Good morning. J. Kenji López-Alt has a fascinating article in The Times this week about a trip he took with his wife, Adri, to her native Colombia, and the empanadas (above) he learned to make there with the chef Carlos Gaviria. Kenji was left speechless, he wrote, by the secret ingredient used to make the dough: popcorn.
It’s a cool technique that results in a spectacularly crisp empanada, but if you don’t want to do the work to make it, Kenji has a recipe for a more traditional dough as well, along with one for a bright salsa to go with whichever version you choose. Frying empanadas should be in your game plan for this week. I’m not here to boss you around, but I’m thinking it could be your Friday night activity, a beautiful start to the weekend many of us start thinking about today.
I’d like to have French toast for breakfast one day this week, with some plain yogurt on the side, topped with blueberries. I’d like to have a simple steak with ginger-butter sauce as well, or some beans and garlic toast in broth.
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Now, it’s nothing to do with calamansi or sea bream, but the great Jon Pareles recently turned me on to Admas, a band of Ethiopian expats in Washington, D.C., whose 1984 album “Sons of Ethiopia” is a rare and coveted find in the world that JP inhabits. Frederiksberg Records released a remastered version of the record late last month; you can listen to the track he recommended to me, “Kalatashe Waga,” on YouTube. It’s like instrumental go-go meets Ethiopian synth: excellent cooking music, in other words.