Welcome to What We’re Cooking This Week, a weekly love letter from our food editor Emma Laperruque, all about what the Food52 team is cooking and craving off-hours (yes, snacks included).
Though I’m regularly running low on pantry staples—first salt, then olive oil, then canola oil, then black pepper—I also have three pork shoulders (I bought them in the fall to christen a deep freezer), two big bags of popcorn kernels, and a jar of yeast that's about to expire.
But instead of lamenting the contradictions of my kitchen, I’m leaning into them. I’m poring over pork recipes—like the latest addition to Our Best Recipes series below. I’m eating buttered popcorn with my pre-dinner martini (and after dinner with Amaro Montenegro). And I’m baking a lot of bread—like this Genius Recipe and our most popular loaf ever, down below.
Which ingredients are you missing these days? And which back-of-the-pantry stalwarts have you grown more appreciative of? Tell me in the comments, and let’s chat.
Glance at this ingredient list for inspiration, then go your own way. Puttanesca is an anything-goes situation: canned tomatoes, old garlic, sprouting onions, briny olives, brinier capers, chile flakes, a stray anchovy, a can of sardines, a splash of red wine. Which, if you’re me, are always around, even as toilet paper is scarce. I made a batch during a Zoom happy hour with my coworkers last Friday, which gives you an idea of how hard it is to mess this up.
“There are a lot of dietary guidelines to adhere to in my quarantine household and this riffable recipe checks them all,” Food Stylist Anna Billingskog said. “I've made it with canned plum tomatoes in lieu of fresh, and different cuts of chicken because it's what we had. It's a set-and-forget kinda thing, and even better the next day. Also kills alongside polenta, so it has my heart forever.” Mine too.
“Tonight, I’m making my number-one favorite Food52 recipe,” Buyer Casey Simring said. (But Casey, how can you pick just one?!) “This simple, savory never fails me—bet you can't believe cabbage could do that. I leave out the bacon, though I'm sure it would be a welcome addition.”
Customer Care Specialist Kaleigh Embree is keeping it comfy: “Made this recipe for chicken and dumplings for me and my husband this weekend. We needed a comfort food pick-me-up and this was the perfect thing. Also props to the Instant Pot, which has been my kitchen hero during the lockdown.”
Need a go-to pulled pork recipe? You got a go-to pulled pork recipe. No special equipment required and what better way to perfume your home on a sleepy Saturday? Make a batch, then put it toward all sorts of meals—sandwiches, tacos, grain bowls, grilled cheese, you name it.
“I made Orange-Scented Olive Oil Sticky Buns this week and my dad said it was his favorite thing I've made so far,” Email Production Coordinator Cara Vaccaro said. “I accidentally grabbed the wrong bag at first and added coconut flakes instead of confectioners’ sugar. I didn't have enough orange juice left to start again, so I went with it.” Hey, why not, right?
“We've been making Kindred's Milk Bread nonstop,” Assistant Buyer Elise Peters said. Which, it's worth mentioning, is our most popular bread recipe of all time. “We always have at least one loaf in the freezer, and with some extra salty butter it's the perfect snack. We also used it in a riff on a croque monsieur casserole which was heavenly.”
At the office, I used to take breaks to walk up and down the stairs in our building. These days, I’ve been leaning on bite-size yoga classes. It helps.
And, finally, something to make you laugh.