Hello and welcome to Five Weeknight Dishes. It is the craziest time of any year, let alone the craziest year. Anything that is not explicitly connected to holiday celebration should be pretty simple to execute. I haven’t finished shopping! I haven’t wrapped presents! I haven’t even made the list of all the other things I need to do, and will probably forget to do!
And yet I still want dinner to be good. I can’t help it! My soul needs it at the end of the day. The recipes below deliver with a bang, and two of them — the salmon and chicken — could easily make the cut for a holiday menu.
Countless more ideas can be found in our collections of the most popular recipes of the year, and also the recipes that home cooks loved best this year — the ones our most dedicated NYT Cooking users saved in swarms. There’s a collection of the most popular vegetarian recipes of 2020 as well, and our most clicked desserts, too. Let me know which recipe you loved most at firstname.lastname@example.org. It’s always a joy to hear from you.
[Sign up here to receive the Five Weeknight Dishes newsletter in your inbox every Friday.]
Here are five dishes for the week:
The beauty of Genevieve Ko’s new salmon dish is that it is, in fact, a beauty, and incredibly simple to put together. You could make it for Christmas lunch or dinner, but you could also make it on a Monday. If you have a few smaller salmon fillets, rather than one large fillet, just start checking the fish for doneness sooner.
These velvety, salty noodles were the first dish I made from Andrea Nguyen’s cookbook “Vietnamese Food Any Day,” and I fell in love fast. This recipe, adapted slightly from hers, delivers the familiar satisfaction of pan-fried noodles, but with surprising depth of flavor.
I made this recipe from the blogger Cynthia Chen McTernan for dinner on Tuesday and was delighted anew by how so few ingredients (six) and an utterly simple cooking method (simmering in a wok or, if need be, a large skillet) can produce such delicious results. It calls for kabocha squash, but I don’t see why it wouldn’t work with precut butternut squash to save time. Use homemade stock if you can, though.