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 recently added three recurring events to my calendar—12 p.m., 2 p.m., and 5 p.m.—all entitled “Stairs!” This is just what it sounds like: I go to the stairs, walk from our floor to the top of the building, walk back down, and return to my desk.
Apparently this is supposed to improve my balance and make me live longer. But the more obvious benefit is: It gets me away from my desk, which is something I’m bad at doing myself, and clears my head, which is another thing I’m bad at.
For what it’s worth, this is not a New Year’s resolution. If it were, I’d probably say something like, “Stairs every day!” But that wouldn’t last. And then, as soon as I missed one—and I will miss one—I’d scrap the whole thing. The worst part about New Year’s resolutions, whether it’s stairs or yoga, weeknight dinners or meal prep, is that they’re usually all-or-nothing. And all-or-nothing usually leads to...nothing.
So here’s to: stairs as much as I can. If I miss one, there’s always a next one. Whatever your 2020 resolution is, I hope you keep at it—you know, even after you screw it up.
Meet our newest Recipe of the Month: olive-oil braised chickpeas, by way of Joy the Baker, one of our longtime favorite blogs. It’s chock-full of everything I want to eat right now: chickpeas, capers, feta, thyme, so much olive oil. Food52er Sarah Jampel added even more good stuff, like chile flakes, olives, and lemon wheels (oh yes). Serve with bread or grains, like quinoa, farro, or bulgur—or toss the whole shebang with pasta. Whatever you do, let us know when you make it with #f52rotm, and we’ll do the same.
“I’ve been really into tofu these days!” Senior Editor Eric Kim told me. Eric! Same. It’s hard not to be when we have these shiny-new marinated tofu steak sandwiches from columnist Rebecca Firkser. To yield a chewy-meaty texture, Rebecca freezes the tofu first: “Frozen (and then defrosted and cooked) tofu takes on a decidedly unique texture that makes for excellent chow.” The extrovert marinade (honey! vinegar! paprika! ginger!) doesn’t hurt either.
My husband and I recently moved to a suburb in New Jersey that just happens to be a 10-minute drive from my parents and grandma. Every Sunday, we get together for dinner—one week their house, next week ours, and so on. Which means I'm always on the hunt for hands-off dishes. Say, this highly-cozy, very-Genius chicken gratin with cream, Gruyère, and white wine (just add in a bread loaf, big salad, and done). Or this apple cider–braised chicken that's tangy-sweet thanks to vinegar.
“This cozy bean soup from cookbook author, Meike Peters, checks all the boxes: earthy, creamy borlotti beans; sturdy, vegetal curly kale; super-flavorful broth (I like Better Than Bouillon here); and a silky poached egg on top,” Managing Editor Brinda Ayer told me. “When the yolk bursts, it thickens and rounds out the otherwise clear soup in a magnificent way. But the best part? It takes about 20 minutes to make, start to finish.” Talk about a ripe way to use all the dried beans I got for my wedding.
I like chocolate, chocolate likes avocado, avocado likes me? Something like that. Think of avocado less as a topping for toast or dip for chip, more like cream—buttery and rich. In Hannah Bronfman’s no-cook chocolate mousse, it yields dessert as fluffy as a Round Boy. And in dark chocolate avocado truffles, it mimics cream for an almost-ganache. It’s too hard to pick, so we’ll just have to try both.
New year, new Good Reads reading challenge. I was one book shy of my 2019 goal (26 books), which means: Try, try, try again. 26 books in 2020! Do share recs in the comments—I’ll share one back.
My yoga instructor Adriene just launched a new 30-day challenge. One of her other 30-day programs is what sparked my four months (and counting!) streak. I can’t recommend it enough.
What’s your not-resolution resolution? Let me know below.