What to Cook This Week

A marinated chicken for ranch fans, charred eggplant and burrata, and more recipes.

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By Sam Sifton

Good morning. I thought I was smart to marinate a bunch of chicken thighs in ranch dressing before grilling them for Sunday supper a while back, but of course Ali Slagle was way ahead of me with her much-better-than-mine recipe for pan-seared ranch chicken (above).

She builds her marinade on a base of Greek yogurt, which beautifully tenderizes the meat under the crusty, caramelized skin. It’s fantastic over a bed of shredded iceberg lettuce dressed with more ranch, chopped celery, carrots and apples: my new Sunday jam.

As for the rest of the week …


I love this recipe for charred eggplant with burrata and fried capers. The juxtaposition of the super-crisp capers and the smoky softness of the eggplant, the creamy cheese and the herbaceous pop of the dressing is what you want at the top of the week. Use plenty of bread to mop up the juice.


If there’s something rewarding about eating tuna salad for dinner in the middle of the summer (and there is!), there’s something extra gratifying about making the dish with sardines in place of the bigger fish. Their oiliness enhances a dressing with lemon juice and mustard to create a creaminess that doesn’t require mayonnaise.


Take it easy on yourself. Buy some tortellini at the store, and use it to make tortellini with corn and crisp rosemary. Bacon fat and corn milk make up the sauce, so the meal’s excellence is assured.


You have a rice cooker, yes? If you don’t, get one and you’ll use it twice a week for the rest of your time in this game. Match that perfect rice with this lovely crispy tofu and cabbage stir-fry. “This recipe hit all the right notes for me,” a subscriber wrote below the recipe: “bright cilantro-lime flavor, the bite of red onion that is softened but not caramelized, and cabbage that still has some body.” Well said!


And then head into the weekend with burgers — more precisely Ali Slagle’s recipe for a chicken Parm burger, which puts cheese, herbs and tomato paste into the ground chicken, keeping it juicy like the best chicken Parms.

Many more thousands of recipes to cook this week are waiting for you on New York Times Cooking. Not to put too fine a point on it, but you need a subscription to access them. Subscriptions support our work and allow it to continue. I hope if you haven’t taken one out already that you will consider subscribing today. Thanks. (You can ask us for help if you run into problems doing so: [email protected])

Now, it’s nothing to do with cakes and ale, but Alex Hawkins wrote about his Turkish hair transplant procedure for GQ, and you ought to see how that went.

Here’s Roisín O’Donnell in The Stinging Fly with a recent short story, “Sleep Watchers.”

I love how Molly Young writes about reading in her “Read Like the Wind” newsletter for The Times. (It’s leading me to the library for a copy of Evan S. Connell’s “The Connoisseur.”)

Finally, here’s some music to accompany your cooking: Beth Orton, “Weather Alive.” Enjoy that, and I’ll be back on Monday.

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