Hummus, Crispy Chicken Thighs and Shrimp in Rundown Sauce

by Joe Holman
Hummus, Crispy Chicken Thighs and Shrimp in Rundown Sauce

Good morning. There’s some very nice writing about recipes in The New York Times Magazine this week, not surprisingly under the byline of Ligaya Mishan. Her subject is a hummus recipe (above), dating back to 13th century Syria, that Lucien Zayan of the Invisible Dog Art Center in Brooklyn served at a dinner series he runs, la Salle A Manger.

We don’t have a lot of recipes that are so old. In fact, Ligaya reports, there is no documentation of hummus recipes after the 14th century until the late 19th century. But hummus endured, as Ligaya explained beautifully: “A recipe existed only in the doing, the way that the ‘Odyssey’ once existed only in the telling, made new each time, revised, embellished, its glory subject to the seemingly boundless human capacity for error and its counterpart, invention.”

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I like that extremely, and Zayan’s hummus, too: the chickpeas blended with toasted caraway, coriander and sesame seeds, tahini, hazelnuts, pistachios, olive oil, preserved lemon, fresh mint and tarragon. There’s no garlic, but it’s recognizably hummus, and fantastic when scooped up in a warm pita for Sunday dinner, perhaps alongside some shish kebabs.

As for the rest of the week. …

I’m excited to try Ham El-Waylly’s new recipe for crispy chicken thighs with charred zucchini, in part because I like the word “crispy,” in part because I like the word “charred” and in part because I love the sauce — made with buttermilk, cilantro, lemon juice and pumpkin seeds — drizzled over the finished dish.

Ali Slagle’s recipe for a tofu and cabbage stir-fry is absolutely the one to break out if you’re trying to introduce a person to the deep pleasures of deeply cooked but not at all mushy cabbage. Do I sometimes add a couple tablespoons of fermented black beans to the sauce? I do!

There’s no sin in this community; no shame, no guilt. Shred a rotisserie chicken from the supermarket for Zainab Shah’s new recipe for smashed cucumber and chicken salad and toss it with a sweet and spicy dressing that recalls the flavors of Sichuan. This recipe is an easy weeknight win.

Genevieve Ko’s recipe for a crunchy kale salad with plums and dates is a marvel of tastes and textures: the slippery tang of plums; the sticky sweetness of dates; the lemony softness of the dressed kale; the salty crunch of roasted sunflower seeds. Dinner is served!

And then on Friday, you can welcome the weekend with Yewande Komolafe’s latest recipe, shrimp in rundown sauce with cavatelli, which she adapted from the chef Nina Compton. Rundown sauce? It’s Jamaican in origin: tomato-rich shrimp stock with ginger, lemongrass and garlic, thickened with coconut milk. So good.

Many thousands more recipes to cook this week await you on New York Times Cooking, at least if you have taken out a subscription. Subscriptions are important! They support our work and allow it to continue. If you haven’t already, I hope you will consider subscribing today. Thanks!

My inbox is open if you’d like to fill it with indignation or delight. Just write I can’t respond to every letter. But I read and appreciate every one.

Now, you’d need to add a lot of butter and salt to make it have anything to do with recipes or kitchen instruction, but you should read Rachel Yoder’s piece, in Harper’s, on the good witches of Amish country: “In the Glimmer.”

Evan Moffitt’s piece about the conceptual artist Pippa Garner, in T: The New York Times Style Magazine, is just delightful.

Also from The Times: a profile of Lara Love Hardin, a pet cemetery owner turned identity thief who has become a best-selling ghostwriter. That’s by Elisabeth Egan, possibly at her Elisabeth Egan-est.

Finally, here’s a new track from Julie Byrne, “Conversation is a Flowstate.” Play that a few times, and I’ll be back on Friday.

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