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Gochujang Is Always a Good Idea



Good morning. The dogs ran for miles in the snow, and then snoozed deeply in the back of the truck while we ate pizza at Lucia in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, while we drove to Villabate for pastry afterward, when we got home and napped ourselves. It was a perfect weekend day for them, for me, for the family.

For dinner that night and your dinner this weekend (have pizza and cannoli for lunch!): Eric Kim’s gochujang potato stew (above). The dish is as perfect a use of baby potatoes as has ever been devised, with mountains of kale and cannellini beans in a fiery, sweet, savory broth that takes well to a dollop of sour cream when you serve the dish alongside rice and, if you like, a bowl of kimchi.

My dreams that night were as vivid as reality, and I traveled through time. I hope the same for you.

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These deep winter weekends are excellent for project cooking, too. I recommend a run at the British chef Fergus Henderson’s trotter gear, a secret ingredient to add to soups and stews, to Guinness pie or steak and kidney pudding, to any dish you think would benefit from the truly lip-smacking unctuousness of the gear itself, a kind of Madeira-spiked jelly of flesh and fat and meat. (Nestle some chicken thighs into a couple of cups of it, then salt them nicely and roast in a hot oven until they’re crisp — you’ll see!) Freeze your results in two-cup containers and you’ll be set for months.

You could resuscitate your sourdough starter, that old pandemic friend. If it’s not yet lively enough for English muffins or pizza dough, it’ll certainly throw off enough flavor for an overnight potash that’ll yield exceptional buttermilk waffles or pancakes the next morning.

You could make yogurt, and I hope you do. Also: hot sauce, XO sauce and hollandaise sauce to drizzle over seared scallops or steamed broccoli. And this would be a fine weekend to fry chicken, to bake a lane cake or to assemble a lasagna.

But if not, if it’s all you can do just to read newsletters and dream of deliciousness, there’s always instant ramen to doctor up and enjoy — as fine a recipe and culinary practice as building a mushroom Bourguignon.

There are thousands and thousands of other recipes suitable for weekend preparation awaiting you on New York Times Cooking. Yes, you need a subscription to read them. Subscriptions make this whole enterprise possible. If you haven’t done so already, would you please consider subscribing today? Thanks.

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Now, it’s a considerable distance from anything to do with leeks or mussels, but I’ve been putting in my screen time lately. In between tales of extrajudicial killings (the excellent “Sicario,” from 2015, and the not-great “American Assassin,” from 2017), I took in Robert Altman’s fantastic telling of Raymond Chandler’s “The Long Goodbye,” released in 1973. It’s a satirical noir, in his hands, starring a fantastic Elliott Gould, with terrific appearances by Sterling Hayden, Nina van Pallandt, Mark Rydell, Jim Bouton (of “Ball Four” fame) and an uncredited Arnold Schwarzenegger. Watch!

Staying with movies a moment, do explore Wesley Morris’s look at the best performances of 2023, in The New York Times Magazine. From “Best Acting Above the Nose” (Paul Giamatti in “The Holdovers”) to “Best Theft of a Movie” (Ryan Gosling in “Barbie”), he’s got them all.

I liked Louisa Thomas in The New Yorker, on the swagger of Iowa’s Caitlin Clark, college basketball’s biggest star.

Finally, here’s some new Vampire Weekend for your weekend: “Capricorn.” “Too old for dyin’ young, too young to live alone.” Cook for someone! I’ll see you on Sunday.

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