No matter what predictions a particular rodent may have on the beginning of spring, the month of February will continue to be a miserable struggle against the cold and the drab. Inevitably, this is the time of year when I start fantasising about jetting off to some paradise in the tropics, where I can enjoy eating papayas bathed in lime juice while basking in the morning light and picking ripe mangoes straight from the trees in the afternoon shade. And I’m not even someone who enjoys going to the beach.
The vacation is out of the question for me this coming winter. But now, as a result of Yewande Komolafe’s most recent recipe, I am able to bring the reassuring tastes of tamarind, ginger, and lemongrass right into my own kitchen. Her ginger-tamarind vegetable soup (shown above) is both brothy and delicious, with cubes of silken tofu floating next to wilted spinach and chunks of tomato. The soup also contains flecks of tamarind. The dreary days of February, which are becoming longer as we draw closer to spring, may be made more bearable by the presence of a fragrant bowl.
Another item for your soup pot comes from Ali Slagle, and it’s a hearty, earthy lentil soup with bits of roasted and caramelised cabbage. For a vibrant vegetarian supper that does not include any meat, try serving this dish with David Tanis’ winter citrus and red chicories salad. You may also check out the new recipe that Hetty McKinnon has developed for sheet-pan tofu and brussels sprouts that are drizzled with a creamy and tangy hoisin-tahini sauce. This is another vegetarian alternative. Maybe you could serve it with her salad of sesame cucumbers and avocados.
It’s possible that you’re looking for a zesty chicken recipe to make throughout the week. The tart and zesty dressing for Anna Francese Gass’s crispy lemon chicken cutlets with salmoriglio sauce soaks into the crunchy coating. These cutlets are served with salmoriglio sauce. It has some similarities to schnitzel, except instead of using veal, chicken breast is used. Katsudon is a pig-based dish that is characterised by thinly sliced pork cutlets that are braised in dashi broth and served on top of rice.
Then, for dessert, you could have Ginger Dimapasok’s purple-colored ube pie, which is created from purple yam, or you could have my tamarind cream pie, which transports us straight back to the tropics.
To get access to the recipes, you will need a membership to New York Times Cooking, which can be obtained in the most straightforward manner possible if you do not already own one. You can also find us on YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok, where you can watch Eric Kim cook a simple but intensely flavorful miso soup with “a lily-pad suspension of scallions,” as he poetically describes it.
We now return to the tropics. There are people living in New York City who can go swimming in the water right now without having to go to a tropical paradise, but I’m not one of them. Last winter, like everyone else I know, I got my toes wet vicariously by watching “The White Lotus,” which is a movie described as a “tropical anxiety attack.” According to an article that was published in The Los Angeles Review of Books by Jorge Cotte, the several alluring and lingering pictures of breaking waves in the play have a sinister undercurrent. A spoiler alert: what lies beyond those waters is something more evil, something as icy as the beautiful rainforests that lie dormant beneath Antarctica. With the conclusion of season two, several fans made travel plans to visit the Sicilian resort. Not me. I’ve already established that I’m not a fan of the beach.