Hello again, Five Weeknight Dishes readers. I hope you’re not feeling pressured to cook dinner tonight. Most of us are already spending more time than usual thinking about food, and how to get and keep it. Between the elder and younger generations of my family, I’m currently food shopping for eight people, in four different households. (All via contactless deliveries and dropoffs.) It’s been a lesson in paring down to the real staples. (For us, it seems to be eggs, milk, lemons, apples, cheese, greens and bread; we stocked up our shelf-stable pantries before lockdown.) Cooking may not be your top priority right now, but you can still eat well.
Here are five recipes for your week:
A basic grilled cheese sandwich doesn’t always feel like dinner, but this does. If you have a slow cooker, use it to caramelize the onions: At a low setting, they are less likely to burn if you wander away from the kitchen or get distracted (which is happening to me an awful lot).
Our brilliant Colu Henry has swapped out the tomato in a classic puttanesca. You still get the depth of olives and anchovies, but green freshness comes from arugula, and then tuna makes it filling. Definitely save the best oil-packed tuna you can afford for a dish like this, and use the regular kind for tuna salad. Also, per a Note on the recipe from Olga in Tuscany: “Rinsing well the salt from the capers is very important,” whether they are brined or salt-packed. Afterward, I soak the capers in a little white wine while assembling the other ingredients.
Beans — it’s like everyone has suddenly discovered they exist. But this recipe by Melissa Clark was an instant hit after it was published a few months ago, when she decided to scale back on meat and dairy in her daily cooking. It’s a vegan dinner served as is, but you can easily add sour cream or cheese as toppings, or add some cured meat to the beans if you like.
Sometimes having a spicy, luscious, hearty dinner to look forward to can get you through the day. Adobo, a beloved dish in the Philippines, can be made with pork or chicken, but sometimes the vinegar hit is stronger than you want; this version is balanced with coconut milk. Many readers from the Philippines and elsewhere have made notes (friendly ones!) on our recipe, describing their own tweaks. “The secret is to be patient reducing the sauce,” per a note by Kathy G. “This is when the alchemy happens.”
Thank you so much for being with us this week, and for your notes to me: firstname.lastname@example.org. I am on Instagram and Twitter, but go to NYT Cooking for recipes and lots of new cooking content on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest. It also holds nearly 20,000 recipes. Maybe now is a good time to join? All of the past Five Weeknight Dishes newsletters are archived here, and you can send questions and problems (and compliments) to the nice people at email@example.com.