Good morning. My friend Kirsch was on the phone, saying how it’s gotten to the point where all she wants to do is make a big batch of a condiment and use it all the time. Anchovy compound butter, for instance, to spread on toast in the morning and eat with eggs; then to foam at night as a bath for asparagus; to dab on potatoes; to eat again on toast in the morning, again with eggs.
I laughed. It’s gotten to that point for me as well. I’m all about Francis Lam’s recipe for caramelized scallion sauce: for noodles; for grilled vegetables; for strange burrito situations; for pretty much any excuse to eat the sauce. I put these pickles on every lunch I make.
It’s not a condiment, but I’ve also been eating a lot of tofu lately, mostly because I so love this Yewande Komolafe recipe for baked tofu with peanut sauce and coconut-lime rice. It’s become one of those dishes that, were it served in a restaurant where I was a regular, would be my default order. That’s the way of the pandemic, I think, with so many of us cooped up at home. We fall into delicious ruts. I make that dish a lot.
But now Yewande’s back with a new tofu recipe, for crispy tofu and cashews with blistered snap peas (above), and it may push the peanut sauce one out of its lane. She has such a way with textures and flavors: the tofu soft beneath its crust, the crunch of the nuts and peas, the interplay between the coconut milk in the sauce, the molasses, the rice vinegar, the ginger. It’s a one-pot meal that comes together in 30 minutes to serve over rice, absolutely showered in mint, and I think you should make it this evening or some night real soon. I bet you’ll make that dish a lot.
More rut deliciousness: I’ve been making this Mark Bittman recipe for pasta puttanesca a lot, subbing in a tight dice of soppressata in place of the anchovies, crushed tomatoes instead of the whole, and then cooking the pasta in the sauce with a cup of chicken broth, oh man.
I’ve been grilling ribs weekly. Taco night is real. And have you clambered aboard the Dutch baby bandwagon yet? Get started with Melissa Clark’s savory version with Camembert and bacon, and you’ll have yourself a new weekly tradition — at least until you move on to the next one.
Thousands and thousands more recipes to make your own are waiting for you on NYT Cooking. I hope you will consider subscribing so that you can see all of them. Your subscriptions support our work and allow it to continue.
We are standing by to help if anything goes wrong along the way. You can write us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. And we will get back to you.
Now, it’s nothing to do with cakes or ale, but this powerful op-ed by Caroline Randall Williams ran in The Times the other day and is absolutely worth reading: “You Want a Confederate Monument? My Body Is a Confederate Monument.”