Give the Stand Mixer a Break

Good morning. Genevieve Ko is in The Times this week with a terrific column about turning her back on her stand mixer and food processor, and instead glorying in the pleasures of baking with her hands. Recipes illustrate her argument and provide a road map for a wonderful evening in the kitchen: delicate yet sturdy, crisp-edged, caramel-chewy oatmeal chocolate chip cookies (above) and a melty-crumbly apple crisp. Get your paws in the dough — and welcome to the fall season.

To eat before dessert, how about this lovely corn polenta with baked eggs? Or a chicken Marengo, accompanied of course by the soundtrack for “Falsettos,” where the dish gets a nod?

Not that you always need a recipe to cook dinner. Sometimes ingredients drop into your lap, and you can just riff, remembering something you ate in a fancy restaurant or sticky diner, at a friend’s house, at your mom’s.

For example, here’s a no-recipe recipe for roast beef hash, which I made the other night because I happened to have the heel of a tremendous and perfectly rare special-occasion standing rib roast in the refrigerator, along with some buttery roast potatoes and onions. (What, doesn’t everyone?) I sautéed some red bell peppers in butter in my largest cast-iron pan, smeared an anchovy into the mix, cubed the leftovers and added them. I let everything get hot and slightly crisp at the edges and then, to finish the thing off, stirred in a little bit of cream. I stared at that for a little while, then made some divots in the hash, cracked eggs into them and covered the pan until the whites were just set. We ate that over greens dressed in a lemony vinaigrette, with this Peter Luger steak sauce I’ve grown to love. Dang!

Back to actual recipes: I really enjoy this spicy tomato-coconut bisque with shrimp and mushrooms. Also, this chopped salad with chickpeas, feta and avocado. And this burger plate that reminds me of steak haché, which is excellent with these cheater’s pickles Kim Severson learned from the Georgia chef Dora Charles.

There are thousands and thousands more recipes waiting for you on New York Times Cooking, at least once you’ve taken out a subscription to our site and apps. (Subscriptions support our work and allow it to continue. If you haven’t done so already, please subscribe today.) And you can find additional inspiration on Instagram and YouTube, where Yewande Komolafe is cooking plantains at every stage of ripeness.

We are of course standing by in case something goes sideways, and you need a hand in the kitchen or with our technology. Just ask for help: [email protected] Someone will get back to you. (You can also write to me if you’d like: [email protected] I read every letter sent.)

Now, it’s nothing to do with summer savory or the mysteries of day-boat scallops, but you may enjoy the rush of visiting downtown New York City in the 1980s, via John Lurie’s new memoir, “The History of Bones.”

In case you missed it, please spend some time with this remarkable interactive article about the reopening of the Empire State Building, in The Times.

I’m back on these C.J. Box novels I started in on this summer, and Joe Pickett, his Wyoming game warden hero, is holding up well. I can’t believe there are more than 20 of these things!

Finally, new music to play us off: The War on Drugs, “I Don’t Live Here Anymore.” Play loud, cook well and I’ll be back on Friday.

source: nytimes.com