Good morning. I’ve been scouting for snowy owls, looking for them at the edge of the salt marsh near the airport, where they come some winters from the Arctic tundra where they nest and breed. It’s stakeout work, using the car as a blind, and sometimes I bring along a sandwich: commodity Bologna, lately, with Swiss cheese, pickles, mayonnaise and mustard, on rye toast. That and a thermos of milky tea leaves me feeling like Bunk on “The Wire,” which is to say great.
But for sustenance today, I’m thinking David Tanis is the better person to emulate. He’s delivered a terrific new series of recipes for a light January menu: creamy leek and parsnip soup to begin, followed by herbed chicken and spinach meatballs and a citrus and persimmon salad (above). Assembling that meal over the course of this afternoon would be a delight.
And maybe take time while you’re at it to prepare the dough for buttery pan pizza to eat on Monday or Tuesday night? (The extra dough freezes well for use this month.)
Or, if that all sounds like Too Much in these early days of the new year, you could make a whole roasted cauliflower with almond-herb sauce and call it good. That’s an excellent one-pot meal in itself, with rice or bread to mop up the sauce.
On Monday, if you’re not making the pizza, how about this curried red lentil soup with toasted coconut?
Tuesday, once again if you’re not interested in making that delicious pan pizza, you could try this creamy chickpea pasta with spinach and rosemary. (Many subscribers report they have doubled the spinach in joy.)
For Wednesday night, I’m liking the idea of baked potatoes — and maybe particularly these baked potatoes with crab, jalapeño and mint. If you roasted duck or goose over the holidays and wisely saved the fat, rub some all over the potatoes before they go into the oven. That’ll lead to a marvelous burnished skin, every time.
On Thursday, you should give this tofu with cashews and blistered snap peas a whirl. You don’t particularly need snap peas. You could use green beans instead, or broccoli, anything crisp and verdant.
And then on Friday, to round out the week, I’m thinking braised chicken thighs with tomatillos, and probably canned tomatillos at that. Cooking every night is exhausting. I’m finding shortcuts where I can.
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Now, do take a moment to read our Ligaya Mishan on what she misses about eating out in restaurants, and the role they play in our lives. It’s not just beautifully written, but deeply moving.
It’s nothing to do with marshmallows or the scent of a roasting chicken, but you might want to binge on the Modern Love podcast today.
Here’s Playboi Carti, “New Tank,” and it’s probably not for everyone but the same is true of sardines.
Finally, Jordan Casteel’s show at the New Museum ends today, so if you haven’t done so, take the virtual tour. Casteel narrates! I’ll be back on Monday.
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