What to Cook Tonight

Good morning. Here I am again in your inbox with a bunch of recipes you might cook tonight or some day soon, and I hope you do because I’m proud of them, proud of how delicious they are and of the hard work that goes into bringing them to you.

Consider Yotam Ottolenghi’s new recipe for meatball toad-in-the-hole (above), for instance, an inventive take on a British classic. Or these honey-and-soy-glazed roasted chicken thighs from Kay Chun. You could make these loaded sweet potatoes with black beans and Cheddar tonight. Or a big pot of these creamy white beans with herb oil: Enjoy them with a glass of red wine, a green salad and plenty of toast.

But it’s important to remember that you don’t actually need recipes to cook, not always, that sometimes the best thing to do on a Wednesday night is simply to improvise off a kind of narrative theme and see where it leads you in the kitchen. For instance: freestyle pork bao, a meditation of a sandwich. Get some pork belly if you can, some fatty pork chops if you can’t, and cut the meat into cubes. Toss the cubes with a mixture of soy sauce and oyster sauce, some hot chile oil and a sprinkle of sugar. Line a sheet pan with foil and heat your broiler. Cook the pork under the broiler, tossing it around a couple times until it’s crisp and glistening. Serve on toasted hamburger buns or English muffins, maybe with a mayonnaise cut through with chile-garlic paste, and definitely with a lot of sliced scallions and cilantro.

Returning to strict instruction, you might want to make David Tanis’s recipe for vegetarian mapo tofu. Or you could take a run at Ali Slagle’s recipe for one-pot turmeric coconut rice with greens — which readers are modifying like mad, if the notes that follow the instruction are any indication. (Ginger! Tofu! Fenugreek!) And here are a dozen midweek recipes from Alison Roman, each one more delicious than the last.

There are thousands more recipes you could cook tonight available to you on NYT Cooking, at least once you take out a subscription. I hope you will if you haven’t, and I thank you deeply if you have. Either way, you can get in touch with us at [email protected] We’re here to help, to explain, to make clear what is complicated, to steer you right in the kitchen. (If you’d like to help others in this community yourself, you can join our NYT Cooking Facebook group. Please do!)

Now, a couple things to consider before you head off to the market for pork (or tofu). First, in the Food section of The Times that we published this morning, you have to read Julia Moskin on Yardbird, the Hong Kong restaurant that is a particular favorite of, basically, every restaurant chef in the world.

And while you’re at it? Here’s Priya Krishna on her family’s love of yogurt, which along with smart writing delivers us her father’s recipe, which he’s been making at home in Dallas for more than 30 years. Give that a shot.

Finally, it has absolutely nothing to do with food, but I think David Duchovny’s just great in “Aquarius” on Netflix. See if you agree. And I’ll see you on Friday.

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