Good morning. Tejal Rao has a column in The New York Times Magazine this week about the Brazilian confection known as brigadeiros (above), fudgy little bonbons rolled in cocoa powder. Her recipe for the candies is adapted from one the Los Angeles chef Natalia Pereira makes by eye, as her mother, Francisca Pereira, did when Natalia was a child in Brazil.
“Brigadeiros are said to be named for an Air Force brigadier who ran for president of Brazil in the 1940s,” Tejal writes, “and they became a popular national sweet as shelf-stable condensed milk became more widely available. Home cooks in a hurry could make a luxurious treat with little more than a knob of butter, canned sweetened condensed milk and cocoa.” Which is exactly what Francisca did, and what Natalia does to this day, Tejal continues, “a way to remember Francisca again and again — her ingenuity, her sweetness, her patience.”
You should absolutely make brigadeiros yourself this weekend. As a bonus, you can use a Francisca trick when you’re cleaning up, and rinse out the chocolaty pot with a cup of hot milk, creating a lovely hot chocolate in the process and wasting nothing.
Another fun weekend project? Birria tacos with chile broth, from Pati Jinich. (I like those griddled with a little cheese, for quesabirria.) Also, this pressure-cooker Korean soy-glazed pork belly, from Kay Chun. (Serve in bibb lettuce cups with rice, kimchi and ssamjang.)
Or let’s say you’re going to be getting your golf on, and following Dustin Johnson in the Genesis Invitational in Los Angeles? How about some fried pickles with pickled ranch dip to start, and some spicy Chinese mustard chicken wings for the back nine? Have some gluten-free chocolate chip cookies for dessert.
I could go for some shrimp étouffée this weekend, for some baked spinach and artichoke pasta, too. You may prefer turkey chili, the sticky brilliance of the British chef Fergus Henderson’s beans and bacon or a platter of farro with salmon, cucumber, radicchio and dill.
There are many thousands more recipes to cook this weekend available to you on NYT Cooking, at least once you’ve taken out a subscription to our site and apps. (Subscriptions support our work and allow it to continue. Thank you for yours.) Please explore the site and see what you find. You can save the recipes you like and ought to rate the ones you’ve cooked. And please do leave notes on recipes you’ve adapted yourself, if you’d like to remind yourself of what you’ve done, or to tell others in our community of cooks about it.
We’ll be standing by like Sam Weller in “The Pickwick Papers,” ready to offer a hand if something goes wrong with your cooking or your login. Just write: [email protected] Someone will get back to you. (If not, you can take the matter up with me. I’m at [email protected] I read every letter sent.)
Now, it’s a fast 800 meters from Pacific halibut and bibingka, but I’ve been big into birds during the pandemic and now even like reading about birds, so I bring you Robert O. Paxton in The New York Review of Books, on the toll avian migration takes on birds’ bodies and brains.
Did you see Corey Kilgannon’s obituary for Reggie Jones, Jones Beach’s longest-serving lifeguard, who died in January at age 93? He worked 64 summers. His death was confirmed by his son, also named Reggie Jones, who has worked for 53 years on the beach.
Of course I’m going to watch the new Biggie Smalls documentary on Netflix, “Biggie: I Got a Story to Tell.” Here’s the preview.
Finally, I tell you to read a lot of poems, I know. But here’s a video of Galway Kinnell reading “Wait” in 1986, a poem for a student in a difficult place, and a good reminder of the power of spoken word. I’ll see you on Sunday.
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