What to Cook Right Now

Good morning. Serendipity arrived in our language on this day in 1754, a coinage of Horace Walpole in a letter to Horace Mann. The word apparently emerged from the title of a Persian fairy tale called “The Three Princes of Serendip.” This group of young fellows, Walpole wrote Mann, “were always making discoveries, by accidents and sagacity, of things they were not in quest of.” These discoveries, he explained, “I call Serendipity.”

Serendipity is a rare pleasure. It is also a hallmark of the search bar on NYT Cooking. I typed “goat” there today, looking for the excellent recipe for curried goat that Priya Krishna scored for us last year in an article about Jamaican holiday cooking. The search led to some reading, some surfing, a lot of clicking and, suddenly, this lovely 2009 essay from Henry Alford, “How I Learned to Love Goat Meat.” Read that, why don’t you?

But don’t just look to the past. New recipes abound across our landscape today like — hey now! — goats in a Chagall painting. Melissa Clark has a fantastic one for the easiest lentil soup, with garnishes galore.

For his own part, Yotam Ottolenghi weighed in with a new recipe for Bolognese casserole with harissa, which I’d like to see called Ottolenghi hotdish, moving forward. We’ll get him to Minnesota yet.

And Eric Asimov brought together his Baker Street irregulars to taste Châteauneuf-du-Papes this week for “Wines of The Times.” Florence Fabricant meanwhile paired the wine with her terrific new recipe for braised beef with eggplant. You’ll want to consider cooking that real soon as well.

There are thousands and thousands more recipes to browse, along with much else in the way of serendipitous inspiration, waiting for you on NYT Cooking. (Lamb meatballs, for instance, for the win.) Go see what you think of them, and of what you find. (You do need a subscription to do that, yes. Sign uptoday!) Visit us on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter while you’re at it. And if anything goes wrong along the way, either with your cooking or our technology, just write: [email protected] We will get back to you.

Now, it has nothing much to do with Scotch eggs or Darjeeling tea, but some recent Marie Kondo efforts around the house led me to the conclusion that Simon Schama’s “The Embarrassment of Riches: An Interpretation of Dutch Culture in the Golden Age” still sparks joy, more than 30 years after its publication. Track down a copy today!

While you’re at it, thanks to N.K. Jemisin, I’m looking forward to taking “The Water Cure,” by Sophie Mackintosh.

And before I go, you do need to watch the new Bad Bunny music video, “Caro.” Thank you for that. Have a great week. I’ll see you on Wednesday.

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