What to cook this week

Hello. I spent an hour on my back on the sidewalk in the cold recently, replacing a single bulb for my car’s headlight. It took all th...


Hello. I spent an hour on my back on the sidewalk in the cold recently, replacing a single bulb for my car’s headlight. It took all this time because for that you have to unbolt and take off the plastic protective skirt that lines the front wheel arch, before running your hand inside the bumper to dismantle the rear of the luminaire, remove bulb, clip in the new one, then put everything back in place. There isn’t much room for one hand in there, much less for two, much less to have eyes or light on the situation. It’s a bit like solving a Rubik’s cube while blindfolded, while a cat attacks you with its forearms. This Matthew B. Crawford is correct. Manual skill is great. But these modern engineers are certainly not making it easy.

All this to say that I felt I had won something delicious. Portobello with pepper (above) was the answer – a bistro delight made with chunky mushroom caps, served with a watercress stubble and a few mashed potatoes and fries. It is a brilliant dish. And I think that should be your dinner tonight, even if you haven’t spent time today fixing something broken that the post-industrial economy usually asks you to have an expert done for you, with special tools, for a lot of money.

Monday you could take a look at this tofu and cabbage stir-fry with lime and cilantro. Cut the cabbage coarse so that it becomes tender but retains some crisp too, and use all of the cilantro for maximum flavor. (Cilantro stalks are always great in a stir-fry.)

Tuesday you should consider stewed shrimp or, if you prefer fish to shrimp, these simple fish tacos.

For Wednesday, try this amazing dish from Mark Bittman adapted from a cauliflower mix Chef Suvir Saran used to make: sautéed chicken with ketchup. It is excellent with rice and sautéed vegetables with ginger and garlic.

Thursday, then, could be yours for a slow cooker cauliflower, potato and white bean soup. Start this before lunch, let it simmer all day, then add sour cream and chives just before serving. So good.

And then on Friday, Christmas Eve, you might be ready to prepare this flagship dish: roasted halibut with mussel butter sauce. The fish is wrapped in kelp, which helps it stay moist in the oven (and helps to eat well when cooked), and the sauce is exactly what it sounds like: ambrosia.

Have some Mexican buñuelos with piloncillo syrup for dessert. Or a Cuban Buñuelos, made with root vegetables like yuca and malanga, and served with anise syrup instead. (Our Christina Morales wrote on both for The Times this week.)

Thousands and thousands more recipes are waiting for you on New York Times Kitchen. As I think I mentioned before, you need a subscription to access it and to use our features and tools. Hope you already have one. But if not, will you consider supporting our work and subscribe today? (Gift subscriptions are also available.)

Please ask for help if something goes wrong along the way, either while you are cooking or using the site and apps. Was at cookingcare@nytimes.com. Someone will get back to you. (You can also write to me, especially if you are angry or happy. foodeditor@nytimes.com. And I read every letter sent.)

Now that has nothing to do with chestnuts or nutmeg, but you should read Nate Freeman’s recent report from Palm Beach, Fla. In Vanity Fair about the crowd of MoMA crossing the crowd of MAGA. Which town !

I’m a little late, but glad it came my way: Gustavo Arellano on the occasion of the death of Vicente Fernández, in the Los Angeles Times.

We haven’t gone through the pandemic yet, obviously, but there is something wonderful about reading our Pete Wells’ Top 10 List he reviewed this year.

Finally, here is a poem for the season: Mark Strand’s “Lines for winter”, From 1979. Take advantage of it, and I’ll be back on Monday.

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Newsrust - US Top News: What to cook this week
What to cook this week
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