Hi and welcome to Five Weeknight Dishes. Let’s talk for a minute about doing the dishes. There’s a Letter of Recommendation in The Times Magazine this week about washing dishes, and the beauty that comes in surrendering to ordinary tasks, written by my old friend Mike Powell.
I really like Mike’s essay, and I too have experienced how centering and satisfying it can be to do the dishes, an imposed quiet moment when I’m alone with the sink and the soap. However: I will do almost anything to avoid it. My partner does about 99 percent of the cleaning in the kitchen, which is a very good deal for me.
And so in honor of him, and of everyone standing at the sink, this week’s newsletter is devotedly entirely to one-pan recipes to save you a little time (and many more ideas are right over here). Reach me anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here are five dishes for the week:
Roasted chicken with potatoes, arugula and garlic yogurt.CreditAndrew Scrivani for The New York Times
This looker is a classic on NYT Cooking, easy to prepare and adjust to your needs. You could double it on two pans; swap in sriracha or another hot sauce for the harissa, or omit it entirely; or swap in sliced onion for the leek (or, again, omit entirely). I like to use more arugula to fill out the meal. If you’re short on time and have to skip marinating the chicken, I won’t tell.
Here are two of my favorite words: coconut and rice, and you could swap in other vegetables for the greens (I’m thinking peas) to feed anyone who doesn’t thrill to the sight of the word kale. This is a good vegetarian supper on its own, but it’d also be nice with tofu or a simple fish.
I love this smart, simple idea for canned beans: Quickly braise them in whole milk (!) with garlic, thyme and nutmeg for a creamy, stewy dinner that isn’t heavy and tastes like it took hours, not minutes. Wilt in handfuls of greens to add vegetables, and serve with toast smeared with that soft, sweet garlic.