Something for the weekend
Whether it’s Saturday brunch or Sunday lunch, Catherine Hill’s new book has the recipe for success.
What will you be doing next weekend? Chances are, cooking will form part of the general plan – in which case, Catherine Hill’s new book could be invaluable. Catherine, a food stylist and writer, wrote The Weekend Cookbook ‘with a weekend away in mind’. But, she says, ‘It is equally useful as a cookbook for recipes to be enjoyed at home when friends and family come to stay.’
Those who are bound to churn out food on a daily basis, regardless of whether it’s a Friday, Sunday or Wednesday, might balk at the idea that weekend catering needs special kinds of dishes. But the truth is that we do tend to eat differently at the weekend – and Catherine’s book offers plenty of innovative ideas on the subject, plus some helpful advice.
‘There’s no point in going to town on a Friday evening,’ she says. ‘Friday night is all about tak ing it easy. Saturday night is the time for getting a bit clever in the kitchen… doing something a bit posher or trickier.’
Her book is divided into six sections: Friday night easy, breakfasts and brunch, easy lunches, Saturdaynight special, Sunday lunch, and puddings. Easy lunches – ‘pretty much all one-bowl or one-plate a airs that are highly transportable’ – include mussels in coconut broth, summer salad with Parma ham, and hot chicken doorstep. Assume an outdoorsy kind of vibe. Sunday lunch, on the other hand, is all about food that will take care of itself while you go out for a long walk to the pub. Perfect.
Hill has included plenty of handy tips and hints on weekend entertaining, especially if that weekend involves a trip away. Halloumi, she says, is the perfect travelling cheese, while ready-made pasta sauces make a great pizza topping. She even has a scales-free recipe for Yorkshire pudding, using ‘yogurt pots as a measure for the our’. The two recipes below give a avour of Catherine’s weekend style.
The Weekend Cookbook by Catherine Hill (Penguin/ Michael Joseph, £18.99)
HORSERADISH- AND SUGAR-CRUSTED BEEF
Simple beyond belief, but the combination of fi ery horseradish and sweet soft brown sugar is a hit.
Ready in 1 hour 40 minutes, plus resting
- 3 tbsp grated hot horseradish from a jar
- 2 tbsp soft brown sugar
- 1kg piece of topside
Preheat the oven to 220C/200C fan/ gas 7. Combine the horseradish and sugar in a bowl, then slather all over the beef. Season with pepper and then roast for 20 minutes.
Reduce the oven to 190C/170C fan/gas 5, then roast for 25 minutes per 450g, plus 25 minutes. Allow to stand for 20 minutes before carving.
Always let joints of meat sit at room temperature for an hour or so before roasting – that way, they won’t be really chilly in the centre as they hit the heat of the oven.
If you can, cook the meat directly on the oven shelf with a roasting tin positioned underneath to catch any of the juices. It gives a fantastic, allround colour and flavour to the joint.
PEAR AND VANILLA TARTE TATIN (pictured top)
A very simple but truly stunning pudding that needs nothing more than a scoop of ice cream or a spoonful of cool crème fraîche.
Ready in 45 minutes
- 75g butter, chopped
- 75g caster sugar
- 6 Williams pears, peeled and cored
- 1 vanilla pod, split
- 350g ready-made, ready-rolled shortcrust pastry
Preheat the oven to 200C/180C fan/ gas 6. Dot the butter over the base of a 25cm ovenproof frying pan and sprinkle the sugar over the top. Cut the pears into thick wedges and arrange on top of the sugar, nudging the vanilla pod in between. Gently heat the butter and sugar over a low heat. After about 10 minutes the butter and the sugar should be nicely liquid.
Turn up the heat a little and cook for 15 minutes or until lovely and caramelised – shake the pan every now and then. Remove from the heat. Cut a 25cm circle out of the pastry and carefully place on top of the pears. Tuck the edges down the side of the pears to encase them completely. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes or until golden. Very carefully turn out on to a serving plate and serve hot with ice cream or crème fraîche.TIPS
If you fancy a more traditional Tatin, try using crisp eating apples instead of pears. Around 8 peeled and cored Cox’s should do it.
If you want to make a truly fabulous tarte Tatin, there’s no getting away from it – you’ve got to be brave and cook the buttery mixture until it is really well caramelised. And don’t take your eyes off it as it can burn in the blink of an eye!
Daily tip from the lady archive
"DEEPLY-ROOTED is the idea that men are indifferent to dress, while the ladies, God bless them, think of nothing else"The Lady, With Prejudice, 8th January, 1942