Good morning. Eric Kim has a lovely story in The Times this week about using seaweed to add subtle umami to dishes, as in this creamy asparagus pasta recipe (above) that tastes a little bit like shrimp Alfredo even though it contains no seafood. (You could always add shrimp, though. That’d be excellent.) The shredded seaweed snack sprinkled on top is what does it, along with cooking the pasta in a quick version of the Korean stock known as dasima yuksu. Won’t you give that recipe a try this week?
Once you start cooking with seaweed, I think you’ll do so all the time. A while ago, the chef Ned Baldwin of Houseman in New York got me cooking with dulse butter, a compound of unsalted butter and the ground, dried sea lettuce that has been harvested on the coast of Ireland and the shores of the North Atlantic for centuries. (The word “dulse” is Gaelic in origin.) He smears bluefish fillets with the stuff, wraps them in chard and steams them in the oven. I use it in place of the herb butter in this perfect recipe for pan-roasted fish and sometimes as the base of this simple seafood chowder as well.
Seaweed plays a big role in our recipe for the lox bowl from Shalom Japan in Brooklyn, in this one for vegetable shabu shabu with ginger and kombu broth, and in this one for a creamy white bean and seaweed stew with Parmesan, too. Cook with seaweed!
But not only with seaweed. I also think it’d be nice to make a Dutch baby this week, for instance. I think it’d be nice to make this spring vegetable ragoût with brown butter couscous, and these pork and ricotta meatballs, too. I like the idea of this shrimp, cilantro and tamarind soup.
Also, dumplings: pork and chive, perhaps? Or pan-seared as gyoza? Definitely these chile crisp dumplings. I’ve been buying dumpling wrappers at the store lately, and it’s moved the whole process of a dumpling dinner into the realm of weeknight possibility. We make them together as a family and, as Kim Severson always says, the team work makes the dream work.
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Now, it’s a far cry from poached eggs and red flannel hash, but you should read this lovely story from Maria Cramer in The Times, about a Massachusetts woman who struck up a pen-pal correspondence with a soldier in Vietnam, who sent her 77 letters over the course of seven years. (The letters will be read on the podcast “Behind the Lines” on March 30, one day after National Vietnam War Veterans Day.)