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What to Cook This Week


Good morning. The passage of the seasons is different this year, and not just because of the ferocity of the weather and the fires, amplified by climate change.

Many of us have been rooted in place since spring. We’ve watched summer unfold from our homes, and now we watch as fall arrives in ways we didn’t see or understand when we were moving all the time: going to work; traveling for work; going to the movies; going to restaurants; repeat. We’ve noticed things we may have taken for granted before, or simply missed — how, for instance, the birds came in, chirped, nested, birthed, learned to fly, departed. Stuck in place, working from home (or, worse, not working from home), we’ve become attuned, some of us, to the tiny changes that portend large ones in the passage of time, in our big, broken, beautiful ecosystem.

It’s true of our cooking as well, I think. I’ve been waiting on the new cauliflower, on the arrival of winter squashes, on the firm-fleshed fish coming in on the East Coast. And suddenly there they were at the market, like questions answered. For dinner tonight, then, for me: roasted winter squash with seared cod. (If that’s not for you, try this salade Lyonnaise on for size instead.)

On Monday, I’m thinking, you could have a nice run with the last of the good eggplant, spiced and seared, with pearl couscous (above).

Tuesday, back to the sea: seared scallops, to eat next to parsley dressed lightly in lemon juice and olive oil, with a sprinkle of kosher salt.

I like the idea of this crispy tofu with cashews and blistered snap peas for dinner on Wednesday, but I get that Wednesdays are hard when it comes to cooking at home, stuck as the day is at the geographic center of the week, equidistant from the coasts of the weekend. Alternatively, try one of these crazy-fast dinners, ready in 20 minutes or less.

Thursday night: chicken Marengo, which every single time requires the playing of “Please Come to Our House/Jason’s Therapy,” from “Falsettos.” (Chicken Marengo’s an Easter egg in the song.)

And then on Friday, to round out the week: sweet and spicy ribs with cilantro and cucumber, which I like with a mound of perfect rice.

There are thousands more recipes to cook this week waiting for you on NYT Cooking. Take a look around and see what piques your interest. Yes, you’ll need a subscription to do so. I talk about that a lot because it’s important. Subscriptions support our work and allow it to continue. If you haven’t signed up for one yet, I hope you’ll subscribe today. Thank you.

We are standing by to help if you find yourself jammed up along the way, either with your cooking or our technology. Just write us: cookingcare@nytimes.com. Someone will get back to you.

And if not, you can always write to me: foodeditor@nytimes.com.

Now, it’s a far cry from roux and burgoo, but it’s the birthday of the poet Donald Hall, who died in 2018 at 89. Here’s his poem “The Things” to think about.

True crime in The New York Times Magazine: “What Happened in Ed Buck’s Apartment?” by Jesse Barron.

You’ll enjoy, as well, Bee Wilson on a biography of wheat, in the London Review of Books.

What’s happening on Instagram? Very small plates, and food made of clay.

Finally, see what you make of our Jessica Grose on QAnon moms and the misinformation pandemic, in The Times. And I’ll be back on Monday.

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