Cooking for Christmas – The New York Times


Hello. It’s getting quiet here in New York City, and I’m writing this knowing it’s been quiet in a lot of places for the past two years.

The proprietary business communications platform I spend my work days on isn’t ringing as frantically as it has in recent weeks. Video conferences are rare or infrequently used. Emails start to bounce with out of office messages while my text messages tend to send childhood friends back to town, hoping to have a drink at some point. Almost empty buses crisscross the city. It’s starting to look a lot like a Christmas pandemic.

Seems like the right time to recommend French chicken for dinner, with olive oil and parmesan pasta. And maybe a hot toddy for dessert? It’s a Christmas carol in a glass, for some.

I’d love to make this Caviar Sour Cream Dip with Potato Chips (above) as well this week, and a big chunk of it, so it can rightfully be considered dinner. Meet me? It’s good with prosecco, champagne or iced vodka. It’s a festive meal. (And, with the salmon roe, not as expensive as you might think.)

Also to be considered, as we head off the week towards the holidays: a caramelized onion galette, these scallops with brown butter, capers and lemon, bistek, a quick lamb ragù, and a salted chocolate pudding with cream sour whipped for dessert.

Then chicken pie for Christmas Eve, modernized by Julia Moskin, without white sauce and overdone vegetables, with steamed buttered peas topped with mint on the side, and ham for the following day. Unless you don’t eat ham, in which case: spinach lasagna in the colors of the day.

Over 20,000 additional recipes await at New York Times Cooking, at least if you’ve purchased a subscription. I hope you have. Subscriptions support our work and keep it going. (If not, hopefully you’ll consider subscribing today. And, well, it’s not too late to buy some gift subscriptions to put under the virtual tree!)

Please ask for help if something is wrong while you are cooking or using the site and apps. We’re at [email protected] and someone will get back to you. (You can also write to me, if you wish. I’m at [email protected] I read every letter I send.)

Now that’s a far cry from theft or Shanghai lumpia, but check out Julian Lucas’ report in The New Yorker on writers looking for “distraction-free” devices to write on. Like a typewriter? A little, but smarter. It sounds fantastic, but I love my tabs.

Speaking of which, here’s Alexander Darwin on Rolling Stone, on Chef Anthony Bourdain’s anonymous post on a martial arts forum on Reddit.

I missed it when it fell in October, but Jerry Audet’s ode to a secret fishing spot, in Angler’s Journal, is quite right about the magic of finding one and working it well.

Finally, here’s a poem for Tuesday’s winter solstice: “The World,” by Jennifer Chang. Take advantage and I’ll be back on Wednesday.


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