Make use of the fresh beans at the market with Gabrielle Hamilton’s braised black-eyed peas with baby turnips.
By Sam Sifton
Good morning. Black-eyed peas play a big role in celebrations of the calendar New Year, where they’re used for good-luck stew and hoppin’ John and gumbo. But as Gabrielle Hamilton points out in The New York Times Magazine this week, fresh black-eyed peas can bring fortune to this new academic year as well, along with all the other shell beans we’re finding at the market in this harvest season.
“Splendid beauties,” she calls them. “Pinks and pale greens and creamy whites, some of them striped, some spotted and some others even marbled. All of them shiny, plump and squeaky. These freshies cook in minutes, unlike their chalky, drab and dried counterparts, which in the winter need to be soaked overnight and simmered for hours.”
So that’s one weekend dinner right there, even if you don’t have children in school: Gabrielle’s braised fresh black-eyed peas with baby turnips (above), “a pot of good luck and a good dinner all in one,” and with it my fervent wish that your next 365 days are better than the ones that preceded today.
I’d love to make this citrusy roast chicken with pears and figs as well — particularly if I can get into my neighbor’s yard to harvest a hatful of figs. (Let’s say I get two hatfuls. I can make panna cotta with figs and berries for dessert the next night, maybe after a dinner of pan-roasted fish with cherry tomatoes.)
This could be a fine weekend for the chili gumbo that Jeremy Chauvin, a Louisiana firefighter, taught me to make after his recipe won a national award for Best Firehouse Chili back in 2017. Also for baking apple cider doughnuts for Sunday breakfast, and a big vat of tomato soup for luncheon use all week long.
And I love these sweet and spicy ribs with cilantro and cucumber, too. Likewise, this roasted cauliflower gratin with tomatoes and goat cheese. So many choices! It’s going to be a fine weekend indeed.
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We also post inspiration on our Instagram and YouTube channel, where Sohla El-Waylly and her husband, Ham El-Waylly, recently took our mystery menu challenge and created dinner and dessert in an hour — with pickles.
And you can reach out for help if anything goes sideways with your cooking or our technology. Just write: [email protected] Someone will get back to you. (You can also write me directly: [email protected] I’m rarely of help to anyone. But I read every letter sent.)
Now, it’s nothing to do with bain maries or countertop deep fryers, but you should read Rachel del Valle’s “Letter of Recommendation” in The Times, devoted to the pleasures of a print dictionary, in her case a 1954 copy of Webster’s New International Dictionary, Second Edition.
In Vanity Fair, here’s Nancy Jo Sales’s account of a sexual misconduct investigation at Exeter, the tony New England boarding school she attended. She was the victim of that misconduct, school officials told her. Sales was stunned. She said it never happened.
Finally, some new music to chop onions by: Water From Your Eyes, “Quotations.” Listen to that, and I’ll see you on Sunday.
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