Good morning. I write from Los Angeles, where I’ve come to seek my fortune for a week, driving and driving in the bright sunshine, endlessly optimistic, the radioman speaking to me from the dashboard until it’s time for tacos again.
Here, as at home in Brooklyn, our newspapers were thrown against front doors this morning, were placed neatly on the desks of movie producers and museum curators, were left arrayed across credenzas in the waiting rooms of rhinoplasty doctors and psychoanalysts alike: a new issue of the Food section for your delectation.
So here’s Kim Severson on a young couple determined to harvest the meat that they eat, a beautiful read. And Mayukh Sen’s profile of Yasmin Khan, which offers a look at “Zaitoun,” Khan’s new cookbook focused on Palestinian cooking.
We have plenty new recipes as well. I love Alison Roman’s latest: crisp-fried pork chops with buttered radishes (above), which could make for a beautiful meal tonight.
David Tanis, for his part, delivered instructions for pasta with radicchio, bacon and pecans. There’s ricotta in there for sauce, and pecorino for bite. Oh, my.
And Melissa Clark came through with a recipe for lemony chicken cutlets with chile-garlic oil that may well put a spring in your step if you’re not keen to eat radicchio or radishes right now.
As for myself, it’s Wednesday, and on Wednesdays, in addition to recipes, I generally offer you something in the way of cooking without a recipe: a simple narrative prompt to cook off the cuff, improvisationally. So, like, smothered pork chops. I’m doing this all the time these days, perhaps as a bulwark against the weather. Mix some flour with chile powder, salt and pepper, or with Lawry’s seasoned salt, Old Bay seasoning, with smoked paprika and red-pepper flakes, whatever you like. Dredge your chops through this mixture and sear them off in an oil-slicked Dutch oven, reserving them when they’re crisp at the edges and brown. Heat your oven to 350 while you cook.
Then dump out the oil if it’s muddy and wipe out the pot. Add some butter and sauté an enormous number of sliced onions. When they wilt and go soft, add a few tablespoons of the leftover dredging flour and cook that, stirring often, for five minutes or so. Add chicken stock and a bay leaf and stir, then add the pork chops, which will sink into the onions and sauce. Cover the pot and put it in the oven for 45 minutes to an hour. Serve with rice and sautéed greens.