This Weekend: The Magic of Fried Cactus
WHY YOU SHOULD CARE
The Weekender is a special collaboration between OZY Tribe members near and far to provide delicious recommendations for your valuable weekend time.
By OZY Editors
WHAT TO LISTEN TO
Alvvays — Northern Exposure. This Canadian indie-pop band (it’s pronounced “Always”) features Molly Rankin, the best frontwoman since Debbie Harry, and sounds reminiscent of both The Smiths and The B-52s. They haven’t dropped an album since 2017, but they’re currently on tour so speculation is rife that they’ll be releasing something by the end of the year. (Recommended by Wade Best, Feverishly Speculating)
Ari Lennox — Like (Shea) Butter. Fans of Erykah Badu and ‘90s-adjacent production sounds will love Shea Butter Baby, Lennox’s big neo-soul hit single. It’s also the title of her first album, which dropped last month. (Recommended by Viviane Feldman, All Soul)
Dominic Fike — Dark Past. Fike, a talented rapper with a knack for a catchy groove, has just a single EP to his name, but it’s a doozy. Don’t Forget About Me is memorable and fun … and was recorded while Fike, 22, was under house arrest before heading to jail. (Recommended by Leslie dela Vega, Rap Genius)
WHAT TO EAT
Fried Cactus Strips — Your New Best Vegetable. Cactus is becoming a more ubiquitous sight on Mexican restaurant menus, which is great because it’s basically alligator for vegetarians — because cactuses are clearly the most badass plant. You can also make it at home: Buy several large nopales pads from your friendly neighborhood Latino market and remove the needles and spines. Batter them the same way you would fried chicken: Season some flour, dredge the cactus, then dip them into a beaten egg and coat with crumbs. Then fry them until golden brown — they’re crunchy, delicious and just a little bit weird. (Recommended by Alex Furuya, Not Afraid of Spines)
Seared Foie Gras — Vive la France. While this fatty duck liver paté is so controversial in some cultures that it’s been banned, it’s still a staple of French cuisine. Fans of foie often eat it straight out of the package, but it’s even better when you put a tiny bit of work into it. Scoop the insides from a few fresh figs and simmer with cognac and sugar in a saucepan for about half an hour. Then salt to taste and set it aside while you salt and pepper the foie gras. Sear the block of foie in a hot oiled pan for 30 seconds on each side, then eat dolloped in the fig sauce. (Recommended by Michael Hewins, OZY Fan)
WHAT TO READ
No Turning Back — War Reporting. Journalist Rania Abouzeid has written the best account yet produced of the war in Syria. It follows multiple characters, from activists to supporters of the regime to regular civilians who find their whole worlds turned upside down. Abouzeid’s book cuts through the noise, telling an incisive and yet comprehensive tale that doesn’t let anybody off the hook.
This is the best creative nonfiction around, showing how unrelated lives can intertwine in the midst of absolute madness. Based on five years of reporting (and access most journalists can only dream of), it’s essential to understanding the past decade in Syria — and where it’s headed now. (Recommended by Mat Nashed, Always Learning More)
AND WHATEVER YOU DO, DON’T …
Drink and drive. A 49-year-old man was arrested last week in the small Polish town of Pajęczno for driving a Soviet-era tank while intoxicated. Residents called police when the 40-ton machine looked like it might attack them. The man, still unnamed by police, could face as much as eight years in prison for the joyride. (Newsweek)
SLIDE INTO OUR DMS
Do you have a killer potato salad recipe that you’d like to share? Think you discovered the next great jam band? Share your suggestions with us here at OZY! Email us: Weekender@ozy.com.
- OZY Editors, OZY AuthorContact OZY Editors