Good Food Magazine - September Edition
If you are at the airport looking for one magazine to take with you on holiday, then look no further than September's edition of Good Food Magazine. It's packed with inspiring recipes and mouth watering dishes that you will want to cook on holiday or when you return home. What a change from the usual selection of re-assembled recipes we normally get. I found this edition packed with a wide selection of new and challenging ideas for summer cooking, preserving and storing. I was hitched straight from the first page with the Editor's promise of some inspiring ways to use those free hedgerow blackberries that I normally pack into the freezer at this time of year, ready for jam making for the church fete. And I was far from disappointed in finding page upon page of blackberry use - Blackberry and apple frozen yoghurt cake (cover photo), Rustic harvest fruit tart (below), Blackberry, beetroot & goats cheese salad, Cupcakes with blackberry frosting and Hedgerow ketchup, to name but a few.
Likewise, the 'In Season' section has some lovely ways to use figs, (a particular cooking favourite of mine) and plums. The hints on choosing the right British Plum and even how to pick blackberries gives inspiration to the amateur cook and there are loads of delightful dishes to try. If you're a sweetcorn lover then two recipes that caught my eye were the Smoked haddock & corn hash (below) and the Roast Chicken with sweetcorn. Ironically in the same pages, Good Food asks the question, ''Where have all our seasons gone?'' and suggests that being able to buy summer produce all year long could compromise our desire for authentic quality produce. I'd rather wait a few weeks longer for flavoursome outdoor grown English asparagus than settle for an earlier variety grown under plastic.
'Food lover's weekend', in this edition, features one of my nearby shopping haunts, Cheltenham (below). This beautiful Cotswold town with its Regency architecture, has lots to offer the 'real foodie' from great little bistros to yummy deli's. The Montpellier part is where visitors should head for the finest restaurants and up-market shops, but I would avoid the popular Literary Festival in early October if you want to secure a room in a good hotel or a table for lunch. However, Clare Hargreaves of Good Food recommends some outstanding places to eat.
For most people, making bread is a special project, but not in our house, where Saturdays are kneading and baking days, so we have enough home-made bread to see us through the week. My particular favourite is our walnut and olive bread but the tomato bread comes a close second. But if you want to join the growing number baking loaves more regularly, then Good Food shows you how to fit it into your weekly routine, through the words and inspiration of six home bakers. In addition, there is a simple recipe for a Seed & grain cottage loaf, if you want to get started. Once you've tasted it, there will be no stopping you! Just remember to use a good strong white bread flour. We use Carrs Canadian bread flour and available from Sainsbury's.
Mentioning flour, takes me to this month's 'Make it Healthier' feature. Angela Nilsen gives the pizza a makeover and while it all looks great and the recipe is generally sound, there is one small detail she overlooks. The best pizzas are made using '00' flour as oppose to simply 'strong white flour'. The latter does not have the elasticity of '00' flour and causes the dough to 'spring back' when rolling out. '00' flour, the traditional Italian flour and available from Sainsbury's, has the 'stretch' that you need for a great pizza base. A healthy pizza can also make up a healthy packed lunch and Good Food offers readers a parents' guide to getting your kids lunch just right. Maisie's dad with her brother, Jack, share some ideas for the lunch box and they do look tasty and appetising in the photos. Presentation is the key though, as making a Chicken pesto wrap or Pea houmous with pitta bread appealing to youngsters, is far from easy. Nevertheless, a good try folks!
As readers might expect from an edition appearing in August, despite its September billing, eating outside features prominently with 'Sunday lunch in the garden' and a 'Posh picnic for two' being the best. The latter is a mouth watering feast of flavours to fill the picnic rug, impress passers-by and ideal for the Proms In the Park or the Henley Regatta. I loved the Zingy blackberry lemonade recipe, the walnut scones and the Poached salmon with courgette salad. As for the Sunday lunch menu, the White chocolate and cardamom tart with raspberry dust (below) is an idyllic end to an outdoor meal.
Chef Tom Kerridge appears everywhere these days and he pops up in Good Food this month, joined by Anjum Anand. They contribute to the 'Weekend' section, with Anjum offering a host of sumptuous Indian summer dishes for us to try. Tom meanwhile, shares his Fish stew recipe in a series of step by step stages and photos, from choosing the fish to roasting the garlic. I'm not a great Kerridge fan but it looks as if he will be featuring regularly in future editions, as next month he is into Roast pork. He clearly likes his stews and roasts and wants us to!
Finally, I cannot end this very positive review of this month's magazine without mentioning some cute Apple crumble cakes from Bake-Offs Frances Quinn, a great 'Vegetarian special' feature and some delightful dishes under the Healthy Eating banner. James Martin shows readers how to make an impressive French dessert and there are some entertaining snippets on using coconut in your cooking. As for the final pages on Raymond Blanc's kitchen gardens at Le Manoir in Oxfordshire (below) - no wonder he has such a great patch, with rooms at £1,000 per night he can afford to employ a 'barrowful' of gardeners!