What to Cook This Week

Good morning. Christmas is coming and the tree we usually get on the day after Thanksgiving is still sitting lonely on the lot where the Quebecers come every year to sell their greens. We need to hang garlands, drape twinkling lights, put up the mistletoe and holly, turn the amaryllis so it gets better light and blooms big next weekend, to welcome St. Nick. There are gifts to buy, a tourtière to assemble for Christmas Eve, a ham to secure for the following day. Also, the truck needs an oil change.

But, man, it’d be nice not to do any of that. It’d be nice to fry chicken today, eat coleslaw, biscuits, drain a couple of Mexican cokes, kick back and relax as if it were July somewhere with live oaks and a warm breeze off the ocean.

So I think you should do just that. Monday you can eat a little more mindfully, perhaps with Julia Moskin’s recipe for a big salad with grains (above). I like it with Ali Slagle’s recipe for a lemon-caper dressing.

For Tuesday, scallops with cider glaze and cauliflower, a recipe Alex Witchel secured from the chef Floyd Cardoz back in 2011, right before he opened North End Grill in Manhattan.

On Wednesday night, you could try Kay Chun’s recipe for honey and soy-glazed chicken thighs. Serve it over rice or better yet with Bibb lettuce cups.

Thursday night, how about vegetarian “carbonara” with smoked Gouda and a huge amount of spinach mixed in at the end for color? Pretty good!

Finally, run out the week with a project that’s not really a project at all: a pressure cooker beef pho that Kim Severson learned to make with the California-based cookbook author Andrea Nguyen in 2015.

Thousands more recipes to cook this week await you on NYT Cooking. (Here’s how to secure a subscription that will allow you to access them, and how to buy a gift subscription for someone else if you already have one and feel like doubling down on your support of our endeavors.) And don’t forget to sign up for Emily Weinstein’s newsletter “Five Weeknight Dishes.”

Visit us on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter for more inspiration, and come find me on those platforms as well if you’d like to see recipes in production or observe an easily distracted editor surfing the interwebs in real time. I’m @samsifton.

You can ask us for help, as well, if anything goes sideways with your cooking or our technology. We’re at [email protected] I’m terrible with baking advice and could not code my way out of an empty bag of flour, but if you simply want to vent, write me directly: [email protected]

Now, it’s nothing at all to do with sesame seeds or line-caught snapper, but I’m slowly making my way through the second season of “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” on Amazon and you should be doing that, too. They’re having so much fun.

I reread Jim Lynch’s excellent Seattle novel “Truth Like the Sun” recently, after talking about it with two strangers on a bus in New Orleans, and it would make a fine present for you or anyone who thrills to language and plot and newspapers and power.

Here’s the Sonny Clark Trio, “Nica,” which the great Ben Ratliff calls “the greatest song never canonized, fetishized, played in a restaurant, remixed, or nothing.” (Ben was just nominated for a Grammy for his liner notes for the reissue of Clark’s 1960 Time Sessions.)

Finally, it’s a dark business, but you should read Michael Greenberg in The New York Review of Books, on the San Joaquin Valley in California: “In the Valley of Fear.” Think about that while you’re shopping for fruits and vegetables. Have a great week.

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