Good morning. Is this a day of rest? Not hardly! There are roasts to prepare for sandwich fillings next week, and vinaigrettes to whisk and refrigerate so that someone doesn’t sigh at the market and in exhaustion purchase some sad, plastic-bottled, creamy Italian situation, bumming everyone out.
You might make a big vat of smoky lentil stew with leeks and potatoes, either for lunches forthcoming or for a dinner when you don’t want to cook from scratch. You might lay in supplies for easy weeknight dinners.
Today could be a day for baking bread, making granola or knocking out some pikliz against the Haitian pork griot you could make next weekend. Whichever, it’s a day to prepare.
For some, that means preparing hamantaschen, since tomorrow is Purim, the holiday celebrating the bravery of Queen Esther and the saving of the Jewish people from the wrath of Haman, evil royal vizier to the Persian king Ahasuerus. Of course we have recipes, including some from the inimitable Joan Nathan: caramelized onion and poppy seed hamantaschen (above), chocolate chip hamantaschen, hamantaschen with poppy seed filling.
For others, it means Sunday sauce and garlic bread, served at 4:30 so everyone can be in bed by 9 at the latest. There’s no better cure for the Sunday scaries than sleep.
Then, for the rest of the week …
Eleanore Park’s air-fryer tofu works almost as well in a regular oven, and exactly as well in an oven with a convection setting. Potato starch gives the tofu an extra crispy skin, and the soy glaze makes it thrilling alongside a mound of rice, perhaps with some stir-fried greens.
Gyudon is a Japanese fast-food staple, a quick-simmered mixture of thinly sliced beef and crisp-tender onions cooked in a sweet soy broth seasoned with fresh ginger. Alexa Weibel’s recipe draws on ones by Yuko Yagi and Ivan Orkin to deliver a meal that one subscriber called, in a note below the recipe, “ridiculously good and simple to prepare.
Cabbage is to late winter as corn and tomatoes are to late summer, and Melissa Clark’s new recipe for cabbage rice soup is Exhibit A in why that’s the case.
Here’s a terrific new recipe from Christian Reynoso for brussels sprouts amatriciana toasts. Wait, what? Simmering the sprouts in a porky, spicy sauce leaves them tender and smoky, and when you put them on toast, you’ve got an exciting new dinner. Truth: After we photographed the dish at our studio kitchen in Manhattan, we almost fought one another to get the last one.
Head into the weekend with Ali Slagle’s easy recipe for chicken fajitas, which she prepares on a sheet pan for minimal fussiness and maximum flavor. Ali calls for boneless, skinless breasts or thighs. If I can put a thumb on the scale? Thighs.
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Now, it’s nothing to do with turmeric or the precise moment when rare becomes medium-rare, but here’s Dan Kois, in Slate, on the case for hanging out.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, here’s the trailer for the French film “Full Time,” in which there’s not a lot of hanging out.
Wow, here’s a job!
Finally, Jon Pareles brought this new Fishbone track, “All We Have Is Now,” to my attention, via the essential “Playlist” column in The Times. Listen to that nice and loud — those horns! — and I’ll return at the end of the week.