Good morning. There’s holiday music playing 12 hours a day in my house these days, frost in the corner of the windows, a fire in the hearth. Projects are running: tourtière for Christmas Eve; black cake for Christmas night. We’re finishing up the leftovers from Thanksgiving, and I’m planning the turkey-bone gumbo I’ll make later today, a tradition I picked up from the New Orleans storyteller Pableaux Johnson, whose ways with a turkey carcass are legendary.
That gumbo’s best — all gumbo is best — if it gets some time to cure in the refrigerator after cooking, so for dinner tonight: a fine new recipe for salsa verde chicken, which you can make in a pressure cooker if you want to go fast; in a slow cooker (above) if you’re puttering around the house all day; or on the stove if gadgets aren’t your thing. Delicious.
For Monday, I’d like this fantastic rice porridge with squash and brown butter that Tejal Rao learned from Minh Phan, a Los Angeles chef and porridge whisperer.
Tuesday, how about Alexa Weibel’s recipe for sheet-pan roast chicken and mustard-glazed cabbage? It’s like a lighter take on sausage and sauerkraut, and a really good meal.
For Wednesday night, traditionally one of the most difficult nights for home cooks, try a simple, elegant take on a delivery-food standby: beef and broccoli, wok-tossed and excellent. The chef Jonathan Wu, who taught me his mom’s recipe for the dish, calls it diaspora food — Chinese food changed by its journey around the world. (A reader named Alberto affixed a note to the recipe describing his own parents’ journey from China to Guatemala in the late 1930s. His mother, he said, had to adapt her cooking to the locally available ingredients. So instead of rice wine in her beef and broccoli, he said, she used rum!)
Thursday night: Samin Nosrat’s Roman egg drop soup. That’ll change the color of your mood ring.
And then run out the week on Friday with spicy big tray chicken, a dish Mark Bittman learned to make a bunch of years ago at Spicy Village in Manhattan’s Chinatown. Mark marinates the meat and doesn’t use MSG. I don’t and I do. It’s fantastic.
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It has nothing to do with butter or brioche, but if you love The Times and you missed Zachary Woolfe’s review of Kanye West’s opera “Nebuchadnezzar,” you should go back and read it. It’s not an opera so much as an oratorio.
Unboxing video comes to baseball cards, and Eric Moskowitz is on it for The Atlantic.
Finally, if you’re looking for an antidote to all the socializing of this coming holiday season, the forced cheer of office parties and community caroling, the press of family, everyone small-talking under the mistletoe, beside the giant menorah, the glittery tree? Elin Hilderbrand’s winter novels may answer, Nantucket under a blanket of snow, something to read on a couch alone, as if on vacation, quiet for hours.
I’ll be back tomorrow.