What to Cook This Week

by Msnbctv news staff


How are you doing, really? There’s a lot of relief in the summertime air, but if my inbox is any indication, there’s a lot of anxiety afoot, a sense of burnout, a feeling that either everything is going to go back to the way it was before or only some things and either way it’s going to be hard.

I get that. It’s why I’m always nattering on about cooking, and about what it brings to your life and your mood, about how it’s a force for tranquillity in the face of the strange. It’s a craft, done with your hands, that forces you to think differently than when you’re doing whatever it is you do for work, or to fill your days. Cooking helps turn off your brain for a while. Cooking allows you to heal. (Unless you’re a restaurant cook, that is! Restaurant cooks should order takeout this week.)

Try putting together this Sunday dinner of spicy grilled pork with fennel, cumin and red onion (above) and you’ll see. Follow it with these strawberry ice cream sandwiches with grilled brioche and you’ll understand.

On Monday, you could make this cold soba noodle salad with spicy peanut sauce, texturally delightful, super delicious.

For Tuesday’s meal, I’m thinking pita, dips and salad: a smoky eggplant spread, some 5-minute hummus and salad-e Shirazi. Maybe a perfect hard-boiled egg?

Shrimp basted with butter, hot sauce and scallions for Wednesday night? It’s an actual 10-minute main dish if you don’t peel the shrimp, and you shouldn’t. Make the whole process meditative, intentional: Eat with your fingers and some toast, and then peel an orange and call it a salad and a dessert combined.

On Thursday night, dealer’s choice: a creamy lemon pasta for some; a lobster pasta with yellow tomatoes and basil for others.

And then to round out the week: grilled chicken with charred-scallion chimichurri and grilled romaine, followed by a blackberry jam crostata. That’ll change the color of your mood ring.

Thousands and thousands more recipes to consider making this week are available on New York Times Cooking. Go browse among them and see what you discover. (Salted caramel cookies!) You should save the recipes you like. And we hope that you’ll rate the ones you’ve made. You can leave notes on the recipes, if you like, either for yourself or for fellow subscribers, if you’ve made any changes you’d like to remember or share.

Yes, as we’ve discussed, you do need to be a subscriber to do that. Subscriptions support every aspect of our work. So, please, if you are able to do so, if you haven’t already, I hope you will subscribe to New York Times Cooking today.

We are meanwhile standing by to help, should anything go wrong in your cooking or with our technology. Send us a note: cookingcare@nytimes.com. Someone will get back to you, I promise. Or you can write me directly if you’d like to vent or cheer: foodeditor@nytimes.com. I read every letter sent.

Now, it’s nothing to do with the preparation of Cornish game hens, but on this day in 1898, Joshua Slocum completed the first solo circumnavigation of the globe aboard his small gaff-rigged sloop, Spray. It was a journey of more than 46,000 miles. If you did not know this and find the subject interesting, you can learn more from Slocum’s book about the voyage, “Sailing Alone Around the World.”

New Laura Lippman for you, “Dream Girl.”

And a poem from Matt Donovan in New England Review, “Here the Thing With Feathers Isn’t Hope.”

Finally, some music to play us out of here: Anouar Brahem playing “Parfum de Gitane” live in Tunis, 1997. Let that wash over you, and I’ll be back on Monday.



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