Good morning. There aren’t many menu descriptions less appetizing than the “blanched lettuce” available at Tim Ho Wan, the Hong Kong dim sum chain that opened its second New York City store in Hell’s Kitchen in 2018. But it’s one of the restaurant’s great options: hot, tender iceberg lettuce topped with soy sauce. I make an over-the-counter version at home for clay stir-fries or chicken, and dress the cooked iceberg with some oyster sauce slashed with soy sauce and a little sesame oil, along with a dash of garlic.
Maybe try that tonight, alongside this delicious cumin tofu stir-fry (above)? At Tim Ho Wan, they steam the lettuce into wedges, but I usually tear the greens into chunks and cook them in a large pot of water or stock until they’re super silky, but still a little crisp. Drain well, shake the colander to remove as much water as possible, then dress with sauce to taste.
You can also just order a pizza and dedicate your kitchen hours to the magic of Melissa Clark, who unpacked the mysteries of meringue in The Times this week. She has three great recipes that fit her advice. So, extra-lemon meringue pie; a chocolate raspberry meringue pie; and this rich and beautiful blood orange butterscotch meringue pie. Any of these will serve for breakfast the morning after baking!
If you have nothing to do with that, then it will be a pleasant evening for lablabi, the Tunisian chickpea soup. Also for fish tacos, this cheesy baked pasta with sausage and ricotta, or maple baked salmon. And I love pasta with brown butter and parmesan in the middle of the week. Likewise, a barrel of Russian salad, to go with sizzling kielbasa!
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Now it has nothing to do with cake icing or the taste of Alphonso mangoes, but read this Meg Bernhard story in The New Yorker, in the wake of the closure of “Le Rêve,” a pandemic-stricken Las Vegas extravaganza felled.
Here’s John Lee in Anglers Journal about a small plane pilot who flew over a million miles in search of bluefin tuna, swordfish and, lately, great white sharks.
There’s a new Orphan X novel by Gregg Hurwitz, “Dark Horse,” and it’s just as ridiculous and awesome and propulsive as the others – great Bourne and Reacher energy, and you can take it out in an afternoon.
Finally, here’s Taylor Swift and Phoebe Bridgers, “Nothing New (Taylor’s Version)”, which has been repeated in our house for a week now. Listen to that a few times, why not? I’ll be back on Friday.