What to Cook This Week

Winter squash and mushroom curry, chile crisp Alfredo and more recipes.

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By Sam Sifton

Good morning. Eric Kim recently did some reporting on one of the great dishes of the American South: Brunswick stew (above): shredded meats cooked with tomatoes, corn and butter beans until a ladle can stand straight up in the pot. What meats? Squirrel or rabbit, traditionally, though most people use chicken today, occasionally supplemented with pork shoulder or chuck beef.

His dispatch for The Times got me hankering to make the dish for Sunday supper, a main course to serve with cornbread. That’s the way they do it in Brunswick County, Va., anyway. In Brunswick, Ga., the stew’s more of a side dish to serve with barbecue. (Eric found a great line about that, from Roy Blount Jr., a humorist and lifelong Georgian: “Brunswick stew is what happens when small mammals carrying ears of corn fall into barbecue pits.”)

I hope you’ll join me for that. As for the rest of the week …


It’s Halloween! If you’d like to make the affair a little more formal than a salad bowl full of mini Snickers and Charleston Chews, we’ve got a stellar collection of recipes that are sweet and not at all spooky. Just looking for dinner? Tuck into this Madhur Jaffrey recipe for winter squash and wild mushroom curry and watch “8 Mile” on Netflix instead.


I love Kay Chun’s recipe for chicken katsu because it’s easy and delicious and because it’s no less so if you use pork in place of the chicken. Make extra cutlets so you can use them to make katsudon for lunch the next day. Live the katsu lifestyle.


I love a new Genevieve Ko recipe drop, this time for chile crisp Alfredo with spinach. I love every one of those words. (And I love Genevieve’s recipe for chile crisp.)


Melissa Clark got me to buy more sheet pans when I had only three. She convinced me to make my own ricotta. And she absolutely converted me to midweek pressure cooking with this recipe for Instant Pot pork stew with red wine and olives. Try it!


And then you can head into the weekend with Kay’s recipe for Nashville-style hot tofu sliders, which I don’t serve on slider buns but on full-sized ones with a double portion of tofu and extra hot sauce on the side.

There are thousands and thousands more recipes to consider awaiting you on New York Times Cooking, including this nice collection of cozy and cheap dinner ideas for cooking while inflation continues. You’ll find additional inspiration on TikTok, Instagram and YouTube (where we asked Sohla and Ham El-Waylly to turn Halloween candy into dinner and a dessert).

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Now, you could spend a couple days thinking about it and still not make it have anything to do with food, but I enjoyed this conversation in Vanity Fair between Keziah Weir and the author and critic Darryl Pinckney. The occasion is the publication of “Come Back in September,” Pinckney’s memoir of his formative relationships with Elizabeth Hardwick and Barbara Epstein of The New York Review of Books.

One of my brothers spends a not inconsiderable amount of time tracking the whereabouts of the ship Ever Given, which was famously stuck in the Suez Canal in 2021. Perhaps you’d like to do that yourself, or to watch over the ship Ever Forward, which somewhat famously ran aground in the Chesapeake Bay earlier this year. No? Vessel tracking websites are not for everyone.

I took great pleasure in listening to Simon Slater narrate the audio version of Hilary Mantel’s “Wolf Hall.”

Finally, the “Wolf Hall” experience inexorably led me to the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s exhibition of “The Tudors: Art and Majesty in Renaissance England.” Jason Farago’s indispensable review of that show ran in The Times. Hope you get to see it.

I’ll be back next week. Melissa Clark will write you on Monday.

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