Notes arrived from all over — Saudi Arabia, Australia, Sweden. That was amazing. Some of the loudest calls were ones you might expect: You like sheet-pan recipes. There were requests for vegetarian recipes that use less cheese and more beans, though some people want less beans and — I’m reading between the lines here — more cheese. A few readers specifically wrote in to say no more chickpeas. (I do like chickpeas.)
I also received extraordinary notes about cooking for your beloveds, and for yourselves, including an exquisite letter from a reader who ended a long-term relationship, moved into her own apartment and found love again — all during the pandemic! She cooked the whole time. It was a source of serenity, she said.
I would double this soup by Samin Nosrat, stashing some of it in the freezer for later (another popular request). Commenters thrilled to the peanut-coconut-chile topping, a take on the Thai and Laotian snack miang kham. To make the recipe vegan, use vegan fish sauce.
More than a few readers said they were having nachos for dinner. I support that. This recipe by Priya and Ritu Krishna starts with cheese, black beans, tomatoes and chips, and adds cilantro chutney and tamarind sauce, common elements of Indian chaat. Brilliant, and delicious too.