Happy New Year! – The New York Times

Happy New Year! – The New York Times


Black-eyed peas with ham hock and collards.

Fred R. Conrad/The New York Times

Sam Sifton emails readers of Cooking five days a week to talk about food and suggest recipes. That email also appears here. To receive it in your inbox, register here. Download the NYT Cooking app here.

Good morning. Happy New Year! How are you? Hope you’re not feeling woozy and dry-mouthed and sad, with Ian Fleming’s great line from “Casino Royale” echoing in your head: “Champagne and Benzedrine! Never again!” It’s time to start over, time for new chances. It’s time to cook better, more often, and with more joy in your heart. (Really it is. You do what I’m saying, and the food becomes more delicious, and the people you serve are happier. It’s weird.)

So this is the year to learn to make pasta, perhaps. This is the year to learn to make pizza, I’m fairly sure. And this is the day, absolutely, to make black-eyed peas, so as to ensure your prosperity throughout 2018, whatever happened to you when you messed around with the Upshot’s “Tax Bill Calculator,” in The Times. I like my peas with a smoked ham hock and plenty of kale, but, if you’ve got the time or a pressure cooker, you might try it with a pig trotter, which will give the beans a silky lip-sticking quality that will lead you, eventually, to make a vat of trotter gear to add to all sorts of meals.

To go with it: Try this brown-butter cornbread, from Melissa Clark. Or this more cakelike cornbread that Chris Schlesinger used to serve at the East Coast Grill in Cambridge, Mass.

That’s dinner for you. Right now, though, you may be thinking about brunch. We’ve collected a whole bunch of recipes you could knock off at midday on a national holiday, with a minimum of fuss. I like the idea of citrus salad with prosecco to start, with eggs Benedict to follow, and then an afternoon of “The Punisher” on Netflix, interspersed with naps.

Dream about dinners you’ll make early in 2018. Maybe this sake-steamed chicken with ginger and scallions? Or a big platter of pork cutlets Parm? I love shrimp and grits for dinner. (I love Alexander Smalls’s recipe for smothered shrimp in crab-meat gravy even more!) You could make pan-roasted cauliflower some evening soon. And you’ll find a win in this collection of pasta dishes suitable for making in what we’re calling, euphemistically, “sweater weather.” (It’s 9 degrees outside as I type.)

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