What We're Cooking This Week

Need a Weekend Project? Make These Fluffy Custard Buns.

May  9, 2020
Photo by JULIA GARTLAND. PROP STYLIST: SOPHIE STRANGIO. FOOD STYLIST: SAMANTHA SENEVIRATNE.

Earlier this week, I spent $5.99 on a cookbook—a price I’d expect to pay for a stained, secondhand copy at a neighborhood bookstore. Except that this digital-only collection came out a few days ago, and features recipes from Ina Garten, Bryant Terry, Samin Nosrat, Andy Baraghani, Alison Roman, and more. All the proceeds benefit Restaurant Workers' Covid-19 Emergency Relief Fund, which provides direct relief to restaurant workers.

I’ll spend the weekend trying to find somewhere sunny, flipping through my new purchase (just bookmarked Melissa Clark’s lemon curd with poppy seeds), talking to my sourdough starter (my husband tells me this is something I do), then planning my meals for the week ahead. Most of these end up being recipe tests or that forgotten quart of, um, chili (?) in the freezer. But at least on Fridays, I try to find a recipe to look forward to—and my coworkers are always game to share ideas. Here’s what our team is cooking up.


Weeknight Dinners

Go-To Steak Salad

“This Spicy Thai Steak Salad is one of my 13-year-old son's favorite dinners,” our co-founder Amanda Hesser said. “It's such a simple recipe—onions, cilantro, steak, fish sauce, lime, and chiles—and creates an incredibly fragrant dressing (and lots of it so you can spoon it over jasmine rice). For special nights, I'll make coconut rice.” In lieu of chives, might I suggest those scallions you’ve been growing on your windowsill?

Brown Sugar–Brined Pork Chops

Kristen Miglore cheated on her Genius column and made a Big Little Recipe for Brown Sugar-Brined Pork Chops with Hot & Sour Peppers. “I swapped in thinly sliced red cabbage for the peppers. It was easily the most spectacular lunch I've made since we've been sheltering at home (and maybe ever? who makes lunch like this?).” And to think I’m proud of myself when I make scrambled eggs for lunch.

Not Quite a BLT

What if you made a BLT but, instead of tomatoes, you used strawberries? Yes, it would technically be called a BLS (pronounced bliss). Don’t knock it till you try it: “I want to make your Bacon, Lettuce & Strawberry Sandwich,” Email Production Coordinator Cara Vaccaro told me. Yahoo! “My friend just shot me a text that she made it, and it was phenomenal, and that I gotta try it.”


Weekend Projects

Bread for Non-Bakers

Senior Editor Arati Menon is baking Gammy’s Soda Bread this weekend for the second time in a month, because: “One, it’s always a good time for soda bread, but especially when it’s so dense, soft, and crusty, Two, it’s the easiest thing since, well, sliced bread. And three, I’m not the most skilled of bread bakers and want to leave whatever yeast is on the supermarket shelves for those who need it most.”

Salted Egg Yolk Custard Buns

“If you’ve been following along, you know I have a thing for salted eggs,” Associate Editor Coral Lee writes. “As salt penetrates the yolks, it draws out water (concentrating the fat), and breaks down proteins into free glutamates (what our tongues detect as umami). Eggy, buttery, and rich—cured egg yolks add a bottomless depth and savoriness to sweet treats that sweet treats never knew they needed.” Sign me up.

Our Best Banana-Nut Bread

On-call banana bread should have the banana-iest flavor. Which, sure, comes from ripe, practically-mush bananas. But also from supporting players like vanilla, bourbon, and dark brown sugar. Oil instead of butter means a never-dry loaf that will last longer at room temp. And whole-wheat flour and walnuts mean I’d just as soon as eat this for breakfast as dessert.


On the Side

Here’s what I’m reading right now:

Just about every celebrity is broadcasting from their homes these days. But what about those bookshelves behind them? “In quarantine, people are inadvertently exposing their reading habits — embarrassing, surprising and impressive.”

“I spent my day calling a lot of my people and seeing how unemployment was going. Some of them were having trouble with the system for filing for unemployment; for some of them it was very easy. It depended on what time they called.” Kwame Onwuachi’s Grub Street Diet.

“The food media paid scant attention to the Indian-born chef and restaurant owner Garima Kothari when she was alive. That lack of coverage has extended to her tragic death,” writes Mayukh Sen for Eater.

What are you reading? And cooking? Love to hear from you, always.

Talk soon,
Emma

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Emma is the food editor at Food52. Before this, she worked a lot of odd jobs, all at the same time. Think: stir-frying noodles "on the fly," baking dozens of pastries at 3 a.m., reviewing restaurants, and writing articles about everything from how to use leftover mashed potatoes to the history of pies in North Carolina. Now she lives in Maplewood, New Jersey with her husband and their cat, Butter. Stay tuned every Tuesday for Emma's cooking column, Big Little Recipes, all about big flavor and little ingredient lists. And see what she's up to on Instagram at @emmalaperruque.

2 Comments

mdelgatty May 15, 2020
I'm always impressed by people who plan meals a week ahead; I can't imagine being that organized or necessarily interested in eating something I thought of a week ago. Most days I happen to wonder what I should have for dinner around six or seven pm, and since I live alone that often starts with trying to remember what's in my fridge that needs eating. So things happen like last night, when I started cooking at 9 pm...

But I dealt with all the veggies that needed it except the head of cabbage that's destined to become sauerkraut one day soon, so I now have in my freezer mirepoix and blanched celery to throw in where needed, and in my fridge German Braised Red Cabbage. Which I suppose now counts as a leftover, since I had some last night... Tonight I will probably have the one last feed of Eric's Buttermilk White Beans I've been working my way through, which I will eat with the last of some leftover rice pasta I needed to use up.

I am more addicted to this site than is probably good for me...!
 
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Emma L. May 19, 2020
So smart to freeze mirepoix! I have all those vegetables around and should do just that. Thanks for the idea!