Welcome to What We’re Cooking This Week, a weekly love letter from our recipe developer Emma Laperruque, all about what the Food52 team is cooking and craving off-hours (with a few snacks for thought, too).
I’m eight seasons behind in Grey’s Anatomy. Which is to say, I started watching the show when everyone else did, then dumped it sometime in college when I became convinced that my own problems (bad grades, difficult friends, dead cats, boys who didn’t love me) were more engrossing than fictional plotlines.
In the less-than-one-season I’ve watched since picking up where I left off (spoiler alert—or, um, is it?), every character has almost died. There have been two surprise weddings, and two surprise pregnancies. They are working on cures for Alzheimers and diabetes. And a man who walked into the E.R. with a beer in his hand and knife in his skull was discharged in less than an hour!
I was telling my coworker Ella Quittner about how I find the show very soothing, which she noted was ironic, given all the gore. But it’s a nice reminder. That, lately, even my most dramatic day (cancelled train, sore back, over-salted pasta water) would be the most boring Grey’s Anatomy episode ever. I’ll take it.
Best Alfredo Ever
We know what you’re going to say: Classic Italian fettuccine Alfredo doesn’t have cream. But Italian-American Alfredo does! Our test kitchen’s best-ever recipe is a version of the latter, inspired by oversized plates at local pasta joints like Bamonte’s and big chains like Olive Garden. Recipe developer Ella Quittner loves how cream makes the sauce, yes, creamy, but like really creamy. And the Pecorino, garlic, and black pepper make it delicious as a-word-I’m-not-allowed-to-say-here.
Chocolate Milk–Simmered Chicken?!
Last week, our newest book, Dynamite Chicken hatched, and it's all very exciting. The day the book published, community member Laurak22 made the spicy chocolate milk–simmered chicken, and reported back, “It's SO. GOOD!” To which author Tyler Kord replied, “Awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!” That’s 12 exclamation points. More than enough to convince me to join in on the chocolate milk–chicken fun!!!!!!!!!!!! I’ll be making the recipe on Monday night on Instagram (@emmalaperruque), so you bring the chicken, and I’ll bring the chocolate milk—or vice versa, just let me know.
Speaking of meats marinated in drinks: kombucha-marinated steak with smashed cucumber salad. It’s a dinner go-to for our chief revenue officer Sam Stahl. The ginger-lemon kombucha both flavors and tenderizes the meat. “In the same way that some folks swear by marinating meat in sodas like Sprite or Coke, kombucha is my go-to marinade base when I’m looking to jazz up a cut of meat,” recipe developer Rebecca Firkser writes. I can’t wait to try the same technique with pork chops.
Pumpkin for Dinner
We all know pumpkin makes a bomb quick bread, but it also makes a perfect dinner. Now that the weather is getting chilly, our staff is all about the cozy suppers, and there’s nothing cozier than squash. Our copywriter Maurine Hainsworth made a pot of chickpea, pumpkin, and sage stew, added a dash of pumpkin pie spice, and loved it. “Will likely make it again this weekend," she said. Do it, Maurine! And our director of revenue operations Zoe Paknad told me that our co-founder Merrill Stubbs’ pumpkin pasta al forno is one of her fall standbys. “Clearly I love squash,” she added. “And Merrill.”
This week, our executive editor Joanna Sciarrino and I are baking away (in different locations, but together in spirit). I recently scored a 10x15-inch sheet pan, which I plan to use for one thing and one thing only: Martha Stewart’s Genius slab pie. (For fall, I’m thinking a pear-miso filling, buckwheat crust, and crème fraîche for dolloping.)
Meanwhile, Joanna has her eyes set on cookies. Lots of cookies: “I recently adopted a sweet little puppy who barks up a storm, so I'll be whipping up a few batches of my fave newfangled chocolate chip cookies to give to my very kind, very tolerant apartment neighbors (7B is so, so sorry!).” Lucky neighbors.
As someone who loves regularly updating her budget spreadsheet (with a glass of wine! It’s fun!), I really enjoyed this article in The New York Times—a rare look at how other families crunch the numbers.
I joined a book club. We just read Educated and have Where the Crawdads Sing, Manhattan Beach, Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine, and On Earth We’re All Briefly Gorgeous lined up. What should we read after?
This week, I’ve been cheating on Lana Del Rey with Sufjan Stevens. I can’t stop listening to “The Transfiguration” from Seven Swans, which came out 15 years ago, but still feels brand new.
What song are listening to over and over and over again? And what recipes are you making while you listen? I hope your week is undramatic as can be.