Good morning. Tomorrow brings the coronation of King Charles III. Also, the Kentucky Derby. What a weekend for women’s hats! I’m thinking of pairing mint juleps (above) with coronation chicken sandwiches if I don’t make Hot Browns and strong cups of tea. Maybe a classic British roast beef with Louisville’s own Henry Bain sauce? These are bets you can’t lose.
But I won’t just be cooking out of the playbooks of Buckingham Palace and Churchill Downs this weekend. I’m also going to follow in the footsteps of the chef Rick Easton, of Bread & Salt in Jersey City, and make his recipe for pizza with peppers. Well, kind of: I’m going to top it with more mozzarella than he uses, add the sauce I use for pan pizza, and swap pepperoni for the peppers. All that and an ice-cold beer when it comes out of the oven? Perfection.
As would be a Sunday breakfast of fried eggs and ramps with home fries and biscuits, at least if you’re not more interested in French toast, buttermilk pancakes or a strawberry smoothie.
And I could absolutely see my way to a Sunday dinner of bulgogi (or bulgogi-style tofu) with lettuce wraps, rice, ssamjang and kimchi. Gochujang caramel cookies for dessert? I think so, yes!
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Now, at first blush this has nothing to do with preparing food, but I’m deep into Mark Ellison’s excellent “Building: A Carpenter’s Notes on Life & the Art of Good Work.” “I do feel compelled to say,” Ellison writes near the start: “This book is not for people who think they want to become fancy carpenters. This book is for people who are interested in doing anything well, hopefully something that they want to do, not their parents, nor their teachers, nor anyone else who wears the disapproving scowl of ‘authority.’” That’s us, friends! (You can read more about Ellison in this terrific New Yorker profile by Burkhard Bilger.)
Here’s Greg Daugherty in Smithsonian Magazine, with a brief history of the deadly steamboat races that once enthralled America.
Fans of “Fauda” may enjoy, as I did, “Rough Diamonds” on Netflix, about a Hasidic family in Antwerp struggling to hold onto its business amid bad decisions and some very rough characters.
Finally, the chef and cookbook author James Beard was born on this day in 1903. (When he died at 81, The Times noted his passing on the newspaper’s front page.) His recipe for Boston baked beans remains best in class. Enjoy that, too, this weekend. And I’ll see you on Sunday.