Good Morning. We’ll get there early enough for dinner, but I think the majority of the day could be spent preparing desserts and teatime delights for a Christmas cookie box following the teachings of Melissa Clark. Make a combo of vanilla bean spritz cookies, cornmeal lime shortbread fans, toasted almond snowballs, black and white brownies, and fudgy bourbon balls. You don’t have to eat all of them. As Melissa will show you, here’s how to package them for the mail.
After all of this, you’ll want something hearty for dinner. Samin Nosrat grew up loving Tahdig – the crispy brown crust that forms at the bottom of a pot of Persian rice. She recently found a similar delight, which she wrote for the New York Times Magazine this week, in the Puerto Rican rice and bean dish, Arroz con Gandules, made by cook and writer Reina Gascón-López.
“Arroz con gandules is all about the mega,” said Gascón-López. Pegao is Puerto Rican Tahdig, Samin explained: the golden shards of crispy cooked rice at the bottom of the pot. It is a dish that is prepared in series and then left over a low flame to build the Megao. It’s on the table for my dinner tonight, and maybe yours now too. Hopefully.
For dinner on Monday, I look forward to ramen with charred spring onions, green beans and chili oil, light and fiery. (Truth: I’m not going to make the chilli oil because I have crispy chilli in the fridge, which makes peeling off the dish on the fly.)
Tuesday evening, more heat: These pork chops in cherry pepper sauce go well with a bowl of spaghetti in olive oil and lots of grated parmesan and a crispy green salad with red wine vinaigrette.
A simple dinner of baked fish is enough for Wednesday, perhaps with a few baked potatoes? Cook the potatoes first and then the fish and serve them together with a Fixins bar: spring onions and sour cream, some sliced jalapeños, a little cheese.
What I would like to have on Thursday evening: lobster with noodles and mint, a dish that always reminds me of a Mark Ladner who cooked at Del Posto, with some chopped jalapeño at the end. What I’ll actually be doing on Thursday evening: Pasta with mint and parmesan.
And then on Friday evening to round off the week: Korean roast chicken with corn cheese and aubergines with gochujang glaze, paired with cold beer.
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Now it’s about as far from spelled flour and cup ramen as possible, but you should take a little time to indulge in the diva issue of T Magazine with Barbra Streisand, Patti LaBelle, and Dolly Parton.
Hear Waxahatchee, “Can’t do much.”
What happened to sports cars? Income inequality kills them, argues Lewin Day in Road & Track.
After all, here are the Times staff book reviewers for their best books of 2020, and it’s an exciting list as we head into the Christmas gift season. (Speaking of which, check out the cookery collection on the Times online store.) I’ll be back on Monday.