Wed. May 31st, 2023


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What to Cook This Weekend

3 min read

Whatever you’re celebrating, let there be layer cake.

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By Sam Sifton

Good morning. We’re in the midst of the holy days: Today is Good Friday, with Ramadan and Passover underway, Easter on Sunday and Eid al-Fitr coming soon. I’m looking forward to lamb chops on Sunday, with scalloped potatoes and early asparagus, and hummingbird cake for dessert (above).

Others may opt for a festive pineapple ham, Easter bread, maqluba, Georgian chicken in pomegranate and tamarind sauce, strawberry shortcake or carrot cake.

But it’s not as if you have to cook from the holiday playbook. I could imagine a weekend of velvet fish with mushrooms, crisp-edged quesadillas and German chocolate cake instead. Whatever the menu, do include a layer cake — this season of rebirth and possibility calls for something celebratory and substantial.

And for Saturday lunch? I like Bryan Washington’s new recipe for bò né, a classic Vietnamese preparation of marinated steak and fried eggs, served with thatches of herbs and a baguette smeared with pâté and butter.

“It’s usually served for breakfast, alongside a salad and an assortment of condiments,” Bryan wrote for The New York Times Magazine, “but there are as many ways to partake in bò né as there are diners to order it. You could work through each component individually, or you could let the egg yolk seep toward your beef while you sop up everything with your bread. Or if you’re anything like me, you could opt for a sort of sandwich, combining every ingredient at hand, lodging them into your bread and washing it all down with iced coffee afterward (an A-1 experience).”

I’ll go for the sort of sandwich version myself, and I’ll pair it with this Vietnamese iced coffee (which even if I generally abstain from making brand recommendations, I think is best made with the Café du Monde coffee and chicory blend).

There are thousands and thousands more recipes to cook this weekend waiting for you on New York Times Cooking. You need a subscription to read them, it’s true. Subscriptions support our work and allow it to continue. I hope, if you haven’t already, that you will subscribe today. Thanks so much.

Write to us if you run into problems with the technology. We are at [email protected]. Write to me if you’re exercised about something, or simply want to say hello. I’m at [email protected]. I cannot respond to every letter. But I read every one I get.

Now, you’d have to do a lot of finish carpentry to make it have anything to do with recipes, but I’ve been enjoying “The Night Agent” on Netflix. (I’m no casting director, but I think Luciane Buchanan is going to be a star.)

I don’t think I’m going to read Robert Greenfield’s biography of the playwright and actor Sam Shepherd, “True West,” but I’m sure glad I read Dwight Garner’s excellent review of the book, in The New York Times.

Here’s Allison P. Davis’s profile of the romance novelist Emily Henry, in New York magazine. It’s a good read.

Finally, Lindsay Zoladz’s wonderful new newsletter for The Times, The Amplifier, turned me on to a new Jana Horn track, “After All This Time.” Listen to that nice and loud. I’ll see you on Sunday.

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