For me, one of the best things about going on holiday is the inspiration it brings to the food you prepare and eat. Having spent some time in France back in September, I picked up one or two good ideas for French countryside fare. Green lentils have long been a staple ingredient in rustic French cuisine. And you can see why; a few special additions transform what is an otherwise basic ingredient into a rich and delicious French Green Lentil Stew.
Beef rendang is a rich curry of Indonesian origin, primarily flavoured using coconut milk, kerisik (browned coconut) and lemongrass. Usually made using cubed stewing beef, this recipe for Ox Cheek Rendang runs with the dish’s intensely flavourful credentials, making use of what is arguably the finest cut of meat for slow-cooking.
Cake isn’t something I often bake. Usually, my preferred treat is a gooey flapjack or batch of crunchy biscuits. But sometimes an idea comes along that is so devastatingly tempting that it’s impossible to resist. Chocolate Treacle Cake is just such an idea. The thought of viscous black treacle in league with bitter chocolate, sweetened using an unrefined brown sugar proving too much to contain. If you’ve never baked with treacle, this autumn is the time to start.
My grocer, just down the road, has become inundated with squashes of all shapes and sizes, just waiting to be devoured. Orange, yellow and green, their vivid colours signify the season in which they are most fruitful (if you’ll pardon the pun). The large chunks of sliced fruit atop this Squash and Feta Puff Tart could scarcely be more reminiscent of autumn; their vibrancy almost atoning for shortened evenings and colder weather. Almost.
Is there anything more attractive than a fig perched in a nest of sweet pears and buttery crumble? Of course not. These individual Fig and Pear Crumbles are a great way to impress family members and dinner guests alike at this time of the year. But be quick; fig season is almost over and they’re nigh impossible to get your hands on at a reasonable price once winter hits.