Good morning. Tejal Rao explored the dark, delicious magic of Vietnamese fish sauce for The Times this week and brought us an amazing recipe for bún kèn (above), a coconut fish curry with rice noodles served with a thatch of raw, crunchy toppings — a street food specialty of Kiên Giang Province, in the Mekong Delta. I’d like to make bún kèn this weekend and to eat it as it’s served on Phu Quoc, Vietnam’s largest island: for breakfast.
That’ll call for an early morning — the recipe takes more than an hour to make. But what’s a weekend without a project?
Or projects! Tomorrow could be the day you finally make blackout cake, a tribute to Ebinger’s, a famous Brooklyn bakery that closed its doors in 1972. On Sunday you can make a dinner of the spicy big tray chicken served at Spicy Village in Manhattan. And at some point, try your hand at coq au vin. Also, Bavarian-style soft pretzels. And duck prosciutto.
But I get it if none of that is in the cards for you right now. We’ve been at this dizzying business of cooking for a long time now, through lockdowns and quarantines, supply-chain woes, weather fine and furious. It can be exhausting. Some days are a triumph if you manage to fry an egg and serve it on reheated white rice with butter, soy sauce and a drizzle of sesame oil. For many the weekend arrives like a welcome chance: to lie prone on the couch watching “Yellowstone
Easy recipes, then, for those who need them: shrimp scampi; creamy vegan tofu noodles; sheet-pan sausages with tomatoes and peppers. Or maybe a chicken and mushroom juk with scallion sauce? (I do that one in the pressure cooker sometimes, just to hurry matters along.) Definitely this caramelized cabbage and walnut pasta, jammy and fragrant and rich.
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Now, it’s nothing to do with clothbound cheese or roasted ptarmigan, but you should read Joshua Hammer in GQ, on an elite Alpine helicopter rescue team in Switzerland that’s getting a lot of work as more skiers and snowboarders head into the backcountry, and as climate change makes snow conditions on the mountains more dangerous.