Hi! Welcome back to What We’re Cooking This Week, a new weekly letter from our kitchen to yours. Or, new-ish—this is our fifth week in the series, and it’s already inspired me to do something I haven’t done in a long, long time:
Make new recipes during the workweek.
I used to save these for the weekend and stick to my usual templates Monday through Friday: brown rice bowl with tempeh, sautéed kale, and so much spicy mayo; pasta with some sort of roasted vegetable, grated Parmesan, and so much butter; scrambled egg tacos with avocado, Greek yogurt, and so much hot sauce.
But it’s fun to branch out. I end up eating a little later, sure, but this is an excellent excuse for snacks and drinks and watching an episode of Grace & Frankie while the crustless quiche is in the oven.
What’s something new you want to make this week? I have some ideas.
In 33 hours, our newest cookbook comes out. Whoa, sorry, meant to say: In 33 hours, our newest cookbook comes out!!!!! It’s called Dynamite Chicken and it’s just as bam-pow-boom as it sounds. We’re talking: spaghetti with chicken nuggets, chickensagna (like lasagna, but make it chicken), a dangerously crispy spatchcock (watch out!), and 57 other recipes I am extra excited about. On Tuesday night, I’m making farfalle with chicken, broccoli & all of the herbs for dinner. Join me on Instagram at @emmalaperruque.
Recipe developer Ella Quittner is “making Eric Kim's new breakfast salad, which is Little Gem lettuce with a fish sauce vinaigrette and fried eggs (but for lunch, because I only eat cookies for breakfast).” Ella gets it! Ella knows! Another egg-salad-that’s-not-egg-salad from Eric: cobb salad for one.
While we’re talking about breakfast, I have one more thought: Why is French toast always sweet? Where’s the salty French toast? The sassy French toast? The talk-back-to-you French toast? I know a couple recipes that would scoff at the sight of maple syrup (which I love! but I don’t always want!): First, salt-and-pepper French toast that gives you a hug if you dip it in ketchup. Second, this Gruyère-stuffed French toast (someone hold me, I’m going to faint) with mushrooms, garlic, and sage. Like the sweet versions, these are both excellent with crispy bacon.
Before joining Food52, I worked in professional kitchens by day and as a freelance journalist by night (or, I worked as a freelance journalist by day and in professional kitchens at night—depending on the jobs). In a couple restaurants, we made kimchi from scratch and, years later, I’ve finally started making my own at home (here’s a how-to guide from Eric’s mom).
Toward the end of last week, our books editor, Brinda Ayer, and I were sitting on a couch in the office, amid a mountain of cookbooks, as we do. At one point, mid-afternoon, she turned to me and said: “You know what I’ve been craving the past few days? A chocolate truffle or a piece of fudge.” Well, well, well! Lucky for Brinda (lucky for you, lucky for me), our test kitchen just rolled out its best chocolate fudge, obsessively developed by Ella. Next time I make it, I plan to swirl in tahini, sprinkle halvah on top, then watch Grey’s Anatomy for 19 hours straight.
A cold is making its way around our office and, when I suggested to Brinda that we should pop out to buy some Vitamin C, she dropped this: “That doesn’t help, actually.” What?!!?
I have a soft spot for impulsivity (it’s what led me to sign up for my first marathon, get my second tattoo, and cut off all my hair—twice), and this week, a shiny-sparkly idea struck: chickens. Should I get them? Tell me I should get them.
Three stories I’m excited to read on the train ride home:
Anyway, what’s going on with you? Tell me what you’re eating and cooking and reading and listening to in the comments.