Good morning. Nowruz, the Persian New Year, is tomorrow, and, if the feasting and exchanging of presents will be muted this year because of the pandemic, we’ve still got loads of recipes appropriate to the holiday. Take a look at Samin Nosrat’s khoresh-e fesenjoon, for instance, a Persian chicken stew with pomegranate molasses and walnuts (above). You could serve that with sabzi polo, herbed rice with tahdig, and salad-e shirazi, a salad of cucumber, tomatoes and onion. That would be a very nice meal. (And it would yield tremendous leftovers, too.)
Passover, meanwhile, doesn’t start until the 27th, but my inbox is already filling with requests for recipes to use for the smaller gatherings required by this pandemic year.
Susan Spungen to the rescue! She’s got an ace lineup prepared, recipes you could bookmark for later or make right away, in a kind of practice round. (I find that making a dish for the first time for a holiday is a recipe for … stress.) Take a look at her chicken with apricots, green olives and shallots. She has a marvelous whole roasted cauliflower with pistachio-cilantro pesto. Here’s a lovely matzo brei frittata. And some sweet potatoes with tsimmes glaze. Coconut macaroons with chocolate for dessert? Yes, please.
Not that Joan Nathan has been slacking. For the holiday this year, she checked in on a particular Passover dish and spoke to its preparation across different branches of one family: saffron fish with red peppers. You could make that on Saturday night!
All of our Passover recipes are here. If they’re of limited interest, that’s cool: We’ve got a big tent. You could make Yotam Ottolenghi’s new recipe for cheesy baked polenta in tomato sauce instead. Or my old no-recipe recipe for New Mexican Hot Dish. Hey, this could be your weekend for shrimp burgers.
There are thousands and thousands more recipes like that waiting for you on NYT Cooking. Go take a look and see what you find. Save the recipes you like and rate the ones you’ve made. You can leave notes on them, too, if you’ve come up with a hack or substitution you’d like to remember or share.
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Now, it’s a long walk from stand mixers and sheet pans, but I’ve been spending a lot of virtual time in Limburg, a Belgian province that borders the Netherlands, watching “Undercover,” a Dutch-language crime series on Netflix. It’s not great, but the scenery’s pretty and I like hearing Dutch.
Late to it, but Carl Hiaasen’s farewell column in the Miami Herald is, like all his work, worth savoring.
You should spend some time with Julia Moskin’s amazing Times article about a year in the life of the restaurants and food businesses along a stretch of Cortelyou Road in the Ditmas Park neighborhood of Brooklyn, where the pandemic brought hardship and opportunity in different measures.
Finally, do read Christopher Ketcham’s stinging indictment of the National Park Service, “The Business of Scenery,” in Harper’s. “If you love a place,” a retired ranger tells him, “don’t make it a national park.” I’ll see you on Sunday.
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