One of the things I miss most about my prepandemic eating habits is the casual intimacy of sharing food. I don’t mean just passing things along, but eating them with my hands: tearing the same big chunk of injera, or scooping the same bowl of curry with sticky rice.
I’m so ready for the party vibes ahead of this Super Bowl weekend, even if it’s not a big communal dish. I have a vision of Kay Chun’s hot tofu sliders on my counter—the crispy bits of tofu dripping with the spicy butter—and everyone reaches for one, unable to speak properly because their mouths are full. Next to it is a bowl of Zainab Shah’s pea and potato filled samosas and some green chutney.
And we definitely need something topped with buffalo sauce: Ali Slagle has a wonderful and very simple buffalo cauliflower recipe that uses the grill – no need to worry about frying! — and a little Ranch dressing made with yogurt. And these grilled mushrooms with buffalo sauce are delicious (if you can’t grill, you can also get them crispy under the grill, watch carefully because once they start to brown they go really fast!).
I love to create a menu in my head and then completely deviate from it. Maybe I’ll just go to the farmers market and see what’s good, then make something spontaneous to have with crispy chickpea pancakes. I recently started baking these like this, putting all kinds of different things on the olive oil-soaked, crispy edges.
I think it’s an ideal dish for a small gathering because you can make the pancakes ahead of time and then make them with any topping you like: seared radicchio and cheese, a mix of roasted vegetables with salsa verde, or just a heap of aloo masala under coriander and crushed cashews. All food can be finger food if you can eat well with your hands!