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The Dessert to Make Right Now

Category: Food & Drink,Lifestyle

Good morning. Maida Heatter died last week at 102 and our Margaux Laskey jumped into the archives to find all the recipes she developed and wrote for The Times. Chief among them was this chocolate mousse torte (above), which in 1972 was the newspaper’s most popular recipe for dessert. You could knock that out tonight and serve it tomorrow night after a dinner of salmon with tangy cucumbers and blow minds. Think about it. Dessert on a weeknight need not be simply ice cream or cut fruit. We are here, sometimes, to impress!

Keep it simple for dinner tonight, though, since you’ll be going big on the sweets. Cook a simple meal that doesn’t even require a recipe, only a prompt, so you can get it done quick and move on to the mousse. Rice, then, with a quick sauté of shrimp in a lot of butter with hot sauce and minced garlic? Add fistfuls of baby greens to the pan about halfway through the cooking. You could swap in salmon in place of the shrimp. You could use boneless, skinless chicken thighs. You could order a pizza. Tonight’s about Heatter.

Unless it isn’t, sweets aren’t your thing. I get that. For you, then, this brilliant recipe for shaking beef, adapted by Mark Bittman from the one used at Slanted Door in San Francisco. Serve that on lettuce leaves with a lot of cut limes.

Or you could make these crisp and spicy cauliflower steaks that Samin Nosrat learned to make from the chef Kelsie Kerr and her daughter, Ella Heckert. Or cold soba noodles with a salty-sweet dipping sauce. Or an omelet.

NYT Cooking is here to help whatever you decide. We can show you how to grill your dinner or how to cook with an Instant Pot, how to make ice cream, how to cook asparagus. We can show you how to assemble a party board. Want to cook trout in a pan set over the coals of your firepit out in the yard? We are your source of knowledge about that, even if you’ll actually cook the meal on your stove.

There are thousands and thousands of other recipes to consider cooking tonight awaiting you on our site and apps. We think the work we do there is worth something in the marketplace. So, yes, you’ll need a subscription to access them. You can play with us for free, though, on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. We’ll bring you around eventually.

Please write if you find yourself in trouble in the kitchen or on your phone, tablet or desktop: cookingcare@nytimes.com. Someone will get back to you. And have fun in the kitchen, always.

Now, it has absolutely nothing to do with cooking, but I came across this incredible video of Shoshana Bean and Cynthia Erivo covering Taylor Swift’s “I Did Something Bad” and it’s just fantastic. Watch that right away.

I was out in New York Harbor the other day, fishing with Frank Crescitelli in this tournament that among a lot else gets veterans out on the water to target striped bass and bluefish. And if we didn’t see much of either of those species, we did spend a couple hours chasing these schools of immense black drum finning around on the surface in 10 feet of water, and it was magical, strange and fascinating, a reminder that the wild world is sometimes very close to our tamed urban one, and always worth exploring.

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