Good morning. Greetings from Los Angeles, where I’ve been eating Korean cold noodles and steaming food-truck tacos and French pressed duck, gathering more ideas than you can imagine to bring back to my kitchen — and yours. Watch this space!
In the meantime, though, Alison Roman has a sweet story in The Times this week about how she traveled to Greece and learned a beautiful way to make salmon from a shy fisherman on the shore of an azure sea … actually, not at all. It’s a straightforward recipe column with no personal narrative attached to it: salmon with whole lemon dressing (above), served over crunchy lettuces. There’s no folderol, just the facts lined up as if in composition class, the fish cooked slowly in a low oven so that the fat eases out of the flesh to combine with the tart brightness of the lemon juice. It’s really great. I hope you’ll make it tonight even though it’s the middle of the week and you’ve been cooking every night for days. This is a recipe that you’ll be making once or twice a month for the next little while. The time to start doing that is now.
Or you could make Kay Chun’s recipe for honey and soy-glazed chicken thighs, which I also like with lemon, sliced and served in lettuce cups with steamed rice and julienned zucchini.
Of course not if you’re Catholic and observing Ash Wednesday today! Then you should stick with Alison’s salmon, or make Martha Rose Shulman’s pasta with fresh herbs, lemon and peas. It’s a taste of springtime in the depths of winter. (If you want to add a little protein to the meal, you can follow my pal Emily Weinstein’s lead, and crumble a can of good tuna over the top.)
Some demand, on Wednesdays, that we cook without recipes, and instead make our food off a prompt, like an improvisation class at the kitchen conservatory. That’s cool. This week’s idea: corn tortilla quesadillas, let’s say with crumbled bacon, jalapeños and raw onion, hot sauce and sour cream. I fry one or two quesadillas per person and keep them warm in a low oven until I’m ready to serve everyone at once. Could you slide some fried eggs onto the plate with the tortillas? Or make a fast pico de gallo to go along with them? Yes, you could.
Here are some recipes to cook when you’d rather be doing anything else but cooking. Here are some recipes for anyone who hates washing a lot of pots and pans after dinner. Here are some recipes for easy weeknight soups.
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Now, it’s a far cry from Boston cream pie and bao in the San Gabriel Valley, but if you’re in the market for an airline read or an enjoyable afternoon on the couch, C.J. Tudor’s thrillery “The Hiding Place” is worth a trip to the bookstore or library.
It’s behind a paywall but worth the investment: The Portland Press Herald’s history of Maine on the occasion of the state’s bicentennial year.
Here’s a video that, on Facebook, has been viewed 75 gajillion times but was still new to me. It’s a revelation: How to fold a fitted sheet, by Fannie Brown Miranda.
Finally, fight those midweek blues. This is Tuck and Patti, “Sitting in Limbo.” I’ll be back on Friday.