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Dinner in French! - The New York Times

Melissa Clark and I were in Toronto over the weekend, eating marvelous fried ocean smelts among about a thousand other things at Brothers on Bay Street, before taking the stage at the Hot Docs festival with the reporter and critic Chris Nuttall-Smith to talk about Melissa’s new book, “Dinner in French.” (We also talked about my new book, “See You on Sunday.” But this story’s about Melissa.) During our discussion, Melissa riffed about a late-night dinner of sardines on baguette, the bread toasted and rubbed with a clove of garlic and plenty of tomato before she lays the fish out across it to eat with a glass of wine. The audience swooned and I got hungry and that’s our no-recipe recipe of the week. Won’t you give it a try?

And won’t you read this delicious excerpt from Melissa’s book and consider the dinner possibilities that arise from it? A spatchcocked chicken with herbes de Provence (above) could be your jam, with scalloped potato gratin. You might like this asparagus and goat cheese tart. Definitely you should make this Campari cake that’ll transport you to Aix.

From other larders, I’d really like to make Kay Chun’s recipe for a meatless green okonomiyaki this week, and I’ll hope that there’re leftovers I can griddle in the morning to eat with a fried egg.

Also, Sarah Copeland’s recipe for Indian butter tofu to serve with rice, cucumber raita and my current favorite supermarket chutney.

And Alison Roman’s chile-butter chicken with vinegared potatoes, a simple sheet-pan dinner of remarkable complexity.

But we were talking about France! While Melissa and I were in Toronto, Dorie Greenspan delivered a sweet column from Paris, in which she wrote about this recipe for a free-form apple pie that she learned from the Circus Bakery near Notre Dame. Maybe you could make that instead of dinner one night, and consume a delivery pizza when you’re done?

There are thousands of other recipes to cook this week — like Ali Slagle’s chicken and rice soup with celery, parsley and lemon! — waiting for you on NYT Cooking. Just take out a subscription to our site and apps, and you’ll be able to access them. I think you’ll find that worth the outlay, if you haven’t joined us officially already. (If you have, please tell a friend.)

Come see what we’re up to on our Instagram page, so long as you’re opening tabs, and on our YouTube and Facebook pages as well. You’ll find our entire news report on Twitter. Please read.

And absolutely get in touch if anything goes sideways along the way, either with your cooking or our site. We’re at cookingcare@nytimes.com. We will get back to you. (You can write me directly if we don’t: foodeditor@nytimes.com.)

Now, it’s nothing to do with treacle or beef cheeks, but a smart news story in The Times led me to this fascinating car auction site, Bring a Trailer, on which you might while away an hour or so, dreaming of shade-tree wrench sessions and the promise of the open road.

I dug this C.J. Hughes feature, also in The Times, about New York’s neighborhood names, and where they came from before real-estate types started coining them.

Colin Jost wrote a piece for The New Yorker and it’s sweet, a memoir of his high-school commute from Staten Island.

Finally, via Dust-to-Digital, here’s Mississippi John Hurt with “You Got to Walk That Lonesome Valley,” 1965. You do have to do that! It’ll be all right, though. We’re right beside you. See you on Friday.

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