Even for the more experienced chefs who don’t mind whipping up a pan birria de resThese straightforward recipes are packed with clever tips and nuggets of kitchen wisdom to bookmark. For example: by pressing a . to push quesadilla in a pan will produce what Nikita calls a “halo of crispy crunchies” around the edges. Did you know that you can use the fat in a can of coconut milk to cook the vegetables in a vegetable tofu curry†
And don’t miss the perfectly simple French toast† roasted mixed vegetables† cheesy eggs on toast and roasted salmon with mustard and lemon†
For those past the beginner stage, here’s an over-the-counter baked egg and peas with garlic recipe that I made: pick a bunch of peas or use frozen peas. Put them in a pan with some butter, sliced garlic and possibly a few finely chopped anchovies and let everything bubble until the peas turn bright green. Stir in a generous handful of chopped herbs and serve with fried eggs and a dollop of yogurt. Grab a loaf of bread and it’s dinner in less than 15 minutes.
And for the occasional chefs who are diners, our critic Pete Wells has returned to awarding stars in restaurant reviews this week, visiting La Piraña Lechonera in the South Bronx for roast pork and revelry. He writes that La Piraña “packs more joy into two days than most restaurants can do in a full week.”
And now for something very different … vampires! Not the fanatical, bloodsucking kind, but rather the criminal masterminds crawling across belle epoque Parisian rooftops in Louis Feuillade’s 1915 silent series, Lesson Vampires† You can watch that on the Criterion Channel.
We couldn’t get enough of this crazy vamp in our house, with the inimitable musidora as Irma Vep. Director Olivier Assayas was inspired to revive her not once, but twice: in his 1996 film “Irma Vep”, starring the great Maggie Cheung (also on Criterion), and in the new HBO series starring Alicia Vikander. Very emo, as my teen says, in the best possible way.
Think it’s easy to breathe new life into a classic mansion? Check out this Times piece on the renovation of Hopwood Hall, a centuries-old historic English estate that had fallen into disrepair until an American stepped in to rebuild his ancestral home, right down to its medieval rivets.
I would have started with the kitchen myself. But like Nikita said, we all have to start somewhere.