Good morning. Melissa Clark and I were talking the other night about our freezers, because that is what people who work in the food game do, and she casually mentioned that she had a bag of chicken hearts in hers, just as I may have said there was a pork butt and a bag of cleaned squid in mine.
Chicken hearts! They’re fantastic threaded onto a skewer and grilled, and maybe even more fantastic when griddled with chopped livers and thighs, as in this incredible recipe for Jerusalem grill (above) that I learned from Michael Solomonov and Steven Cook, the Philadelphia restaurateurs.
Hold on, don’t leave me just yet. Jerusalem grill is a fantastic dish even if you can’t abide the idea of chicken hearts or livers, much less find them in the store. You can make the recipe with just thighs if you prefer, losing only a little funky earthiness of the liver and lovely toothiness of the hearts. The warm spices — cinnamon, baharat, cumin, turmeric, fenugreek — offer an amazing scent and flavor, and combine with an accompanying five-minute hummus and pile of rice in beautiful ways. Please make that dish this week and tell me what you think.
Or don’t. Make sesame tofu with coconut-lime dressing and spinach instead. Make chicken breasts with miso-garlic sauce instead. Make a New Mexican hot dish. Make khoresh karafs, the Persian celery stew with lamb.
For dessert, if you’re lucky, watermelon granita. There are some melons in stores already, but, alongside my pork butt in the freezer, I found a gallon bag of perfect late-season watermelon from 2020 — whizzing it up took me right back to summer, to the taste of sugar and sun combined.
Other things to cook this week or very soon: ramen carbonara; roasted potatoes with anchovies and tuna; made-in-the-pan chocolate cake. And as the weather continues to turn, here are a whole lot of recipes to put on your spring cooking bucket list.
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Now, it’s a great distance from the stock simmering on your stovetop and the apple cider languishing in your fridge, but this is a cool story in Smithsonian Magazine by Leo DeLuca, about Ida Holdgreve, the Ohio seamstress who made canvas parts for the Wright Brothers and, in so doing, was perhaps the first female worker in the American aerospace industry. (She answered a help wanted ad for “plain sewing.” That was a typo. They were looking for someone to do “plane sewing.”)
My colleague Melissa Kirsch turned me on to this meditative video about robins, made by Peter Johnston, a filmmaker in Michigan.
Here’s David Trotter on the theory and practice of gimmicks, in the London Review of Books. Pretty interesting!
Finally, I appeared on NPR’s “Wait, Wait… Don’t Tell Me!” this weekend, to talk about “New York Times Cooking: No-Recipe Recipes.” Maybe give it a listen? I’ll be back on Wednesday.