Good morning. The mornings have been crisp and clear here in Los Angeles and the eating sublime, though I miss my kitchen and the ability to cook for others instead of simply eating what others cook. I’m looking forward to a return flight, to a run to the greengrocer, to the chance to make Alexa Weibel’s new recipe for creamy Swiss chard pasta (above). Or maybe her recent take on the Japanese beef bowl known as gyudon? That could be great! Depends on the weather when I land, on my mood, on what’s available. Choice is so exciting!
I do know that at some point this week I’m going to make a piccata based on this Gabrielle Hamilton recipe for swordfish piccata. I think I’ll use very firm tofu in place of the fish, though, or maybe seitan. It’s a preparation I’ve been daydreaming about for a while.
And I’ll be game as well for this rice pilaf with almonds and dried fruit, paired with roast chicken or a rotisserie bird if time’s too tight to roast, to eat in front of a screen with one of my kids, watching “El Norte” as I promised during one of my phone calls home.
Later on, maybe sweet potatoes with tahini butter? A big baked ziti with a Lucali salad to follow. Maybe this citrus salad with peanuts and avocado. And at the end of the week, with some big Alison Roman energy, I might throw down this wine-braised chicken with artichoke hearts. With Millie Peartree’s caramelized banana pudding for dessert? Oh, that’d be grand.
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Now, it’s a long walk from the vegetable market and fishmonger’s shop, but I hope you’ll read this heartbreaking story on Bloomberg, in which my friend Ian Fisher outlines his complicated feelings about Bernie Madoff’s request for a compassionate release from prison. Madoff resides in the same correctional facility where Ian’s father died of congestive heart failure a few years ago, his own request for compassionate release denied. “The journalist in me resists having an opinion,” Ian wrote. “But the son in me, tied accidentally to another man’s fate, is less restrained.”
Those who enjoy the framing of “on the condition of anonymity” clauses in newspaper articles will enjoy this account of the closing of the Marine Basin Marina in Brooklyn, in the Brooklyn Paper. “ ‘It’s a huge loss for Brooklyn,’ said a marina tenant, who spoke on the condition of anonymity out of fear of his wife, who doesn’t know he owns a boat.”