Good morning. Lately I’ve been making a cherry tomato salsa to accompany my Sunday carne asada (above): the tomatoes (halved), a small red onion (sliced), a fistful of cilantro (chopped) and a couple of limes (juiced). I salt the mixture and allow it to sit while I sear the flap meat I buy instead of more expensive skirt or hanger steak. Then I serve the (rested) sliced meat with the salsa, warm flour tortillas, hot sauce and crema. This is an exceptional way to spend time on a Sunday evening, and I commend the experience to you unreservedly.
That salsa would also be great with this tinga de pollo, or this vegan chorizo, piled into tortillas. I like it, too, with black beans cooked with onions, garlic and plenty of cumin. That salsa is a star.
And with Sunday taken care of, we can look to the rest of the week.
Kay Chun’s new recipe for squash and spinach salad with a sesame vinaigrette relies on roasted kabocha squash to elevate a green salad into the main-course ranks. It’s perfect shoulder-season eating, a taste of winter at the start of spring.
A carbonara is a wonderful midweek meal, and Anna Francese Gasse’s artichoke carbonara shows how it can be especially so, with the addition of artichoke hearts. It’s optional, but I always take the final step of adding a raw egg yolk to the pasta right before serving it.
As I’ve said before: I don’t always cook with recipes, and neither should you. These guidelines for a New Mexican hot dish are an excellent place to start doing that. They’re unrolled enchiladas, essentially, and they take well to extra cheese.
And then you can soar into the weekend on the back of Mark Bittman’s excellent recipe for Sichuan chicken with chiles, his adaptation of an excellent dish that was served at the Grand Sichuan restaurant on Second Avenue in Manhattan. (Remember to make extra rice, so you have some in the freezer the next time you make a fried rice or stuffed peppers.)
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Now, it’s nothing to do with carrot cake or coq au vin, but Lawrence W. Cheek in WoodenBoat Magazine introduced me to Sam Devlin’s tiny working tugboat, Tugzilla, and I’m glad he did.
Oh, man, these early Tina Barney photographs that Vince Aletti wrote about for The New Yorker last week. They’re up at the Kasmin gallery in New York until April 22.
Here’s Sara Semic in The Financial Times, on what Britain’s 18th-century royal court can tell us about the “rules” of walking the red carpet. Fascinating.
Finally, Teddy Pendergrass was born on this day in 1950. (He died in 2010 at 59. Jon Pareles wrote his obituary for The Times.) Here he is singing “Close the Door,” and you’re welcome. Julia Moskin will greet you on Monday, and I’ll be back on Friday.