Good morning. Gabrielle Hamilton has a lovely recipe in The Times this week, for salt-baked new potatoes (above), those tight-skinned little golf balls that at their best are sweet and creamy within. I loved the essay she wrote to introduce it, about learning things that many, many other people know already. Which is to say, if you’re like many, many people who have limited experience with salt-baking, this weekend could be a good time to start turning things around.
The recipe, which sees the potatoes cooked beneath a crust of salt that’s flavored with rosemary and pink peppercorns and served with a similarly flavored compound butter, would make for a show-stopping side dish this weekend for a family sick of the last six months of same-old, same-old. I’d use the potatoes to accompany duck, maybe, either David Tanis’s peppered duck breasts with red wine sauce or Gabrielle’s duck breasts with braised Belgian endive, shaved cauliflower and green peppercorns.
But that’s super fancy, and expensive to boot. You could just roast a chicken, hash some brussels sprouts with lemon and then smack the potatoes down in the center of the table like a magic trick. Please do!
What else to cook this weekend? I want to make this winter vegetable soup with turnips, carrots, potatoes and leeks, even if it’s still fairly warm where I stay. I’d like to make eggplant caponata pasta, as well, with ricotta and basil. And it’d be grand to make chapli burgers for lunch, and Nik Sharma’s new recipe for ground lamb pulao for dinner.
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Now, it’s nothing to do with winter squashes or the taste of sun-warmed tomatoes but, for some of our number, Ikea’s collection of catalogs going back to 1950 will come as welcome distraction. (I particularly enjoyed 1968.)
For The Times, Elisabeth Egan delivered seven takeaways from Mariah Carey’s memoir, “The Meaning of Mariah Carey.” All new information, at least for me.