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What to Cook Tonight - The New York Times

Category: Food & Drink,Lifestyle

Good morning. We’re 11 days out from Easter, and if you haven’t ordered a ham yet, it’s because either you’re running late or you’re not celebrating and either way I’m asking for hot takes: Where do you stand on spiral-cut ham?

Bring your answer to the comments section attached to Kim Severson’s exhaustive and funny report about the ham world’s equivalent of pop music, “The Sweet Success of the Spiral-Cut Ham.” It’s a marvelous piece of reporting and writing that among many things lets fans know they’re not alone: About 34 percent of all the hams sold in the United States are spiral-cut, according to an executive at the National Pork Board.

Those spiralized shoulders sure do make the feasting easy. Just get a good glaze going for the meat, a couple of big bags of little potato buns, a vat of mustard and some watercress. That’s a good feed with a minimum of effort. Sons of men and angels say, Alleluia! (Here is a lot more information on how to cook hams. And if maybe the last thing you’re going to be cooking this season is a ham? Here are some recipes for the coming Passover celebrations as well.)

And for dinner tonight? I like the idea of making this new recipe that our own Alexa Weibel adapted from the British cookbook writer Anna Jones’s new book, “The Modern Cook’s Year,” for a savory zucchini and egg tart with fresh herbs (above). Among many things, it employs store-bought puff pastry, which can be just the thing for midweek cooking.

Moreover, it’s a recipe that lends itself well to our Wednesday tradition of cooking without a recipe and instead off a prompt. For instance: Pull everything out of that pastry shell and follow Lex’s improvisatory suggestions: “lose the mustard and crème fraîche and use mascarpone, garlicky Boursin cheese or even softened cream cheese instead. To serve a crowd, bypass the eggs; add some cooked asparagus, fennel or other seasonal vegetables; and drape with prosciutto or smoked salmon. Garnish with whatever herbs are kicking around in your crisper and fistfuls of barely dressed arugula or mâche.” I like all of those ideas and particularly the one with Boursin. Let’s go!

Not feeling a midweek tart? Try a Lucky Peach lamb burger and go a little crazy instead. Serve it on an English muffin. Or make pressure-cooker pork puttanesca ragù. (Nice on shells.) Vegan Thai curry? You’re welcome.

Thousands and thousands more recipes to cook tonight and in coming days await your visitation, on NYT Cooking. (Please consider taking out a subscription so that you may access them all.)

We provide further inspiration, as the product fellows say, off-platform: on Instagram, for instance, and Twitter and Facebook. And you can write us at home if anything goes wrong with a recipe or with the site and apps. We’re at cookingcare@nytimes.com. We will get back to you.

Now, it doesn’t have anything to do with lobster or chrysanthemum tea, but Frank Rich on “Oklahoma!” in New York magazine is an absolute must-read. (Here’s Ben Brantley’s review, in The Times. For contrast, here’s the counterreview from The New York Post. And, for the biographer’s take, here’s Todd Purdum in The Atlantic. Collect them all!)

The Atlantic unearthed an Auden poem the magazine published in 1939, “Crisis,” about fascism and the dread of invasion:

These pioneers have long adapted themselves

To the night and the nightmare; they come equipped

To reply to terror with terror,

With lies to ummask the least deception.

Finally, Senator Kamala Harris of California was at The Times the other day, talking with our politics desk about her candidacy for the presidency of the United States. I buttonholed her on her way to the door and managed to get in a few questions in about food. Ms. Harris, it turns out, is a super-user of NYT Cooking and, just like you, a reader of this newsletter. She has particular regard for Gabrielle Hamilton’s recipe for a smoky pork shoulder with chile paste and Melissa Clark’s fine feta-brined roast chicken. All politics is kale. I’ll see you on Friday.


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