What to Cook This Weekend
Roasted fish with tamarind, Thai pineapple fried rice and more recipes.
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By Sam Sifton
Good morning. The weather’s mild and the ground spongy where I stay these days, and if the trees aren’t budding, there’s still a faint springlike balm in the air. It’s fool’s gold, perhaps, the weathered mica of hope. March could yet bring some corker storms and real snow. So this weekend, I’ll be cooking shoulder-season food: recipes to welcome where we’re going, and others to acknowledge where we are.
To start, a Friday night Lenten feast: Yewande Komolafe’s new recipe for roasted fish and broccolini with tamarind and black pepper (above). It’s a one-pan meal with a tamarind-coconut-milk sauce that’s caramel-rich and pleasantly tart. (Alternatively: spicy, slow-roasted salmon with cucumbers and feta. Or herb-marinated swordfish?)
On Saturday, you could make braised pork with prunes and oranges, a version of the French classic porc aux pruneaux, in which the prunes are soaked in tawny port. Don’t have any tawny port and don’t desire to acquire any? That’s fine: We use a more economical combination of brown sugar and vinegar in our recipe, which takes its body from a fast microwave roux. (You can also make the pork in a slow cooker.) You won’t be eating that in May!
And while that stew is burbling away all afternoon? How about baking an apple pie for dessert or, more ambitiously, this righteous coconut layer cake?
You could make a vegetarian mushroom Wellington, or amazing fried tofu sandwiches in the style of Superiority Burger in New York. Baked rice with white beans, leeks and lemon? Soupe au pistou? Can’t lose.
And then on Sunday? Cook’s choice. Anna Francese Gass gave us a lovely new recipe for beef braciole, a Calabrian version with pancetta and Parmesan rolled up in the meat, that would go very well with pasta and a Lucali salad.
Or, if you’ve listened to me enough over the years and you have a big tub of cooked white rice in the freezer so you can make fried rice whenever you want, follow Eric Kim’s lead and make the Thai pineapple fried rice known as khao pad sapparod. Vilailuck Teigen (Chrissy’s mom!) taught him to make that, and he wrote about it this week for The New York Times Magazine.
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Now, it’s a far cry from turmeric and Earl Grey tea, but you should read Robert Sullivan’s story in The New Yorker about the Shinnecock photographer Jeremy Dennis.
I’m very late to it, but not so late that I cannot recommend Matias Faldbakken’s 2018 novel, “The Waiter.” It’s a page-turner in which not much happens. But as Pete Wells wrote in his review for The Times, Faldbakken “has a way with non-action.”
Also, don’t miss Jason Zinoman’s appraisal in The Times of the comedy of Richard Belzer, who died last week at 78.
Finally, the playwright and showrunner Warren Leight put me on to an absolutely bonkers Bobby Darin number off the 1961 compilation album “The Bobby Darin Story.” Darin picked it up from the 1960 Broadway musical “Tenderloin.” It’s called “Artificial Flowers,” and it sounds very upbeat. It is not! Enjoy that strangeness, and I’ll see you on Sunday.
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