What to cook this week
Hello. Sundays were great cooking days for me, before the pandemic arrived. I loved cooking big meals and serving them early, to whoever wanted to come, to anyone who was hungry, thirsty for connection or needed the meal. I liked the idea of feeding family and friends, the occasional stranger. I liked what the meals brought to those who attended. And I liked the regularity of the diet as much as the food itself. It was kind of a weekly service, something to look forward to, for me and for others. (With impeccable timing, I wrote a book about all of this that came out … just before lockdowns started.)
I wonder if these meals will start again, when it is again safe to gather in large groups inside. I hope. I’m going to start spinning some, outside in a park or garden, somewhere with lots of air and comfortable places to sit. I don’t yet know how much people appreciate common food jars: those tubs of chili or bog that I used to throw away, accompanied by bowls of rice.
But I know not many people would quibble with a double batch of Tejal Rao Fried Chicken Cookies with Hot Honey Butter (above), wrapped in wax paper and handed out with cold beers or plastic cups filled with three herb iced tea. Would a room temperature version of the Superiority Burger Crispy Fried Tofu Sandwich be right for my non-carnivorous friends? You might give me some information! How about blueberry pie bars for dessert? Preparing this meal today for friends would be an asset.
On Monday, back on your own or with your pod, take a look at Hetty McKinnon’s new tofu larb recipe. Larb is a Laotian dish, popular in Thailand and more and more around the world, made with minced meat, sometimes with fish. This vegan preparation provides extra-firm tofu, which requires minimal cooking and absorbs the spicy lime dressing. Even with the DIY toasted rice powder the recipe calls for – it’s essential to the deliciousness of the dish – it all comes together in about 30 minutes. It is the best kind of cooking during the week.
For Tuesday’s meal, consider Hana Asbrink’s new chilled sesame snow pea salad, with a tangy dressing inspired by Japanese goma dressing. It clings to chicken and peas and offers both richness and freshness.
Wednesday meal, if you can find wild salmon: everyday salmon with tangy cucumbers and fried shallots. If you can’t: roast fish with ginger, green onions and soy.
Thursday night I would like to have kimchijeon, Korean kimchi pancakes. (Or vegetable pajeon. Or squid pajeon. Everything pajeon.)
And then Friday, to end the week, I think of the sausage and parsley risotto, followed by a binge-watching of “Collateral” on Netflix.
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Now this has nothing to do with the breast of lamb or the taste of the cicadas, but I think you’ll enjoy this New York documentary about a Spaniard who was destined to become a bullfighter but instead became a dancer of flamenco drag.
See what you think of Meilan Solly in Smithsonian Magazine, on “The Enduring Nostalgia of American Girl Dolls”.
I became a fan of The T List, which features five recommendations per week from the editors of T Magazine. You can sign up to receive it in your inbox here.
Finally, a lot of guitar energy to get you to make these chicken cookies: live Deborah Coleman, “The Dream”. Listen to this and I’ll be back on Monday.