Good Food Magazine - October Edition

There are some exciting and inspiring recipes in the October edition of the Good Food magazine, many of them 'winter warmers' to savour on those colder October nights. The cover dish of Pork stew with corn dumplings caught my eye, as did the Shepherd's pie with lamb's liver- a nice take on an old favourite. I'm a liver lover and so the three pages of dishes using this traditional cheap meat were particularly appealing to me. Similarly, 'Budget Suppers' directed at student eating, gives some attractive cheap shopping tips like 'shopping around' and 'BOGOFs', as well as great dishes - Frying pan pizza bianco with mushrooms and egg (below), Scillian-style tuna lasagne and Jumbo sausage roll with salsa beans.

For the many 'Bake-Off' fans, Good Food devotes three pages to taking readers backstage at the popular TV show, interviewing producers and  advisers and outlining a typical day in the tent. The presenters also give their take on what it takes to be a star baker. Surprisingly, I'm not an avid watcher of the baking show, but I was amazed to read that the contestants don't do their own washing-up. Apparently, 'lovely Iva' does all the clearing and washing-up using the tent's two sinks. A dishwasher (a machine that is) would be too noisy and take longer, the producer says.

Chillies get a feature this month and 'The heat is on' shows us some lively ways to use a range of these 'hot babies' in our cooking, including a dessert of Espresso, chocolate and chilli cake with coffee cream. Cauliflower and tomato curry looks a winner - the green chillies sparking up the vegetarian curry and ready in 40 minutes. Similarly, I found the Chilli jam ploughman's a delight. We have plenty of home-made chilli jam in a our store cupboard, so with a firm  goats cheese or a sharp cheddar and fresh crusty bread, I'm heading for a ploughman's lunch this weekend.

'Food lovers weekend' takes us to Truro in Cornwall (below) and offers some useful suggestions on exploring the Cornish larder and trying artisan bakers, cheese makers and the farmer's market. With The Great Cornish Food Festival on the horizon for 26 September, it seems that now is the time to travel  to the South West. A two course meal at Tabb's in Truro is only £19.50 and local fish dishes like John Dory with slow braised squid, can be sampled at No4 Peterville for only £16.

My wife is teaching GSE Cookery for the first time this year and Good Food highlights the cookery curriculum that is to return to our schools, with a two page investigatory feature. It seems that it will be about 'actual cooking' as oppose to just reading the ingredients on food packaging, which was the practice in food technology. In addition, the feature also focuses attention on the free school meal agenda for younger pupils, one of the few Liberal Democrat's policies to get government support. Sadly many hundreds of  primary schools and 150 secondary schools don't have cooking facilities. Despite this, we are told that Key Stage 3 pupils of age 11-14 will be able to cook a repertoire of predominantly savoury dishes. Let's hope so!

The 'Weekend' pages, this month, offer readers a Tuscan dinner party, which from my recent experience in Tuscany this summer, is pretty authentic (Lamb main, below). I had the featured Torta del Nonna in a little restaurant recently near Volterra, but they used hazelnuts rather than the pine nuts in Theo Randell's recipe. A delightful dessert! 'One pot wonders' make up more weekend pages and Tom Kerridge shows us how to cook roast pork, as if we needed it! However, the best bit of 'Weekend'  is the Vegetarian special where Greek -Cypriot chef, Maria Ella produces a tantalising Aubergine, tomato and feta baklava. I can't say the same about Lorraine Pascale's 'special meal' of Lamb lollipops and Yoghurt and vanilla panna cotta. Antony Worrall Thompson once told me Lorraine could not cook, and judging by these dishes , I agree.

In contrast, I found James Martin's brunch very inspiring. Producing an exciting and very different  breakfast can be a real challenge, but Martin makes some great suggestions like Soft-boiled eggs with chorizo soldiers and Hash brown with Gruyere and pancetta (below). He really has excelled himself this month and so does Mary Berry in her 4 page Cook School. Towards the end of this edition, John Whaite, a former Bake-Off winner, presents his contemporary kitchen, cooks a Spiced pear Tatin and promotes his new book - a star is born!


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