What to Cook This Week
Good morning. I love Gabrielle Hamilton’s recipes as much for their exacting determinancy as for their lyricism and deliciousness. They have in some cases altered my understanding of a dish: what I like about it, what matters in its preparation. Take as an example her steak tartare (above). She serves it on buttered pumpernickel bread that’s been slathered with mustard and Vegemite, and tops it with a salad of watercress, red onion, celery leaves, parsley and capers. It’s just outrageously good — a steak tartare that’s at once familiar and brand-new. Give it a try today, with a raw egg or a Microplaned cooked one, and see what you think.
But don’t just make steak tartare. Sundays, if you’re not otherwise working, are sublime for prepping food for the week to come: a marvelous granola with which to greet your mornings; a West Indian lamb curry for a night you’re too tired to cook; giant crinkled chocolate chip cookies for the same.
Asparagus is just starting to show in the markets I haunt, and on Monday I’m thinking I could use some to make this asparagus, goat cheese and tarragon tart.
On Tuesday, I’m thinking smoky fish chowder. Or non-smoky seafood chowder. Or chowder-soaked toast.
Two choices for Wednesday: these sheet-pan pierogies with brussels sprouts and kimchi or crispy pork chops with buttered radishes. Can’t really lose either way.
Two choices, too, on Thursday. I’d like to make a creamed greens potpie. But if I can’t with the puff pastry in the middle of the week, I’ll downshift into buying a heat-lamp chicken at the market and use it for this rotisserie chicken salad with greens and herbs instead.
And then on Friday, to round out the week, I’ll suggest chicken Vesuvio if you had the creamed greens the night before, and cauliflower Parm if you went with the salad.
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Now, it’s nothing to do with crème fraîche or frozen strawberries, but I think you should read “Hotline Girl,” a short story that’s part of Te-Ping Chen’s new collection, “Land of Big Numbers.”
You should also read this fascinating accounting of the fall and potential rebirth of the American chestnut tree, by Kate Morgan in Sierra magazine.
Embrace the darkness. Here’s Julien Baker, “Hardline,” from her new album, “Little Oblivions.”
Rusty Foster brought his Today in Tabs newsletter back recently, on Substack, and it’s a good cheat sheet to each day’s internet shenanigans. Subscribe if you live the tab life.
Finally, our Kim Severson looked into the cookbook market to see what our purchases can tell us about who we are now as home cooks, a year into the pandemic. It’s a fascinating read. I’ll be back on Monday.
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