Hi and welcome to Five Weeknight Dishes, a newsletter devoted to dinner. This is decidedly Not Dinner, but we just had a cookie swap with the NYT Cooking team in the office.
Among the stars were recipes people made by our own amazing Alison Roman: her salted pistachio shortbread, these chocolate-molasses numbers and The Cookie itself, the internet-famous salted chocolate chunk shortbread. The internet is also loving Alison’s new spiced chickpea stew (a.k.a. The Stew), which was featured here last week.
That prompted me to ask what she’s cooking for dinner lately. She wrote back: “Honestly, these days I am making so much broth because it doesn’t require my attention and the result is something I can use immediately or freeze for later.” She flavors it with turmeric, a cinnamon stick, star anise or dried chiles, “or just an insane amount of garlic when I’m making it rather than after, so when it defrosts it’s pretty much ready to go (R.T.G.).” She turns it into a quick soup with celery and toasted garlic over rice noodles, greens and whatever vegetables are lurking in her fridge.
I love the R.T.G. concept and lifestyle. Send me your R.T.G. ideas or just drop me a line at email@example.com.
Here are five dishes for the week:
CreditJulia Gartland for The New York Times. Food Stylist: Barrett Washburne.
I’m really into making meatballs lately: They’re fast; they double and freeze well; my kid eats them; they’re perfect for bowl treatment, with rice and vegetables; and they’re fun in a way that, say, steak is not. (To be fair, steak is just a more adult kind of fun.) This ingenious recipe calls for crushed Ritz crackers instead of bread crumbs, which make the meatballs a little richer and juicier. Serve with rice and kimchi, and heap some steamed spinach in the bowl. Don’t skip the optional dipping sauce.
Here is the weeknight cheat-sheet version of this warm farro salad, with apologies to its author, the wonderful Martha Rose Shulman: Buy precooked beets, or roast them in advance. Cook the farro just until tender, 20 to 30 minutes. (Martha cooks them twice as long so they splay and soak up dressing, but that’s the ideal version, and ideal versions are for weekends.) Skip toasting the pistachios and just use them raw. Swap in olive oil for walnut oil. Done! And so good.
So much more than its parts. You can use kielbasa instead of chorizo if that’s your thing, and while it won’t be as good, panko bread crumbs are an O.K. substitute for fresh. (I make a big batch of fresh bread crumbs in the food processor roughly once a year and stash them in the freezer.) Add greens or frozen peas to the pan, or serve salad on the side.
I love eggs baked in tomato sauce (shakshuka, eggs in purgatory), so this riff calls out to me: lots of greens, beans, and sausage if I like. (If you don’t like, then it’s vegetarian.) Serve with thick pieces of high-quality toast, rubbed with a cut clove of garlic if you’re feeling fancy.
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