What to Cook This Weekend

Sam Sifton’s back at the wheel with recipes for banana pancakes, simple risotto and more.

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By Sam Sifton

Good morning. You miss me? Here’s what I did on my summer vacation: made a lot of pizzas, 63 percent hydration in my dough. Took a lot of long walks through browned and crusty fields. Caught striped bass in the foaming rips between boulders on the shoreline. Read some terrific fiction — Rebecca Rukeyser, Ling Ma, Sebastian Barry. Drove great distances. Ate very well.

One day in Suffolk, in England, I had a fantastic Sunday roast at a pub and determined that Sunday roasts should be a part of my American fall routine. So that’ll come at the end of the weekend: roast chicken with cabbage sautéed in butter until the leaves are soft, then joined by peas. And, crucially, a healthy pour of gravy, nice and thick and salty to tie everything together. Gravy is my new jam.

But I get ahead of myself as I so often do. There’s this evening to think about first: perhaps this herb-marinated seared tofu (above) for dinner, served over rice and torn lettuces. Or pan-roasted fish with herb butter?

There’s Saturday to consider as well. Breakfast burritos might be nice. Or banana pancakes, fluffy and tender, with crisped edges? Spiced oatmeal? One of those.

Definitely tuna salad sandwiches for lunch. And a simple risotto for dinner, unless I heed the siren call of the grill for this lovely cabbage with paprika-lime butter, which I think would go very nicely with sausages or on its own.

For dessert? The original plum torte, of course, a September favorite of Times readers since 1983. It’s got more than 9,000 five-star ratings and many, many riffs in the notes below the recipe, some of which our Vaughn Vreeland cooked through on YouTube!

Which brings us to Sunday and my idea of a roast. Have a light breakfast — granola, for instance — and pass on lunch, so you can dine hungrily in the mid to late afternoon. It needn’t be chicken. You could try a pot roast if it’s not too hot where you stay, or a cold roast pork with fennel and green bean salad, or a whole-roasted cauliflower if you don’t eat meat. Another torte for dessert, this time with apricots? I think that’d be fantastic.

There are thousands and thousands more recipes to cook this weekend waiting for you on New York Times Cooking — and you can find additional inspiration on TikTok, Instagram and YouTube. Yes, you need a subscription to access our recipes. Subscriptions support our work and allow it to continue. If you haven’t yet taken one out yet, would you please consider subscribing today? Thank you.

Write us if you run into trouble with our technology: [email protected] Someone will get back to you. And you can always write to me if you’d like to say hello or register a complaint: [email protected] I read every letter sent.

Now, it’s nothing to do with capers or groats, but before I headed off the grid I asked my pal Molly Young for a couple of book recommendations, and she came through with bells on: Lawrence Douglas’s dark and suspenseful “The Vices” and Lawrence Osborne’s thrilling “The Forgiven,” a kind of noir “White Lotus.” Get to the library.

I saw one of these little camper trailers on the road pushing south from Down East Maine and considered acquiring one for a trip across the States and north to Alaska. Some day!

Here’s our Matthew Futterman on John McEnroe, and you should read that right away.

Finally, some new music to play us off: Here’s Carm featuring Edie Brickell, “More and More,” and if I’m not mistaken the video was shot in Montauk, where I’d like to be. The End! I’ll be back on Sunday.

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