What I’m Excited to Cook This Year

Melissa Clark’s green curry salmon with coconut rice is at the top of my weeknight list.

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By Emily Weinstein

Hello you, and happy new year. This is my first dispatch of 2023, and I’m excited to cook. I was away for the holidays, so I entered January refreshed in this regard, delighted to be in my own kitchen and swiping through recipes like I’m on a dating app. (There’s also the fact that it’s January, the best time of year to just stay home.)

What am I looking at? Birria de res (and, perhaps more important, quesabirria tacos). Bryan Washington’s new recipe for miso pecan banana bread. Pistachio Bundt cake. Chocolate soufflés. Is this the winter I finally make Yotam Ottolenghi’s butternut squash and fondue pie with pickled red chiles? Or Tejal Rao’s lamb biryani?

And then there are the recipes I picked below, specifically for weeknights and high on my to-cook list. I always aim to get you as excited about recipes as I am — so let me know how I’m doing and what you’d like to see in the coming months. I’m [email protected], and I love to hear from you.

1. Green Curry Salmon With Coconut Rice

Ooh, this looks delicious. You could just make the coconut rice in Melissa Clark’s new recipe, flavored with scallions, cilantro and green curry paste. Or you could steal the simple trick of spreading curry paste over salmon fillets before cooking for an immediate and quite dramatic flavor boost. But it’s the marriage of the two, in one pot, that makes this a must-try.

View this recipe.

2. Crispy Pepperoni Chicken

Pepperoni crumbs: An inspired creation, from the chefs Angie Rito and Scott Tacinelli of the restaurant Don Angie, in New York, and Ali Slagle’s superb addition to a weeknight chicken dinner. You get some of the salty, crisp pleasures that come with schnitzel or katsu, but without the mess of dipping the chicken into egg or flour.

View this recipe.

3. Kimchi Carbonara

I’ve had my eye on this Korean-Italian mash-up for a few months now: a rich, spicy and vegetarian alternative to spaghetti carbonara, from the chef Melanie Hye Jin Meyer (by way of the reporter Elyse Inamine). I’m finally making it, and I can’t wait.

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4. Pork Chops With Kale and Dates

I like pork chops, but I love dates, which are what make this dish from Ali Slagle so alluring. If you are less enamored of dates than I am, you can skip the salad and still use Ali’s cooking method for the pork, which will yield very juicy chops.

View this recipe.

5. Roasted Mushrooms in Ata Din Din

Yewande Komolafe recommends serving her mushrooms in ata din din — the Nigerian red-pepper sauce — with fried sweet plantains and rice. Pickled onions add bright bursts of flavor, while herbs are a welcome bit of green in January’s gray.

View this recipe.

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