Good morning. Dorie Greenspan is about the only person on the planet who could persuade me to make a baked alaska (above) over the Easter weekend. Persuade me she did, with a delightful column about the dessert that not only taught me that the dish is known in France as omelette norvégienne — Norwegian omelet — but also managed to include the most charmingly complicated sentence I’ve read in at least a year:
“It’s beautiful, elegant and dramatic — a flaming dessert is an attention-grabber; it’s easy to make; it’s convenient — it can be made ahead; it’s got ice cream (enough said); it’s got meringue — which is the same as saying it’s got magic; it looks gorgeous whole and just as gorgeous sliced; it’s creamy and icy cold inside, marshmallowy all around and warm on the edges.”
I’m in. What a way that would be to cap a meal of glazed ham, scalloped potato gratin and asparagus salad!
Not everyone will be feasting this weekend, of course. And if a spread’s not in the cards for you, we’re still here to help. I like this recipe for a super-simple ginger-scallion chicken, for instance, and this one for one-pot turmeric coconut rice with greens as well. This would be a fine weekend to try out this spicy slow-roasted salmon with cucumbers and feta. And this whole-orange snack cake that, yes, contains a whole orange: pleasantly bitter and sweet.
You could make these amazing sausage rolls that the Australian chef Paul Allam serves at Bourke Street Bakery, stuffed with North African flavors: lamb, harissa, couscous. Or you could assemble these these grain bowls with roasted mushroom and broccoli, which’ll teach you a template you can repeat in coming months.
How about a Lisbon chocolate cake? (More Dorie!) Or some chicken miso soup? The idea is to use the weekend — if you have the time off and the energy to use it — to bring new flavors and techniques into your cooking, to the benefit of your cooking next week and in the months to come. That the labor is enjoyable is an added benefit. It’s not staring at a screen.
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Now, it’s nothing to do with shakshuka or nori flakes, but I loved this newspaper poetry form my colleagues introduced readers to in “At Home” the other day, “the golden shovel.” You take a headline from The Times and write a poem in which you use each word in the headline to end each line of the poem.
I think you should read Mark Sundeen’s essay in Outside, about life and love in the Utah desert.
Here’s Willie Dunn, “Crazy Horse.”
Finally, and wow am I late to it, but if you haven’t watched “Unbelievable” on Netflix yet, please do so this weekend. It’s hard to watch in parts, absolutely. The truth is worth it. See you on Sunday.