A skillet vegetable potpie is a great way to usher in the season.
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Good morning. I’ve been starting the mornings with fresh blueberries and thick, sour yogurt, a taste of spring, so different from winter’s cream of wheat. It makes me think of Hemingway: “When spring came, even the false spring, there were no problems except where to be happiest,” he wrote in “A Moveable Feast,” his 1964 memoir, published three years after his death.
For me, and I expect for many of us, that happiest place is the kitchen. It’s a room to create and to serve, to experiment or follow a script, to feel comfort and to deliver comfort to others. I clean it each night so it gleams in the morning, and then I dirty it up over the course of the day. Rinse and repeat. The kitchen’s a great place to be.
This week, I’m looking forward to making Hetty McKinnon’s skillet spring-vegetable pot pie (above), with leeks, fennel, asparagus and potatoes cooked in a cream sauce made with tangy sour cream in place of the usual milk. Topped with frozen puff pastry, it’s fast enough for a weeknight — and elegant enough to share with guests at a dinner party, if you’re game.
And if you are in fact open to having guests over? You may want to go big with some canapés before dinner and a fine dessert afterward. For those, Millie Peartree has a great new recipe for salmon croquettes, which tricks out canned salmon with Old Bay seasoning and hot sauce, and offers a perfect balance of crisp shells and tender centers. And, for afterward: made-in-the-pan chocolate cake.
Other things to cook right now: spinach and cilantro soup with tahini and lemon; roasted chicken thighs with peanut butter barbecue sauce; broccoli and scallions with Thai-style vinaigrette.
I’d like to make these Korean cod jeon, too, pan-fried cod sliders. Also ramen carbonara. And definitely slab-bacon tacos with burned-scallion crema, because I love every one of those words including “burned.”
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Now, it’s a long way from sous vide and deep-frying, but Jill Abramson’s in The New Yorker addressing the question of whether George Washington had an enslaved son, and that’s something you ought to read.
Here’s an amazing long read from Bill Donahue in The Atavist, about a father and son venturing across the Bering Strait in 1945 while fleeing the former Soviet Union.
I found this story about vertical farmers taking on the challenge of strawberries to be a revelation. (They’re hard enough to grow in the ground.) It’s by Kate Krader, in Bloomberg Businessweek.
Finally, here’s a new poem from Cynthia Zarin in The Yale Review, “Race Point.” Read that, cook something delicious and I’ll be back on Wednesday.
It's Spring in the Kitchen – The New York Times