Thursday, 2 Jul 2020

What to Cook This Weekend

Good morning. I took the subway down to the Village recently, the middle of a bright, late-autumn day, to hang out with Mario Carbone in the kitchen of his red-sauce emporium Carbone. I’d forgotten the place is open at lunch, and it was startling to see people leaning into nighttime excess at noon: frosty martinis on tables through the restaurant’s front, glistening Dover sole on one waiter’s arm, the restaurant’s pillowy veal Parm on another’s. “People make a day of it,” Carbone said. “They got a reservation. They’re going to use it.”

I was in the restaurant to talk pickled hot cherry peppers, the sort you can get chopped onto sandwiches at Defonte’s in Brooklyn, the kind my buddy Nick fills with cubes of provolone for lunchtime drifts on the Upper Delaware River. Carbone and his partner and fellow chef Rich Torrisi use a prodigious number of pickled hot cherry peppers in their cooking, and I was eager to learn more about that.

An article for The Times emerged from our conversation, along with this new recipe for veal chops in cherry-pepper sauce (above), a kind of agrodolce situation that is beautiful beside a bowl of spaghetti al limone. That should be what you cook this weekend, so that you may cook it on weekends for years to come. You need not use veal chops, if veal chops are not your bag. The point is the sauce. Pork chops would work just as well, particularly if you can find some off a pig that lived the life of a forest flâneur. So would a beef rib steak. I might try the stuff on chicken thighs slowly fried in olive oil, a lot of salt and pepper. I could see spooning it over tofu, over seitan.

And for dessert? Joan Nathan’s recipe for churros with strawberry sauce, a rehearsal for Hanukkah, when fried doughnuts are a tradition. That’d be a super night.

I could see making peanut butter blossoms this weekend. Also this chocolate cream pie with an Oreo crust.

And, after those and the veal, definitely this vegan Thai curry vegetables dish at some point. Either that or a big salad with grains. Or fattoush? Or this Vietnamese cabbage salad with pan-seared tofu? We have a lot of recipes.

Click over to NYT Cooking to explore them. See what gets your motor running. (You need a subscription to do that, of course. Your subscription is what makes it possible for us to keep doing our jobs. Have a subscription already? Thanks but I’m shameless: Will you consider buying someone a NYT Cooking gift subscription this holiday season?)

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Now, let’s turn to restaurants for a moment, for our annual accounting of our favorite places to eat.

Here’s our restaurant critic Pete Wells on his 10 favorite new restaurants in New York City and on the 10 best things he ate here in 2019.

Here are the Hungry City columnists Ligaya Mishan, Marian Bull and Mahira Rivers on their own best restaurants of the year and the best things they ate.

And, finally, here’s Tejal Rao, our California restaurant critic, with a top 10 list of dishes she ate in Los Angeles over the past 12 months. Read all of those words, make some reservations for next week if you can, cook that cherry-pepper sauce on Saturday night and I will, I promise, see you on Sunday.

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