Hello! It’s Five Weeknight Dishes, recipes for busy people who still want something good to eat. I’m all business today. Last week, I asked you what you wanted to see in December, and the answers were so helpful that I’m putting the call out again: What do you want to have for dinner next month? What are you craving in between all those cookies, spiced nuts, pigs-in-blankets or slabs of Brie?
And where do you get your groceries? A big chain, say Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods? Or do you go to a local place, or live someplace where you get groceries delivered? I’m just curious, though, of course, it helps me tailor recommendations to you. I’m at [email protected]. And happy Hanukkah to all the latke lovers out there.
Here are five dishes for the week:
This is exactly the meal I want right now: chickpeas (some creamy, some crisp), coconut milk, ginger, greens. The cook time is just under an hour, the outer edge of weeknight acceptability, but you could easily double the recipe or stretch it by serving it with a pot of rice, so you’ll have two nights of dinner done. Leave off the yogurt to make it vegan.
Here’s an incredibly fast recipe to follow that stew; within 20 minutes, you could be dipping a hunk of crusty bread in the garlic-wine-butter sauce pooling in the bottom of the dish. Serve with something green and fresh with a little bit of a snap to it: steamed broccoli, green beans, sugar snap peas.
This recipe was inspired by the cavatelli at Frankies 457 Spuntino in Brooklyn, allegedly the most ordered dish on dates, which I completely believe. That dish (and the recipe in the Frankies cookbook, one of my favorites) also led my husband to buy a cavatelli maker. You don’t need a cavatelli maker. (Neither do we.) This version captures the signature charms of the dish and adds sweet squash. Leave out the sausage to make it meatless.
Underappreciated Dijon mustard is one of my fridge staples; we start to run low, I restock. These broiled bone-in chicken thighs get a sharp schmear of mustard, along with minced shallot and cayenne, maximum flavor for minimum effort. (You can leave out the cayenne for kids.) I’d serve with a salad and egg noodles, though any grain would work nicely, or boiled potatoes.
So easy, so good: Pair cheesy polenta or grits with eggs fried in olive oil til their edges crisp. This is perfect with garlicky Swiss chard with red pepper flakes, which you can serve on the side or heap into the bowl; spinach, kale and other sturdy greens would work just as well.
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