Good morning. There’s something very satisfying about making a big batch of Gabrielle Hamilton’s Ranchero Sauce (above). It’s doubly so doing it on a weeknight, eating takeout pizza and listening to Ethel Cain’s “Preacher’s Daughter.” The process yields many pints that you can keep in the fridge or freezer and give to friends. Use it as a medium for poaching eggs or simmering shrimp, or as a sauce for shredded chicken tacos or enchiladas.
It lasts and lasts. You eat your ranchero sauce from May in August. And you made it on a Monday night!
I accept that some may think otherwise. Monday nights are not for project cooking, they say. Monday evenings are meant to recognize that a week’s work has begun far from the kitchen, and therefore requires: fast cooking: a 30-minute shrimp étouffée, for example, or a 15-minute roasted salmon with brown sugar and mustard, perhaps for a familiar bowl of ramen.
I get it. But I still feel like tearing down a project at the end of the week: maple milk bread, maybe, or XO sauce, or chipotle chicken tamales. And I hope you join me. There is joy in work.
If not, how about some black beans and rice, with sweet plantain fries? Or roasted vegetables with a cashew romesco? Taiwanese popcorn chicken? You can always give up altogether, make a Long Island iced tea, and pretend Tuesday isn’t coming anytime soon.
And if none of those recipes suit you, you can find plenty more ideas for cooking this week on DailyExpertNews Cooking. (The fact is, you need a subscription to access it. Subscriptions support our work and keep it going. Sign up today if you haven’t already. Thank you.)
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Now it’s not about viands or vinegar, but Vinson Cunningham’s New Yorker review of Mary-Louise Parker in “How I Learned to Drive” is about more than that: “hyperverbal heroes who, through considerable darkness, speak light, and live, into existence.”
I forgot how much I enjoyed Geoffrey Wolff’s 1986 novel “Providence” until I took it off the shelf again, funny and sad and as revealing about Rhode Island as it is about the human condition. (Not sure if it’s still in print. Libraries or the internet will take you there.)
Nuns are on TikTok, Anna Furman reported for The Times. #conventlife
Finally, here’s Dwight Garner in The Times on “The Letters of Thom Gunn.” The book suggests that the poet was particular about his fashion. Here’s Dwight: “In the summer of 1967, the Summer of Love, a friend ran into Gunn in Golden Gate Park, this book tells us in a footnote. It was very hot, and Gunn wasn’t wearing a chain mail shirt. “There was his hairy chest and then hot metal burned into his skin, his flesh,” the friend reported. “He tried to look very casual, but he was clearly crucified. It was horrible. But he wouldn’t take it off because it would have ruined the whole look of the thing.” †
Always commit to the bit! I’ll be back on Wednesday.