Hi and welcome to Five Weeknight Dishes. I know some people feel like they never want to eat again after Thanksgiving. That, frankly, has not been my experience. I love a next-day turkey sandwich with cranberry sauce. Leftover stuffing is a perfect food. Once, even though I had half a pie left on the counter, I went the extra mile to secure a mondo ice cream-and-pie mashup from an amazing ice cream shop the day after Thanksgiving, a remainder that some wrongdoer had neglected to pick up.
However, while I am happy to eat after Thanksgiving, I am not terribly happy to cook. So this week’s newsletter is inspired by Melissa Clark’s column from a few weeks back about Thanksgiving side strategies: Make them way in advance, she says, or make them way last-minute. The recipes below are either great to cook ahead for the week, a little more slowly than is our typical speed (or even done in a slow cooker), or can be executed very quickly. As always, I’m at email@example.com, and I love to hear from you.
Here are five dishes for the week:
This relatively light, bright chili kindly comes with instructions for both the slow cooker and stovetop, and you can make it on Sunday and eat it all week. Or just imagine the joy you would feel if you opened the freezer and saw a big container of this, jauntily labeled CHIX CHILI. So much joy!
Looks fancy; takes 15 minutes. You can play around with the flavors in this delicious and flexible recipe as long as you keep the butter and timing intact. Swap out the orange for lemon or lime, the mint for parsley or cilantro, you get the idea. The salad is optional, but a nice thing to do.
If you want your friends, partner or children to worship you, this would be a good place to start. Make ahead, put a pan in your fridge or freezer, then bake at will.
This recipe also comes with slow-cooker instructions, but it’s very easy to adapt for the stove (and it’d be pretty fast-cooking, too): Use a Dutch oven or other deep pot rather than a skillet, brown the sausage directly in that vessel, and then proceed, adding the lentils to the pot and letting them simmer there till done, about 40 minutes. I haven’t tried it but I bet faux-meat substitutes for the sausage would work well here, F.Y.I.
I hear today is Black Friday. Did you know that a present you could cross off your list right this second is a gift subscription to NYT Cooking? Your mom/dad/best friend/archnemesis will love it. Or treat yourself to a subscription of your own! Follow NYT Cooking on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest, and subscribe to our extremely fun YouTube channel; you can also follow me on Instagram. Previous newsletters are archived here. I’m firstname.lastname@example.org, and if you have any problems with your account, email email@example.com.