Dinner Plans #30

The big 3-0! Dirty 30!

APÉRITIF:

Dinner Plans is thirty (in newsletter years), flirty (always have been, always will be) and (dare we say) thriving! We have some celebratory and spring-appropriate recipes for you this week, because we love all of you and we love this warm and sunny, don't have to wear a parka to dinner, Sunday picnic in the park weather. And heads up—you're going to want to keep an eye on your inbox ~tomorrow~ for the snacky "So You" that we felt was only appropriate to send out on the 20th day of the 4th month of the year.


ON THE MENU THIS WEEK:

DINNER PLANS

  1. Ramp Milk Bread: I’ve waxed poetic about Julia Moskin’s recipe for Shokupan (Japanese Milk Bread) many, many times, and that’s because I love it. Soft, sweet, squishy, and simple enough to mix, rest, and bake all in an afternoon, guaranteeing I can act quickly when a craving calls. It’s the kind of no-fail dough recipe that you can make again and again to great success until you feel comfortable experimenting with it. Lately that’s meant dividing the dough and folding various mix-ins in between rises, creating a swirl of flavor throughout the mini loaves of bread. I’ve done cinnamon swirl loaves a few times now, so this week I decided to incorporate the undisputed star of Hot Girl Spring: ramps. I added a few finely minced ramps into one loaf, and tried swirling full leaves into another. I’d recommend the former technique for a uniformly garlicky loaf. I’d also recommend using egg wash on top rather than the usual milk for a shinier crust and to help adhere any edible decorations like these ramp leaves. Want more ideas for what to do with your precious ramp haul? Friday’s newsletter for paid subscribers was chock-full-o-ramps, so if you’re not yet subscribed, now’s a good time to do so:

    Subscribe now

  2. Cauliflower Ragu: I’m on a cauliflower kick. After years and years of roasting it plainly, crudely crammed onto sheet trays with random other vegetables, I finally feel as though I’m showing it some justice. A few weeks ago it was this whole roasted cauliflower, and this week it was Molly Baz’s cauliflower ragu, a totally unexpected, zingy little number. It’s got tomato paste, calabrian chili, and anchovies, but also copious amounts of mint and lemon zest? You may have noticed it’s also behind a Patreon paywall, so in order to access it you can support her (paying recipe developers for their labor! fun!) orrrr you can be besties/newsletter cofounders with Gab (sorry that spot’s taken!) Or here’s another recipe from one of our favorite cookbooks, Six Seasons, that’s a lot more straightforward in flavor and technique. “Tumble” cauliflower, white wine, parm, and lots of pasta water for a creamy, cheesy masterpiece. -CK

  3. Monster Skillet Cookie: A skillet cookie isn’t necessarily springy, but a hot pan of sizzling, barely-baked cookie dough (topped off with a big, mandatory scoop of ice cream) is the most special dessert to share, whether snow is falling or flowers are blooming. My most recent rendition was a combination of three doughs, BJ’s style. I beat together a half batch of this double chocolate dough and half of these ‘oatmeal cookie hugs’ with unsweetened shredded coconut, toasted coconut flakes and some roughly chopped Samoas. The third and final cookie was a combo of the brown butter dough from my favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe, swirled in-spoonfuls of speculoos cookie butter and chunks of a special holiday edition Ritter bar made with milk chocolate and speculoos cookies. A warm bite of all three with cold, melting vanilla ice cream is to me, the perfect spring, summer, fall and winter food. -GS


BBOTW (BEST BITES OF THE WEEK):


TAKEOUT:


Got a favorite spring chicken [recipe]? Tell us here.
Need the perfect menu for your first post-pandemic party?! Send us any and all embarrassing questions and insane situations here.