What to Cook This Week


Good morning. The waffles were different this morning, the sourdough sponge a little denser than yesterday’s, as yesterday’s was looser than the one from the day before. The ingredients and measurements remain the same each day, but they react to the yeast and the lactobaccili in the starter in singular ways, every time. There’s something emotionally helpful about that for anyone housebound and prone to dark moods, this chance to observe dough and therefore life as a farmer does her fields each morning, as a clammer does his patch of water and mud. There’s wonder everywhere, if only you look for it. Look for it. It might be in a tree outside your window, in the patch of sky you can see if you crane your neck, in the herbs you’re growing, in the nest the swans are building on that open stretch of marsh across the street. Beats sulking.

Wonder should absolutely be in your cooking, even if and perhaps especially if you’re working with a limited pantry and using only our recipes as a spur to your imagination. What if you make this five-ingredient creamy miso pasta (above) with five other ingredients, or only four? Wonderful. What if you used sourdough starter in this Dutch baby? Or painted Alfredo sauce onto pizza dough for a homemade Domino’s vibe? Same deal.

I’d like to riff on this recipe for curry chicken breasts with chickpeas and spinach. I’d like to go whole hog on this potato-leek gratin, with a little bacon because I have it, and Cheddar because I don’t have Gruyère. What might you do to approximate this salmon and parsley sauce, or to improve upon this chicken bog?

Experiment with soups. Introduce yourself to new sandwiches. Make cauliflower gnocchi on Sunday. I’m betting you have the time, at least one of these days real soon.

We have hundreds and hundreds more recipes for you to embellish, master or change on NYT Cooking. Many more than usual are free for anyone’s use, even if you’re not yet a subscriber to our site and apps. (We would of course be very happy if you became a subscriber all the same.)

You can visit us on Instagram and Facebook if you seek further inspiration, and on YouTube as well. (We post news on Twitter.) And if anything goes pear-shaped while you’re cooking or using our software, you can reach out to us directly for help. We’re at cookingcare@nytimes.com. We will get back to you. (I’m at foodeditor@nytimes.com if you want to escalate matters. I can’t promise to get back to everyone. I am but one man. But I read every message sent.)

Now, it’s nothing to do with pickled ramps or fresh sea scallops, but our Jon Caramanica on the #bestNYaccent challenge on Instagram filled me with delight. My people!

On the other hand, Juliana Hatfield’s cover of “Can’t Stand Losing You” makes me want to be in Boston, which has its own accent situation.

And definitely read Francesca Mari in The Atlantic, on the big-money tort lawyer whose clients were imaginary.





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