Good morning. We’re a week out from Lunar New Year and I don’t know if noodles really will make for an auspicious year for me, but I’m not taking chances. Today is for rehearsal: Julia Moskin’s adaptation of a recipe for longevity noodles with chicken, ginger and mushrooms (above) that she learned from the cookbook author Grace Young. I want to work out my stir-fry technique so that everything doesn’t clump up in the wok. So, oil-slicked noodles, dry ingredients, everything carefully done. I want only happiness on the table next weekend, plenty of red envelopes and cheer, and the best way to ensure that is to practice today.
Other possibilities from our collection of recipes devoted to the celebration of Lunar New Year: dumplings, lumpia, rice cake soup. Maybe Peking duck? Make any of those today and you’ll cook next weekend in confidence, which is the very best way to cook.
As for the rest of the week. …
There’s little more comforting than Eric Kim’s recipe for a quick tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwich, nursery food for anyone clobbered by the start of the week. It’s a dead simple preparation, and a deeply satisfying meal. You can make the sandwich with whatever bread you’ve got on hand, but I like a soft bread — something in the direction of brioche, milk bread or even supermarket white.