What to Cook This Week


Good morning. I like the looks of Melissa Clark’s new recipe for roasted lemony fish with crispy caper brown butter and nori (above) and might make it tonight if I can find good fish at the market. But I’ll tell you this about these mid-September days of high pressure and low humidity, bluebird skies where I stay and a kind of promise in the atmosphere that everything’s copacetic: They make me want to cook up some projects, too.

Accordingly, I might stalk the markets I like, gather dried crustaceans for a big batch of XO sauce that I can use all week on noodles, with sautéed greens or green beans. I might make trotter gear against the promise of a Guinness pie sometime in the future, or as an addition to these terrific braised chicken legs. And for dinner, a wonderful end-of-weekend feast: I could hold back on the roasted fish and steam some instead, a key accompaniment for this awesome grand aioli.

With a strawberry Eton mess for dessert? That’d make for a fine afternoon in the kitchen and an even more pleasurable one at the table afterward. I hope you’ll join me for some of it.

For Monday night, take a look at this lovely fried eggplant with runny eggs and pine nuts, a riot of textures and flavors. Or, if Sunday’s labors have you running tired, downshift into roasted pepper tartines, highbrow toaster-oven pizzas, essentially, and deeply flavorful.

There’s something intensely satisfying about taking packs of instant ramen and throwing away the seasonings (or saving them for later experimentation — shake them over prepared rice or popcorn) for an easy, luxe Tuesday night dinner of ramen with charred scallions, green beans and chile oil. So do that!

Then, on Wednesday, take another run at the pizza-adjacent, with these tortilla pizzas topped with a streamlined Greek salad and garlic-yogurt sauce.

For Thursday’s dinner, I’d like to suggest these crispy chicken thighs with peppers, capers and olives, the chicken pressed into the pan under a weighted skillet so that it browns beautifully, a technique known in Italy as cooking “al mattone” and in the United States as “under a brick.”

And on Friday, head into the weekend with blackened fish served over quick grits, the fish fried in oil rather than seared in a dry pan for big flavor and — a huge benefit for those with no vent above the stove — a lot less smoke in the kitchen.

There are many thousands more recipes to cook this week lined up for your consideration on New York Times Cooking. (Yes, you need a subscription in order to access them. Subscriptions make all of this possible. I hope, if you haven’t already, that you will subscribe today.)

Come see us on Instagram and YouTube, while you’re at it. You can find links to our food news and restaurant and wine criticism on Twitter. I post there myself: @samsifton.

And please ask for help if something goes awry in the kitchen or while you’re using our site and apps. We’re at: [email protected] Someone will get back to you. (I’m at [email protected] if you’d like to send an apple or a worm.)

Now, it’s nothing to do with chickpeas or duck confit, but you should read Kelefa Sanneh in The New Yorker, on his part-time punk musical education.

My current favorite Instagram follow: @grizzlybear399, of Grand Teton National Park and environs.

Do read, as well, Alexandra Alter’s profile of Colson Whitehead in The Times, in advance of the publication of his “Harlem Shuffle.”

Finally, newish music to play us off: Imagine Dragons, “Wrecked.” Listen to that, loudly if you can, cook great food and I’ll be back on Monday.



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