One of the things I miss most about my pre-pandemic eating habits is the casual intimacy of sharing food. I’m not just talking about passing things around, but eating them with my hands: tearing off the same big piece of injera, or scooping up the same bowl of curry with sticky rice.
I’m so ready for the party vibe ahead of this Super Bowl weekend, even if it won’t involve a big joint dish. I have a vision of Kay Chun’s hot tofu sliders on my kitchen counter – the crispy pieces of tofu dripping with spiced butter – and everyone is reaching for one, unable to speak properly because their mouths are full. Next to it is a platter of samosas stuffed with peas and potatoes from Zainab Shah and green chutney.
And we definitely need something drizzled with Buffalo sauce: Ali Slagle has a wonderful and very simple recipe for Buffalo Cauliflower that involves grilling – you don’t have to worry about frying! – and a little yogurt-based Ranch dressing. And these Buffalo Grilled Mushrooms are delicious (if you can’t grill, you can also crisp them under the grill, just watch closely because once they start to brown, they go away really fast!) .
I like to make a menu in my head to completely deviate from it. I could just go to the farmer’s market and see what’s good, then spontaneously make something to eat with crispy chickpea pancakes. I’ve been cooking them so much lately, putting all sorts of different things on top of the olive oil soaked base with crispy edges.
I think this is a great dish for a small gathering because you can make the pancakes ahead of time and then make them with whatever toppings you like: pan-fried radicchio and cheese, a mixture of roasted vegetables with salsa verde, or just a bunch of aloo masala under cilantro and crushed cashews. All foods can be bites if you know how to eat well with your hands!