By Sam Sifton
Good morning. The weather’s turning where I stay, the close, soft mornings giving way to a little bite, low-pressure fog lingering longer over the bays. Not for me the morning orange and cold glass of coffee I used to love, not these days. My taste runs to eggs, fried soft on a warm tortilla, a steaming cup of tea beside it. It’s time to bulk up. Autumn’s coming, and winter hard behind it.
Which means stews are what’s happening come afternoons and evenings, the luxurious and comforting joy of Regina Schrambling’s famous Dijon and Cognac beef stew (above) in particular, a recipe she brought to The Times in the awful days that followed the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001. It’s a slow and sensuous process, to make it, and best done when you’re feeling low, as so many are these days in the face of the continuing pandemic, awful fires in the West, a looming election. “Whoever said cooking should be entered into with abandon or not at all had it wrong,” Regina wrote. “Going into it when you have no hope is sometimes just what you need to get to a better place.”
So maybe make her stew today, at least if you’re not somewhere hot and smoggy, sweating under a late-summer sky. (If you are, please avail yourself of Kay Chun’s ace recipe for kongguksu, the Korean cold soy-milk noodle soup, which I like adorned with sliced hard-boiled egg.)
On Monday, wherever you lay your head, you could take a run at Ali Slagle’s crisp gnocchi with brussels sprouts and brown butter, a fast and easy win at the stove.
For Tuesday’s dinner, I’m thinking, you could make this amazing dinner of chicken with shallots, which I learned about from the Twitter feed of the chef and television personality Andrew Zimmern. “I make this constantly,” one of our subscribers noted below the recipe on the site. “Never fails.”
Julia Moskin’s best black bean soup is on tap for Wednesday, and it’s got one of the great pieces of advice baked into the recipe: “Season generously, and purée sparingly.” (For the pickled onions you can serve with the soup, I sometimes add a splash of Coke for sweetness and color. No lie.)
On Thursday, I think I’d like to make Melissa Clark’s fish cakes with herbs and chiles, a recipe that, as you’ll see from the recipe notes, lends itself to improvisation and always delivers joy.
And then Friday, for some of our number, brings the start of Rosh Hashana. Of course we have loads of recipes to honor the holiday. Joan Nathan’s exciting noodle kugel? Melissa’s braised flanken with pomegranate? Mark Bittman’s kasha varnishkes? See what you like.
There are many thousands more recipes waiting for you on NYT Cooking. Go search among them, even if all of the above is exactly what you’ll be cooking this week. You never know. (Wow, this awesome Swedish kalpudding with caramelized cabbage!) And then, if you haven’t already, won’t you consider supporting our work with a subscription? Thanks so much.
We will be, as always, on hand to offer help, should anything go wrong in your kitchen or on the site and apps. Just write [email protected], and someone will get back to you.
Now, it has nothing to do with crepe pans or the price of saffron, but I love Joe Coscarelli’s “Diary of a Song” series in The Times so much. Here’s his latest, on the Nashville star Sam Hunt’s “Hard to Forget,” Lesson No. 754 on how collaborative pop music can be.
There is always something interesting in a small-town police report. This one’s from The East Hampton Star.
You should read Kimberly Drew’s accounting, in Vanity Fair, of what museums should look like in 2020, drawing on interviews with art workers across the country.
Finally, the National Zoo has been using a panda cam to keep track of Mei Xiang and her baby cub, born in August, and Smithsonian Magazine has the zoo’s top 10 clips of the newborn, worth watching. A baby giant panda is tiny. See you on Monday.
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