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).
Hey there. I’m elbow-deep in cookbook testing, which means almost everything I make at home is for the manuscript (not counting this piece of buttered toast—that was for me). It’s exciting to be in this stage of the project (anything could happen! the possibilities are endless!), even if that means eating beans every day for a week-plus, and going for a jog with two sticks of pepperoni as dumbbells.
What a time to be alive. Lucky for me, I have lots of coworkers who are cooking up lots of non-cookbook recipes, all of which are going on my wishlist for down the road. Now let’s dig in.
“This soup by Merrill is one of our rotation meals,” our product designer Megan Güntas told me. Worth noting: The ingredient list hopes you have bacon fat on hand, and I hope you do, too! Any time I fry up a few slices, I pour the rendered fat into a jar and stick it in the fridge—for powered-up sautéed greens, scrambled eggs, hearty soups, etc. Same goes for chicken fat, which, now that I think of it, would also be very good in this recipe. As it is in all recipes.
“My husband made this recipe for dinner,” community member Stephanie B. wrote. “He doesn't have a F52 account, but liked it so much that he specifically asked me to write a review.” Quite the compliment! Though this also begs the question: Hey Stephanie’s husband, why don’t you have an account? Join us! We’re fun! It goes without saying that broccoli plus cheese is a winner-winner combo, but the real closer here is the creamy chipotle-peanut sauce for dunking. Is double-dunking okay if it’s family (or friends you think of like family)? I’m gonna say … yes?
“I made a riff off of this soup recipe, inspired by some split peas that I scored off of the giveaway table last week,” our people operations manager Brian Mahoney said. Score! (The “giveaway table” is where extra bits and bobs from the test kitchen end up, to be adopted by staffers and taken to a loving home.) You could easily reimagine this as vegetarian by ditching the ham hock and swapping in a vegetable or mushroom broth. Maybe a spoonful of miso gets thrown in. Who’s to say?
Avocado Toast + This Lemony-Gingery Salad
Preserved lemon and candied ginger are ingredients I almost always have around, though I never thought to put the two together in, of all places, a salad. But! According to our resident Genius Kristen Miglore, “They would have been the wacky outlier in any situation, but now they are together and in love.” And who doesn’t love love? Do as Kristen does and pair this with a piece (or two! or three!) of avocado toast, which I often freestyle, but if you want a recipe, you got a recipe.
This butter chicken’s comment section really warms my heart. The reviews include: “Insanely good and easy.” And “Oh man it’s so good. Sooooo good.” And “A weekly must for my family!” And “This is one of the most delicious dishes I’ve ever made.” And there are 168 others (!) if you want to pass the time while this chicken pressure-cooks for—count ’em—10 minutes.
What makes a good shepherd’s pie great? And what makes a great shepherd’s pie greater? I asked our contributor Rebecca Firkser just that—and she answered with this masterpiece. Half the usual ground meat gets replaced with nubby-nutty lentils. Fennel joins the party. Mashed potatoes meet up with parsnips. Sour cream comes to play. It’s a good time for all.
Who wouldn’t want to wake up to these on a Sunday morning? This brunch-ready recipe comes by way of baker extraordinaire Erin McDowell. There’s a cinnamon–brown sugar swirl and my favorite glaze ever: confectioners’ sugar and heavy cream. Sounds simple, I know! But oh-so good. If you’re feeling wild, add the teeniest splash of bourbon or rum along with the vanilla.
I really enjoyed reading this interview of Samin Nosrat by Helen Rosner, in which the two talk about things like fame, depression, and tuna salad.
Like everyone you know, I’ve started watching Love Is Blind, which is so popular around our office, we even have a designated Slack channel (obviously called #loveisblind52), where we can share important memes like this.
I’m heading to a conference in Pittsburgh in March. Where should I eat? Let me know in the comments.