The Sunday Paper Recommends

At The Sunday Paper, we want to inspire you to gather at your table—virtually or with friends and family—and open your heart and mind to conversations that will move the needle. After all, the dinner table is where we connect on topics and map out the changes we can all make that’ll really move the needle.

This week, to encourage your conversations, we recommend checking out the following:

1. We’re cooking up a storm thanks to inspiration from Chef Charlie Palmer. (Keep reading for one of his amazing recipes.)


2. The beautiful book How High We Go in the Darkit has us captivated.

This highly-anticipated debut novel by Sequoia Nagamatsu covers the story of a group of characters trying to navigate crisis and rebuild after devastating loss. Set in the future, this timely novel is an emotionally resonant book about how to deal with dark times, but Nagamatsu writes with hope about how we can come together to navigate the dark unknown. Surely a book to move you, take you on an adventure, and speak to this current moment. Buy How High We Go in the Dark here.


3. Reopening: The Broadway Revival, which premieres on January 18th, will be a moving delight.

Great Performances – Reopening: The Broadway Revival pulls the curtain back on some of Broadway’s most popular shows, revealing how the New York theater industry undertook the monumental process of turning the lights back on after its longest hiatus in history due to the COVID-19 pandemic. A music-filled, intimate production told by the people who’ve been achieving the entertainment industry’s largest comeback, Great Performances – Reopening: The Broadway Revival premieres Tuesday, January 18 at 9 p.m. on PBS (check local listings), and the PBS Video app as part of #PBSForTheArts.


Charlie Palmer’s Florentine Roasted Strip Loin, New Potatoes, and Parmesan Asparagus

When we were all in Italy, we were served the most extraordinary bistecca alla fiorentina (beefsteak in the style of Florence). The T-bone steak was about 4 inches thick, served very rare, and carved at the table. Traditionally, the meat comes from the famous Chianina or Maremmana breeds that have roamed the fields of Tuscany for hundreds of years. The steak is grilled, simply seasoned with salt and pepper, over a wood fire. We had to try our hand at the grill as soon as we got home; the boys insisted that this was the best steak they had ever eaten. Rather than test the waters with a T-bone, I roast a strip loin in my wood-fired oven. It has now become a Palmer specialty, especially when served with crisp golden potatoes and asparagus. I usually pair a Chianti with the steak. I use it as a geography lesson for the boys. That is, pair your dish with a wine from its region; the flavors will almost always marry well.

1 (5-pound) beef strip loin, fat trimmed to about ¼ inch
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
⅓ cup chopped fresh rosemary
¼ cup minced garlic
1½ pounds Yukon gold new potatoes, peeled and cut into 1½-inch dice
10 cloves garlic, peeled
Sea salt and cracked black pepper
Parmesan Asparagus (recipe follows)

Place the strip loin in a large baking dish. Combine ¾ cup of the olive oil with about ¼ cup of the rosemary and all of the minced garlic and pour it over the meat. Use your fingertips to massage the seasoned oil into the meat. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside to marinate for at least 2 hours or up to 8 hours. For longer than 2 hours, refrigerate and then bring to room temperate about an hour before you are ready to cook.

Combine the potatoes with the remaining ¼ cup olive oil and the remaining rosemary along with the garlic cloves in a shallow ceramic baking dish large enough to hold them in a single layer. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.

If you are lucky enough to have one, build a hot fire in a wood-fired oven (noting that a wood-fired oven ranges from 450°F to 600°F).

Alternately, preheat the oven to 450ºF and place the roasting pan in the oven to get it very hot; or preheat a charcoal grill to high.

Place the seasoned roast, fat side up, in a heavy-duty roasting pan. Transfer to the wood-fired or traditional oven. (Alternately, transfer the meat to the preheated, very hot grill and cover the grill.) Place the pan holding the potatoes in the oven along with the roast. (If your oven is large enough or you have 2 ovens, the asparagus can go in no as well.)

Roast (or grill) the steak for about 10 minutes, turning occasionally, to brown all sides. Then, continue to roast (or grill) for about 20 minutes or until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part reads 125°F for medium-rare or 140°F for medium.

Roast the potatoes, shaking the pan occasionally to insure even browning, for about 35 minutes or until cooked through, golden, and crisp. If grilling the steak, roast the potatoes in the preheated oven.

Place the loin on a carving board with a channel for catching juices. Tent lightly with aluminum foil and let rest for 10 minutes.

Using a sharp knife, cut the meat crosswise into thick slices. Serve on the carving board with the potatoes scattered around and the asparagus on the side.

Serves 6 to 8

1½ pounds asparagus, tough ends snapped off
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
grated zest of 1 lemon
Salt and pepper
Block of Parmesan cheese for shaving

Preheat the oven to 450°F.
If the asparagus is large, you might want to peel off the lower skin as it can be tough. This is not necessary for small or medium spears.
Fill a bowl large enough to hold the asparagus with iced water. Set aside.
Bring a large pot of salted water to boil over high heat. Add the asparagus and cook for about 1 minute or just until bright green and still crisp. Drain. Immediately place in the iced water to stop the cooking. As soon as the asparagus cools, drain well and pat dry.
Place the dried asparagus on a rimmed baking sheet. Add the olive oil, lemon zest, and salt and pepper, tossing to coat evenly.
Roast, turning occasionally, for about 20 minutes or until nicely charred and tender.
Transfer to a serving platter. While still very hot, shave Parmesan cheese over the top. Serve immediately.

Charlie Palmer is a James Beard Award-winning chef, hospitality entrepreneur and hotel developer. He recently debuted the new Patio at Charlie Palmer Steak in Midtown Manhattan.


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