Your Friday Moment of Zen

Illustration of a jellyfish

[Illustration: Biodiversity Heritage Library]

You did it! The first full workweek of the new year down!

Every Friday afternoon we're putting up a post just like this one to celebrate the fact that the week is done.

We think of this series as something of a send-off for the week, giving you the option of a brief interlude for your Friday afternoon. Of course, if your workweek is just starting, or if you're still in the thick of it, think of this as a pick-me-up for your personal hump day or as a nice way to kick off your weekend shifts.

We hope to provide a short mix of mostly silly, mostly food-related, mostly entertaining things to look at, listen to, and read, and we hope you'll find it amusing, and maybe, sometimes, edifying and enlightening. We also see it as an opportunity to go over some of what's new on the site, which you, dear readers, may have missed.

If you have feedback, or if you run across any interesting/oddball/totally crazy stories/podcasts/images/videos during the week that you think may be appropriate for this little collection of miscellany, email us! We can't guarantee that we'll use it, but we will 100% appreciate the effort.

What's New on Serious Eats

You can, of course, browse all our content in reverse-chronological order. But here are just a few highlights:

  • To kick off the new year, we decided to focus on some quick and easy meals. The first installment is Sho's beef donburi, a rice bowl with crispy garlic nubs, sautéed spinach, and sliced, pan-seared ribeye steak, all doused in a savory sauce.
  • The second is Daniel's riff on our skirt steak fajitas recipe, which he's streamlined by turning it into a sheet-pan dinner.
  • Quick and easy might be the watchword for some as they head into 2020, but for people who resolved to a bit more project-cooking this year, Sasha has them covered with his Big Duck Project, which kicked off with his primer on how to break down a duck. Stay tuned for future installments in the series, the first of which is how to render duck fat and make za'atar cracklings.

Our Favorite Comments of the Week

From the recipe for shio koji:

This was absolutely magical. I used the shio koji to marinate a ny strip for 24 hrs (on a wire rack in the fridge), then wiped off the excess and cooked sous vide to 131 for two hours (for a 2” cut). Seared, sliced, and served. It needed nothing. It was a little funky like a 6-8 week dry aged steak. I’m so excited to try this on everything (including a plain Jane boneless skinless chicken breast).

From the recipe for our Cambodian lemongrass chicken stir-fry (cha kreung satch moan):

This was quite delicious! The mudfish puree smells awful raw, but really brings a complexity to the dish that I’ve not found in my own kitchen before. I cheated and used a spice grinder to begin the kreung (the lime leaves were not breaking down in the [mortar]).

From a commenter (who we are frankly quite worried about) on Facebook, in response to our refeatured article "Just Add Water: How to Make a Pan Sauce, and How to Fix a Broken One":

🎵 STOP! In the NAAAME of fond, be-fore you BREEEAK my sauce 🎵

A Brief Book Break

When I was much younger and proportionately hungrier and less finicky, a minor form of bliss was going to a drive-in near school and eating two or three weird, adulterated combinations of fried beef, mayonnaise, tomato catsup, shredded lettuce, melted cheese, unidentifiable relish, and sliced onion. These concoctions were called "Right-Spot Specials," in dubious honor of the place that served them. They seemed wonderful then. Now I gag.

Now I prepare, from time to time, an austere and fine adaptation of this adolescent dream. It is as much better than the old as being my age is than being that age—and that is a lot! Served with some sourdough bread, a bowl of fresh celery or plain green salad, and some simple red wine or beer, it is good.

From An Alphabet for Gourmets by M.F.K. Fisher

Food Numbers, News, and Hijinks

Have a wonderful weekend, everybody!