baking session which resulted in 5 large panettoni I meant to give away to friends, but I seriously waver now. They are just TOO good. Stollen research will follow this week I think.

But now I’ll shut up about Christmas as there are considerable numbers of people not interested in the slightest in the holidays or festivities. Potato traybake is one dish you should try this week: it can be tailor-made depending on your meat or no meat preference. My example is a chorizo, potato and cauliflower bake but do skip the sausage if you like.

A completely vegetarian suggestion is a Greek spinach pie, spanakopita, and it only sounds like hard work – it isn’t. Since we’re into pies: chicken and mushroom, how about that? Or you could make a fish pie, no fuss with pastry and just sliced potatoes as a topping.

A good salad needs to sidle up to a good pie – remoulade is basically grated celeriac (and carrots) with mayo or lighter dressing like in my recipe and it’s an unfairly forgotten one. Fits into season too using root vegetables. Or make the fennel and orange salad – tip: swap orange for pear or grapes with a good squeeze of lemon.

A fish dish this week could be super healthy and inexpensive baked sardines; look for ready-filleted if you can as sardines are pesky to fillet. Or make pan fried fish with larger fillets: bass or bream, brill or turbot, snapper or hake can be cooked that way and served with creamed or buttered spinach.

Next week there will be no escape from Christmas recipes, but you can have a browse already through my Christmas Collection. Subscribe to the newsletter, keep warm and get that Christmas shopping done early this year!

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