My Favorite Recipe of 2020
When I’m procrastinating, I often end up in the self-help corner of the internet, where I go to read life hacks about how to stop procrastinating. What can I say? It’s a vicious cycle. (Here I am sharing my favorite recipe of last year at the end of January.)
But occasionally other bits of wisdom filter through. Stay off Facebook (the algorithm is especially bad for your mental health). Your negative self-talk is a composite of different voices. Start new habits on vacations or in otherwise unfamiliar terrain. And lastly, big transitions are meant to be framed in terms of positive momentum, not backward-looking navel-gazing.
So, in the spirit of that, I wouldn’t say I moved away from Brooklyn in late 2019, it’s more than I moved toward an H Mart, the venerable Korean grocery chain. (If you have an H Mart nearby, let’s please exchange favorite items.) One of the key H Mart perks, in addition to 12-packs of Choco Pie and sweet potato honey chips with black sesame seeds, is the access to a wild variety of meat. I’m talking ribs, bulgogi, pre-marinated chicken and pork. And ground lamb.
Last winter, I found myself with a half-pound of extra ground lamb after making lamb burgers, which are a perfect occasional upgrade when you want to be just a little bit more ecologically irresponsible about your hamburger protein.
Ahhh holy shit. I just realized I am doing one of those 800-word preludes to a recipe when it’s not even my recipe! Okay, well, I stumbled on this recipe for stir-fried ground lamb with eggs in Flavorwalla by Floyd Cardoz. It’s good. Really good. Possibly even perfect. Ginger and turmeric. Onions and eggs. Lamb and mint. (Could you sub in tofu? I don’t know, probably. I’ll never try that.)
Savory, fortifying, ready to go in 30 minutes. The smell alone will drive your pet completely nuts.
I think part of why I’m eager to share this is that, in a sad and surreal turn, shortly after this dish entered my recipe pantheon, its creator became one of the early notable COVID deaths.
Floyd Cardoz, who died in late March, was one of the first of the better known and generally beloved people to meet a premature end during the pandemic. He was only 59. And his life story and work as a culinary ambassador are great. (Eater also has a trove of poignant tributes here.)
Anyhow, it’s meaningful to make yourself a nice dinner. Peeling ginger, chopping onions, and infusing some olive oil with coriander and black pepper are all meditative acts. It’s a very good thing to do especially when you have many other things that you also need to do.