What's fun right now? Cookies
Plus, TV recs and a recipe to save the herbs wilting in your fridge
Welcome to This Needs Hot Sauce. We have some new faces here (!!) and I’m so happy to have you. For more, say hi on Instagram and check out our weekly cooking recap.
I’ve been spending so much time at home, between the cold weather and the Covid anxiety. This means plenty of time for good tv (highly recommend Betty on HBO about the coolest skater girls and A League of Their Own, which I caught for the first time) and some cooking projects. I’m getting early pandemic flashbacks as I stare at the contents of my refrigerator and think of ways to remix them outside of our usual combinations.
I keep going back and forth on outdoor dining (but feel very strongly about takeout). Lately, I feel most comfortable just grabbing a drink and snack rather than a full meal. It’s less time and interaction with others, and it still feels like a wonderful diversion. It’s painful to walk around and see indoor/outdoor structures full of groups of 6 that I doubt are part of the same household/pod. I know pandemic shaming is unhelpful but it’s really hard to see the end of this right now. If you have any well spaced, actually outdoors recommendations in Brooklyn, Queens, or Manhattan, I’m extremely open to suggestions!
Finally, it’s Martin Luther King day and if you, like me, were educated in the US, it’s worth taking some time to unlearn what we’ve been taught about MLK and the Civil Rights movement. There are many places to do this (Rachel Miller’s blog post from last year is great) and ways to support current work. Don’t post a quote and move on. Also, if your anxiety around Wednesday’s inauguration is high, support people in DC affected by the lockdown. Remora House is collecting and distributing supplies for unhoused people and you can learn more and donate here.
Now, let’s dive in.
Something to Cook:
I’m making my way through the Omsom sampler set. The mushroom larb was so good and straightforward to make (there’s a lot of chopping so do that before you start cooking anything). I served it with cabbage and white rice. Note: this one is spicy so use half the sauce packet if you’re sensitive to spice.
Confession time: I’m terrible at using up a whole bunch of herbs. In fact, I sometimes leave them out of recipes to avoid having them rot in my fridge. Determined to reduce my food waste, I googled around for ways to use up the shallots, cilantro, and mint I had leftover from the larb. This sauce fit the bill and will extend the herbs’ shelf life. So far, I’ve drizzled it over scrambled eggs and mixed it with some ketchup as a dip for oven fries (fully inspired by Priya Krishna’s dahi toast dipping situation).
The eggs in question were so good and diner inspired. I sautéed 2 cloves garlic, added some kale (you could also use spinach or arugula) and then added 2 scrambled eggs and feta. Once that was cooked, I transferred the eggs to a bowl and toasted bread in butter in the same pan (I don’t have a toaster) and served it up with the cilantro sauce. So good.
Have you seen the TikTok tortilla trend? I tried it and don’t think it’s worth it. You get less crispy surface area by folding it so much and a regular quesadilla is even better. I think people like it because they’re using creative fillings to which I say: use any fillings you want in a quesadilla.
After staring at my cabinets yesterday, I decided the time to use up the last of a bag of almond flour was now. I made these cookies, a recommendation from Erica, and they were so good. I only had enough flour for a half batch which yielded five large bakery style cookies. The recipe is gluten free if you’re into that!
Something to order:
For my one outdoor drink last week I went to Goldie’s in Greenpoint. You order at a window and they bring drinks out to you. The backyard is spaced out, with certain tables blocked off, and it was a nice place to be on Friday evening (at least until it started to rain). We got beer and shot combos and they also have a bunch of hot drinks.
Pho is very helpful for getting through the winter. Lucy’s is my go to and they have locations in Bushwick and Williamsburg. The vegan chicken is made in house and so flavorful.
I got a gift card and used it for lunch from Knickerbocker Bagel, some of the best bagels in Brooklyn. Julianne and Ian buy their bagels by the dozen (check out their reheating trick for frozen bagels) and they’re really so good.
Something to read:
Would you buy a $400 chef’s knife?
How birria tacos conquered America
This parchment paper trick works every time (I first saw it on Grossy Pelosi’s Instagram)
Good news for New York’s street vendors
How some of the coolest wine labels are designed
Related: why food brands, including Burger King, are all about the aesthetic
Women of color are hit hardest by the loss of hospitality jobs (this covid recession is mostly a women’s recession)
Who is Joe Rosenthal and how does he choose what to share?
Why Jerry Nadler’s Zabar’s Bag is more than just a Zabar’s bag
My brilliant friend Delia shared details about her novel, how she started Deez Links and more.
In the East Bay, The Ohlone are building a new homeland
An interview with Alicia Kennedy on tech meat, the food chain, and her upcoming book.
It’s not your fault that restaurants are going out of business during the pandemic
More on the tortilla trend, with suggestions from Pati Jinich.
Refreshing the rules of recipe writing at the LA Times
Can you think of any reason not to make s’mores this week?
Preserving an essential food timeline
A conversation with Whetstone Media’s Stephen Satterfield (more on Whetstone here)
Do you have an errand friend? One of the best parts of having friends in the neighborhood is being able to do annoying errands, like dropping off returns, together.
Edouard Massih of Edy’s Grocer wants to be the Middle Eastern Martha Stewart
Grubhub routinely lists restaurants without their permission. Greenpoint’s Little Tiffin shared their recent experience with me, for Greenpointers.
I spoke with Frida about my love for candles, which make great gifts. LMK if you have any favorites.
Now let’s talk about easy dinners. I talked about cooking burnout with Nisha and think easy dinners really help when you’re too tired to make major decisions.
Nisha’s go to sounds so good: The easiest meal I can think of when I can't think of anything else, is chicken sausages (could use veggie/beyond meat here too for vegetarians!) sliced up and sauteed with peppers and onions.
Julianne’s HelloFresh plan helps solve the dinner question: HelloFresh makes it so easy for us to not have to think about dinner!!! I finally have a hellofresh referral link back in my account (here). Now hellofresh offers 6+ vegetarian options a week. Also for anyone interested they do student discounts vs Unidays. I still think my favorite *omg we have NOTHING in this apartment and we are starving!* meal was when Ian realized we had 2 Knickerbocker bagels in the freezer, as well as a tupperware of crushed tomatoes and some white cheese (idk what it was but not mozzarella) and he decided to whip us some pizza bagels. Would rate that a 10/10 even if it wasn't a scrambled together meal. More bagel pizzas in 2021.
Lily hits the nail on the head with this takeout mood: On nights where I feel as though even waiting for pasta water to boil will kill me, I order scallion pancakes, vegetable steamed dumplings and one of the many chicken and rice dishes from Northern Cafe. It always arrives piping hot, it's comforting as hell and it's really good. Plus, portions are massive so if you can't summon the will to make dinner tomorrow, you can always do leftovers.
Chrissy knows the power of shortcuts: a bag of frozen stir fry veggies, a block of tofu, and whatever sauces I have laying around. (I really love Trader Joe's coconut aminos, but I'll never say no to a peanut.) I keep my tofu in the freezer and thaw it before cooking, so the only hard part of this meal is making sure I take the tofu out of the freezer in the morning.
This week, I’d love to hear about something fun you’ve done recently (food related or not)! It’s so hard to have fun these days and I know we could all use some inspiration. A few recent ones: going upstate and watching nostalgic movies (remember Sleepover with Alexa Vega?), a Miley Cyrus yoga flow on the Peloton app, trying a new cookie recipe (see above), and having an outdoor drink on Friday. Reply to this email with yours and I’ll share the responses next week!
Take care and thank you for reading! Paid subscribers support this newsletter and will get a special round up of my favorite food TikTokers on Thursdays (I downloaded TikTok last April and it brings so much joy).