Good morning. J. Kenji López-Alt wrote a fascinating article for The Times last week about improving your cooking by using “culinary building blocks” — homemade and store-bought sauces and compotes and condiments — to build fast flavor.
To go with his argument, he offers examples in the form of recipes. Making a big tub of his peppers and onions, for instance, allows you later to make ropa vieja (above), or braised sausages, or a vegan chili. You can even use the stuff to spruce up a grilled hot dog or brat. Likewise, his miso-sesame vinaigrette opens up loads of opportunities for fast dinners: a chicken and cabbage salad, say, or a drizzle for grilled steak or salmon. And marinated chickpeas? They’re perfect for bulking up a salad, or for mixing with cooked whole grains. Make some today and that’s dinner tonight, and probably a few lunches down the line as well.
Monday is Indigenous Peoples’ Day here in the United States, and Thanksgiving in Canada. The chef Sean Sherman’s roast turkey with berry-mint sauce would satisfy at either celebration, as would his hearty three sisters bowl with hominy, beans and squash.
For dinner on Tuesday, I’m thinking, you might try this rigatoni and cauliflower al forno, at least if it’s chilly where you stay. If not: tuna poke.
Wednesday, whatever the temperature, you really should make this one-pot French onion soup with porcini mushrooms, which’ll remind you of restaurant eating, back when eating in restaurants was a solace and not something fraught.
On Thursday, I like the idea of these seared scallops with hot sauce beurre blanc, in part for Kim Severson’s admonition that you not make the sauce with Tabasco, full stop. (It’s too vinegary.)
And then, on Friday, you can round out the week with a rich, comforting chicken paprikash and a bowl of generously buttered noodles with just a quarter-cup of parsley for color and freshness.
Thousands and thousands more recipes to cook this week are waiting for you on NYT Cooking. Go browse the aisles just as you might have once strolled through Macy’s, looking for gifts. Save those recipes you like. Rate the ones you’ve cooked. You can leave notes on them, if you want, either to remind yourself of a hack, or to tell your fellow subscribers about it. (Yes, you do need to be a subscriber to do all that. Subscriptions support our work. I hope you will consider, if you haven’t already, subscribing today.)
And we are here to help if anything goes awry while you’re cooking or scrolling through the site. Just write [email protected] Someone will get back to you.
Now, it has nothing to do with potted shrimp or the price of halibut, but Anton Thomas’s video tour of his hand-drawn map of the Mississippi River is pretty cool viewing.
I don’t know why I didn’t get on this train when it first came into the station, but “The Last Dance,” the Michael Jordan documentary series? That’s some seriously cool viewing.
You’ll want to read Carina del Valle Schorske on Bad Bunny, in The New York Times Magazine.
And here for your information is the best thing on Twitter this week: Soleil Ho’s simple question about cultural background and comfort food, and the many, many answers she got. I’ll be back on Monday.
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