Good morning. Hannukah begins on Thursday, and for some of those celebrating, there’ll be kugel on the table for sure. Sweet or savory? How about both? Melissa Clark wrote for us this week about Yerushalmi kugel (above), a peppery sweet-savory kugel that’s a specialty of Jerusalem, and which she learned to cook from Adeena Sussman, author of “Sababa: Fresh, Sunny Flavors From My Israeli Kitchen.” Pair it with a roast chicken and a pile of greens, and that’s a blessing in itself.
Maybe you’ll make latkes as well, if not tomorrow then one night soon. Joan Nathan discovered an ace technique for making them this year, using a technique developed by the chef Nathaniel Wade at the Outermost Inn on Martha’s Vineyard, in Massachusetts. Wade bakes his potatoes for a little bit before grating them, which dries them out slightly, but does not cook them through. The result, when fried, is a pancake that is crisp and golden on the outside and gloriously moist and creamy within.
Latke preference is deeply personal, of course, but Joan reckons these may be the best latkes ever. Whether you cook them for Hannukah this year or simply make them part of a weeknight dinner with smoked salmon, crème fraîche and chives, I hope you’ll agree.
In other new recipe news, J. Kenji López-Alt found himself with a spare 20 pounds of beef short ribs, as one does, and used them to develop a recipe for a Taiwanese beef noodle soup that is rich and deeply satisfying. It doesn’t require 20 pounds of short ribs, I promise. You could make it this week.
And Sarah DiGregorio ginned up an amazing lentil soup with smoked sausage and apples. That’s an easy and fantastic midweek feed. You might, however, prefer Julia Moskin’s recipe for pasta with bacon, cheese, lemon and pine nuts. Or, you know what? Sometimes life calls for baked chicken tenders and a soapy police drama on your screen: “Cuffs,” say, on Amazon Prime.
Not that you need a recipe to cook for yourself. You can riff off a prompt instead, what we call a no-recipe recipe, say for coriander- and cumin-crusted fish sandwiches with yogurt sauce. You’ll need bulkie rolls, white fish fillets, some ground coriander and cumin, a lemon, some yogurt, a little hot sauce and arugula. Make the sauce first: yogurt, lemon juice and lemon zest, a splash of the hot sauce and a sprinkle each of the coriander and cumin. Then coat the fish fillets in coriander, cumin and salt, and sauté them in neutral oil, a couple of minutes a side. Toast the split rolls and spread yogurt sauce on them. Lay a fish fillet on each roll and top with arugula, then put the sandwiches together and eat. Next time I might add some harissa to the mix.
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Now, it’s nothing to do with marzipan or the price of vanilla, but Curbed’s list of 500 New York City businesses we’ve lost during the pandemic is remarkably affecting.
I like Audubon Magazine’s “Bird From Home” photography project.
Here’s KennyHoopla with Travis Barker, “Estella//.”
Finally, if you’re looking for something to read, I’ll put you on to Jo Nesbo’s latest, “The Kingdom,” which our Charles McGrath reviewed back in November. I’ll be back on Friday.
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