What to Cook This Weekend

Good morning. They’re hauling crab in the Bering Sea right now, and if the quota for kings is down this year, the one for opilios — Alaskan snow crab — is up by 45 percent. Score a few frozen clusters of legs this weekend, dust them with Old Bay, wrap them in foil and heat them through in a 450-degree oven for 10 minutes. Serve with melted butter and a salad of bitter greens. That’s pretty good living: a taste of wild America.

Make Eton mess (above) for dessert. It’s a classic English pudding of strawberries, broken meringue and whipped cream, said to have originated at Eton College, the posh English boys’ boarding school near Windsor that counts royals, prime ministers, poets and the adventurer Bear Grylls among its graduates.

Dorie Greenspan’s fantastic new recipe for the dessert accompanies her column in The New York Times Magazine. Of course it’s a fiddle on the original — Dorie’s a fiddler. She makes the mess autumnal with cranberry jam and lemon curd and a few raspberries in place of the strawberries. You could make it for Thanksgiving, and enjoy the dissonance.

Speaking of dissonance, the musician Paul Weller grew up near Eton, though he sure wasn’t posh, and he came to loathe the exercises and pomp of the school and its students. He wrote “The Eton Rifles” for the Jam in anger and protest. So that’s your soundtrack today, a reminder that class is at the heart of British culture always.

Our Samin Nosrat also has a new recipe this week, as well, for an old-school, made-with-a-mortar-and-pestle basil pesto that she learned about in Liguria last year. Read her beautiful column about the experience and then take some time this weekend to make the sauce. “A revelation,” Samin calls it. I’ll say.

Other possibilities for the weekend: Vietnamese caramelized pork would be a beautiful dinner. So, too, would these giant shells filled with spinach and ricotta. You could make apple cider whoopie pies. (You could!) And you should absolutely make this amazing slow-cooker beef stew with maple and stout. (You don’t even need a slow cooker. On the stovetop you could be done in two or three hours.) Make that on Sunday, and you’ve got dinner for Tuesday done. It’s one of those dishes that improves in the refrigerator.

But don’t just cook this weekend. Plan a little, too, for the coming Thanksgiving feast. Take a census of the kitchen and see that you have the tools you need; our friends at Wirecutter can help with their list of the best tools and tableware for the holiday. This weekend is also a good one to inquire about the dietary restrictions of your guests, about who has suddenly become ketogenic or gluten-intolerant or allergic to meat.

If you’re attending a potluck, this could be the weekend to decide what you’re going to cook and bring. Or, if you’re playing host, you might take the time to arrange the rental of tables and chairs, flatware, glassware and tablecloths. You don’t want to find out, too late, that there are none available, leaving you with sawhorses and plywood and me saying I told you so.

Head on over to NYT Cooking for more: recipes, a menu planner and guides that will teach you, among other things, how to make yogurt and how to use an Instant Pot. It’s worth a subscription, no? You can save the recipes you like to your recipe box and organize them in folders (“Thanksgiving 2018”!). You can get ready, right now, to make your best Thanksgiving yet.

We’ll be standing on the sidelines in case anything goes wrong, either with a recipe or with NYT Cooking itself. Just write: [email protected] We’ll come running, just like the Avett Brothers covering Sam Cooke, live in 2014.

Now, it has very little to do with pork rinds or barberries, but over at Vox they’ve been wrestling with whether CBD is or isn’t a scam. That’s worth reading.

Dwight Garner’s review of Jonathan Lethem’s new novel, “The Feral Detective,” is as well — even though it’s bad news for Lethem fans.

This Twitter thread from the writer Quinn Cummings, about the worst decision she ever made in an office, is just fantastic: a Hollywood story of the very best sort. Absolutely do not miss the replies that follow.

Finally, let’s end as we started, with the great Julia O’Malley on an Inupiat man in Anchorage who switched to a traditional Alaska Native diet for a month: 8 to 10 ounces of whale a day. (He lost 17 pounds.) See you on Sunday!

Source: Read Full Article