This year, I designated the week after Thanksgiving as my between-holiday reset. The last leftover turkey was devoured, but all that December making cookies It hasn’t started yet, so it’s a good time to clean out the fridge, reorganize the pantry and focus on lighter meals loaded with healthy veggies.
My pasta with lemon and braised white beans (above) is an excellent way to reset. It’s my new version of a classic pasta and beans recipe: the lemon zest and juice add shine, as do the cherry tomatoes marinated quickly and mixed at the end. And it’s quick too, leaving you a minute to catch your breath and clean out the vegetable drawer.
While you’re there, you can take this opportunity to rescue those fickle greens that are about to wilt (a constant quest in my house). Greens add a nice brightness to most soups, even in recipes that don’t normally call for them. Case in point: You could mix a few handfuls into El-Waylly’s Ham vegetable tortilla soup along with the red cabbage. I also love the lightness of the greens in a rib. Pea soup.
This goes double for stews: Any combination of greens—wilted or not—will add color and flavor to my stew. chickpea stew with orzo and mustard. This is also a great way to use up other leftovers from the vegetable drawer: the last few stalks of celery; some carrots; those lost chives. Chop them and let them boil together until they form something harmonious and fragrant.
On the crispier, meatier side of things, Kay Chun’s Katsu chicken, made with pounded chicken cutlets and panko, has an irresistibly crispy crust that gives way to succulent meat. It is served with a traditional tonkatsu sauce flavored with cloves and ginger.
Feeling suspicious? Ali Slagle fish larb It’s light and fresh, practically vibrating with its blend of lime juice, fish sauce, and sliced chives. Toasted rice, pulverized to a powder with a pestle or spice grinder, adds body and an earthy, nutty character.
Assuming you’re still eating leftover candy from last week, you might as well enjoy the upcoming holiday. Start by marinating a bunch of dried fruit in white rum and port to roast into an ultra-moist, deeply spicy recipe. Caribbean Black Cake. The recipe, by Marva Adams-Miller and adapted by Ramin Ganeshram, calls for soaking a mixture of raisins, currants, plums and cherries for at least a month. But there is also a shortcut that reduces this time to nighttime. Consider doubling the fruit and using half this year and half next year – have (half?) your cake and eat it too!
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That’s all for now, see you on Monday.