Weekend by Matt Tebbutt

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Weekend by Matt Tebbutt

WEEKEND by Matt Tebbutt (Quadrille, £22), Photography ©Chris Terry

Weekends sound like great fun at Matt Tebbutt’s house. The Saturday Kitchen presenter and graduate of Leiths’ three-term Diploma in Food and Wine has perfected the art of kicking back and has even written a book on the subject.

Weekend, subtitled ‘Eating at Home: From Long Lazy Lunches to Fast Family Fixes’, takes us from that first glass of wine after work on a Friday right through to supper with the family on Sunday before the back-to-school blues kick in on Monday.

Matt likes his weekends to be ‘a rolling conveyor belt of great food, one meal gliding into the next’. His aim is to share the excitement he feels about a weekend of cooking for friends and family with others. As he says, “at weekends, there’s time and scope to try new things.”

There are new things aplenty throughout Weekend. Matt’s career has taken him all over the world and his recipes reflect that. Italian and Thai influences aren’t so unusual but Matt’s picks from less heralded culinary destinations such as South Africa and Austria are a real point of difference. Friday night suppers of Durban Bunny Chow, a South African curry served in a hollowed out loaf of bread, or Alpine stuffed-bread with cabbage, cheese and sausage would certainly start the weekend in style. And as for his biltong, rosy-hued and perfect, one might almost be tempted to invest in the purpose-made dryer he recommends (the alternative, involving three days, a wooden clothes horse and an electric fan, sounds like a Project.)

Matt doesn’t generally cut corners (he is Leiths-trained after all) but that doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of easily achievable recipes among the more aspirational. It doesn’t get much simpler than warm apricot breakfast buns made with apricot jam, almonds and a trusty packet of puff pastry, and his yeast-free quick flatbreads should become a brunch time standby. I’ll also be borrowing his idea for pepping up jarred mayo with fat, juices, and garlic from roasting chicken, and whipping up feta for blackened spring onions. As for his halloumi hack – you simmer the cheese in its pack for twenty minutes to warm it through – I’ll never look back.

Among the other recipes I’ve earmarked are roasted carrots with sticky sherry dressing and Manchego cheese; ricotta pancakes with blackberries; fat brioche buns with jumbo prawns and mango salsa; and pretty much the entire pudding chapter. Matt’s a child of the ‘70s and his taste is fabulously retro. Who could resist cassata with glacé cherries, no-churn Camp coffee ice cream, and orange and Campari granita served in hollowed oranges?

Credit also to photographer Chris Terry and Matt’s co-stylist, home economist Michaele Bowles, who’ve made every single dish look so wonderfully enticing.

WEEKEND by Matt Tebbutt (Quadrille, £22), Photography ©Chris Terry

Author: Hilary Armstrong

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