I started buying eggs by the 30-pack in quarantine and never stopped. If there’s eggs in the fridge, I can put dinner on the table: baked eggs, eggs kejriwal, kimchi eggs, romesco eggs. (For context, there’s only two of us in this household. We just really love eggs.)

“Everyone loves a shakshuka moment” was more or less how Melissa Clark introduced her skillet eggs with garam masala and tomatoes to the New York Times Cooking team, and she’s right. There’s a lot to love here. Her recipe is a voluptuous, flavorful melding of shakshuka, eggs in purgatory and egg curry, with molten-centered eggs swaddled in a tomato sauce that’s spiced with cardamom, cinnamon and garam masala. You can make the sauce ahead of time and keep it in the fridge for up to three days. Cook it up on a quiet moment on Saturday, then sleep in on Sunday knowing brunch is taken care of.

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Spring hasn’t quite sprung where I live, so I’ve been leaning into vibrant, assertive flavors that taste like the blue skies and varicolored flowers I’m waiting for. This braised chicken with rosemary, chickpeas and salted lemon is hearty, bright and briny; I’ll add some of the salted lemon paste I have stashed in my fridge to the quick lemon pickle for even more oomph. And Yossy Arefi’s cilantro-lime salmon and rice is the sort of herby, zesty one-pot meal I need for a gray Tuesday.

Spiced onions — more specifically, onions sautéed with cumin, coriander and allspice — are mixed into both the sauce and the melted Cheddar topping in this baked skillet pasta from Melissa. Lidey Heuck’s sweet potato shepherd’s pie swaps the usual carrots-and-peas filling for one that’s Moroccan-inspired, with lots of warm spices, chickpeas and dates. Both recipes are the cooking equivalent of that spring jacket that’s substantial enough to keep out the chill but not so heavy that it weighs you down.

And how beautiful are these qatayef asafiri (stuffed semolina pancakes) from Reem Kassis? They’re the cover star of our Ramadan desserts collection, though I’d eat these anytime: small, golden yeasted pancakes scented with orange or rose water, spooned full of whipped mascarpone and dipped in crushed pistachios. I’ll let Laila, a reader, take it from here with some friendly tips: “Don’t let not having mahlab or orange blossom water or rose water stop you. These are delicious without. Best eaten same day. Pistachios a must.”

Thanks for reading! My colleague and friend Eric Kim will be guest-writing next week. I’ll leave you with this delightful video of him making his gochugaru salmon with crispy rice, a veritable New York Times Cooking classic.


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